A popular seaside holiday destination since the Victorian era, this attractive town is also the gateway to Exmoor National Park.
Minehead has a sandy beach overlooked on the west by the wooded North Hill. Stroll along the town’s pleasant promenade, ride the West Somerset Railway through picturesque surrounding countryside or head to nearby Exmoor National Park for walking, biking and horseback riding.
Enjoy gorgeous views across to Exmoor National Park’s North Hill from the flat, sandy Minehead Beach. The waters of Bristol Channel are ideal for swimming and pleasure boat cruises. Stroll along the lovely beachfront promenade lined with cafés, shops and bars.
The terminus of the West Somerset Railway is close to Minehead Beach. The station originally opened in 1874, and you can still see part of the original railway building as well as the goods shed. Ride this restored steam train on a 20-mile (32-kilometer) scenic journey through the Somerset countryside and admire the coast of the Bristol Channel, the lush Quantock Hills and quaint villages and farms.
Look inside the 15th-century St. Michael’s Church, which rises over Minehead on the lower slopes of North Hill. Walk to the church via the Church Steps, a charming footpath lined with thatched cottages with wonderful views over the town. The church is particularly beautiful at night when it’s illuminated against the night sky.
Minehead is a fine base for exploring Exmoor National Park, a beautiful expanse of wooded river valleys, craggy coastlines and deserted moors dotted with lichen-covered trees. The park encompasses more than 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) of walking paths. The South West Coast Path is a highlight. Hike along this 630-mile (1,010-kilometer) path, known as one of England’s longest countryside walking trails. This wonderful trail begins in Minehead and follows a route along Devon’s northern seaboard.
Minehead is located on the Bristol Channel, 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of Taunton. Travel here by train from London or Birmingham. Alternatively, get here using National Express buses. The West Somerset Steam railway runs a seasonal service between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead.