The Somerset village of Roadwater lies on the banks of the Washford River, in a deep, wooded valley. It is located within Exmoor National Park, a few miles south of the Bristol Channel coast. Roadwater has traditionally been based around mills on the river, of which Manor Mills survived, and was designated as a listed building by English Heritage. Take a wander along one of the narrow lanes from your holiday cottage in Roadwater and you will discover a peaceful rural community which time seems to have forgotten. There is a post office with a small shop selling a variety of local produce. Next door, a village hall hosts community events throughout the year. Wander south, past St Luke’s Church, and you will soon reach the Valiant Soldier Inn, a welcoming pub serving Somerset ales and ciders, and excellent food. 

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North of holiday cottages in Roadwater, the scenic A39 runs east into the Quantock Hills and west, through Exmoor. One the village’s closest beaches is Blue Anchor, a vast stretch of sand and shingle which was the subject of Port Sunlight, a painting by JMW Turner. It is an idyllic spot for an afternoon of sunbathing and swimming, with wonderful views across the Bristol Channel, towards Wales. Not to be missed on self-catering holidays in Roadwater, the West Somerset Railway runs through 22 miles of pristine countryside, between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard.

The South West Coast Path crosses towering cliffs, past rocky coves and ancient harbours. Walking at least a small stretch of this renowned route is highly recommended. On Roadwater’s doorstep, the heather-covered moors of the national park are a paradise for walkers and wildlife-watchers. Look out for wild ponies and deer as you explore the enchanting landscapes of Exmoor. The pretty seaside towns of Watchet and Minehead are both a short drive away.