Explore the Quantock Hills

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The Quantock Hills in Somerset are wonderful for walking, biking and horse riding; and their captivating views of the Bristol Channel, Wales, the Mendip and Blackdown Hills, Exmoor and the Somerset Levels inspired one of our greatest poets.

Outstanding beauty

We care for parts of the Quantock Common, which is a mosaic of heathland hill tops and valley woodlands. Long Stone Hill lies at the north-east end of the Quantock Hills. It's an area of outstanding natural beauty, rising from the village of Holford. Take in fantastic views across the hills and look out for red deer on the adjacent hill tops, and the ancient oak pollards in Willoughby Cleeve.

Broomfield Hill is a gently sloping, open, round-topped hill at the southern end of the Quantocks, and very near to Fyne Court. You can sometimes see Highland cattle and their teddy bear-like calves grazing here.

Wonderful for walks

Beacon Hill and Bicknoller Hill are both fantastic walking spots in the north-west corner of the Quantocks, above the village of West Quantoxhead. You can download the Staple Plain walk to explore this area.

Look out for Trendle Ring, an Iron Age hill-fort on Bicknoller Hill. Both hills are also great places to hear the nightjar, a nocturnal bird, on a balmy summer evening.

Woodlands Hill and Shervage Wood, adjacent to the A39 on the west of the hills, are full of myth and mystery. Legend has it, the woods were once home to Gurt Wurm, a large dragon. He would come out of hiding to eat sheep and sometimes even people. Download a walking route to explore this area of dragon country.

A fascinating history

Heading south off the main common are Great and Marrow Hills. A large hill-top Bronze Age burial cairn looks over the vale towards Exmoor and the Brendon Hills.

Running alongside is the Drove Road, a fabulous beech-lined avenue. It was originally used as a traders' route, leading along the ridge of the Quantocks to the port at Watchet. The route was especially useful in the winter when the Somerset Levels were impassable.

A place to inspire

Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in the Quantocks for some time. He took inspiration from their beauty for some of his finest poems. He wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Kahn while living here. You can learn more about Coleridge at his former home, Coleridge Cottage and follow in his footsteps along the Coleridge Way, which passes through the Quantock hills.

What we do

Much of the work we do here is concerned with managing the important heathland habitat and landscape. There are a number of ways we do this, including clearing scrub and bracken, and swaling - a controlled burn of heather and gorse. We also work closely with local grazers to ensure that places are properly grazed.