Nestled on the banks of the River Cleeve, next to a medieval monastery, Washford is an idyllic base for a break on the West Somerset coast. This sleepy village lies seven miles from Watchet, with the coast to the north and Exmoor National Park to the south. Washford holiday cottages are perfect for savouring a slower pace and rambling in the fields and gently rolling hills which surround the village. In the heart of Washford, you’ll discover rows of traditional stone cottages and a handful of family-run businesses. For a pint of Somerset cider, head to the White Horse, a 17th century coaching inn with a reputation for delicious specialties such as steak and stout pie, wild boar sausages and rabbit casserole. Washford is also a station on the much loved West Somerset Railway which runs steam-hauled trains from Minehead for 23-miles through to Bishop's Lydeard throughout the year, well woth a day-trip.

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A number of beautiful historic buildings can be found in and around Washford, including an 18th century mill house and a listed Methodist chapel, but the area’s best-known landmark is undoubtedly Cleeve Abbey, widely considered one of England’s best-preserved medieval monasteries. You can wander through its magnificent cloister buildings, including the gatehouse and 15th century refectory, with its intricate angel roof and heraldic tiles. The abbey lies in a wild valley, crisscrossed by a series of tranquil footpaths. To take in this enchanting environment from the comfort of a traditional steam train carriage, book a seat on the West Somerset Railway, which stops at Washford station. On the eastern edge of Washford, Tropiquaria is home to an incredible variety of animals and children’s attractions.

Self-catering holidays in Washford are perfect if you want to explore the beautiful county of Somerset. The charming seaside town of Watchet is just to the north, with fossil beaches, a busy marina and a maze of narrow streets packed with independent shops and eateries. To the south of Washford, Exmoor is a moody expanse of high open moorland, ancient woods and towering clifftops, where wild ponies and deer roam.