Bridgwater is a historic market town on the River Parrett, in Somerset. A busy port and trading centre since the Industrial Revolution, it is home to fine, Georgian architecture and a variety of independent businesses. With the Somerset Levels, Bristol Channel coast and Quantock Hills on the town’s doorstep, it’s no wonder self-catering holidays in Bridgwater are popular among visitors who want to make the most of this unspoiled corner of the Westcountry. Once a year, the usually sleepy town centre is transformed for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, which attracts 150,000 visitors from far and wide. Held in November, it features a parade of dazzling, illuminated carnival floats of up to 100 feet long. It’s bigger than Rio!

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Bridgwater is best explored by foot, with many riverside walks, a range of shops to peruse, and some great places to eat and drink. The Crown Inn and the Babbling Brook are both friendly, old pubs serving local ales and hearty dishes, while Clavelshay Barn and Green Olive are both good bets for a delicious evening meal. Oak woods, parkland, heath and fields lie directly to the north of your Bridgwater holiday cottage. Hike to the top of one of the area’s gorse and heather-covered hills on a clear day and you will be rewarded with views across the countryside as far as Exmoor to the west, Wales to the north and Glastonbury Tor and the Mendips to the east. 

Rocky bays and rugged clifftops dominate the coast, which is popular among fossil-hunters. 10 miles south of Bridgwater holiday cottages, and connected by a canal and a railway, the charming town of Taunton is home to many unique landmarks, including a 10th century monastery and an Anglo-Saxon castle. Hestercombe House and Gardens are well worth a visit, with stunning Georgian and Victorian grounds, and a watermill. Vivary Park is another popular historic attraction, offering plenty of family activities.