Hidden gems in Somerset

The view from the top of Ebbor Gorge in Somerset

The Somerset countryside is home to many well-loved local landmarks, and the National Trust Ranger team consider themselves very lucky to be able to care for recognisable places such as Glastonbury Tor, Cheddar Gorge and Brean Down. However, did you know that these three special places all have a secret? They each have a twin, with just as much to offer. These doppelganger places are a bit more tucked away, so for those of you keen to get off the beaten track this year and escape the crowds, why not tick some of these places off your list?

Ebbor Gorge - a 'mini Cheddar'

Set within the ancient limestone Mendip Hills, Ebbor Gorge is designated a National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England. Here you’ll find woodland, rocks and caves. There are small streams good for paddling and fallen trees to clamber over. Fill a day wildlife spotting, exploring the woodland, playing in streams and climbing up the rocky path to the Gorge. The car park is free but please note that it is locked at dusk and managed by Natural England. 

Nearest postcode: BA5 1AY. More useful information about Ebbor here.

Burrow Mump - the 'tiny Tor'

A view of Burrow Mump
A view of the landscape around Burrow Mump, with the hill itself in the distance
A view of Burrow Mump

Like its better known cousin, Glastonbury Tor, Burrow Mump is a prominent hill in the heart of the Somerset countryside, with the ruins of a church at its summit. The church was built on top of an earlier medieval church and now serves as a war memorial to those who lost their lives in the Second World War. The carpark is run by the National Trust and free to use, and the summit is just a short climb away, offering panoramic views across the county. Perfect for picnics in the sunshine during the summer holidays. 

Nearest postcode: TA7 0RB

Sand Point

A view from the end of Sand Point
A view from the end of Sand Point
A view from the end of Sand Point

Sand Point, like Brean Down, is a limestone peninsula sticking out into the Bristol Channel. Situated at one end of Sand Bay, a stunning stretch of beach and perfect for a spot of sandcastle-building, climb to the top of Sand Point for a windswept walk along the coast.

Sand Point was once an island, and like Brean Down, Iron Age settlements have been found there. Look out for swallows, greenfinches and skylarks soaring above, as well as butterflies such as Gatekeepers and Skippers. Nearest postcode: BS22 9UD

More information about Sand Point here.

With the exception of Ebbor Gorge, which is owned by the National Trust but managed by Natural England, the National Trust Ranger team care for all of the special places in this article. Working year round, the Rangers work hard at tasks such as making carpark improvements, cutting back scrub to make room for wildflowers and insects, and installing paths and benches. We wouldn’t be able to carry out this work without the continued support of members and visitors, so please enjoy exploring.