If you're booked in to a Somerset hotel or B&B in the neighbourhood of Langport and looking for something to do for a day out, consider Muchelney Abbey. It's located bang in the middle of the beautiful Somerset Levels and was once a famous landmark for the area. Even though the abbey is now partly in ruins there are things to do here for all the family, and it's a fascinating historic site in its own right.
A Day Out at Muchelney Abbey from a Somerset Hotel
Muchelney Abbey was once Somerset's second oldest ecclesiastical foundation, belonging to the Benedictines, who also owned owning much of the surrounding land. Like other abbeys at the time, it represented rich pickings for Henry VIII and was duly dissolved on the orders of Thomas Cromwell in 1538. However, these abbeys were so well constructed that their foundations are usually clearly visible, along with many of the original walls, so it's possible to imagine what they must have looked like in their glory days. Be sure not to miss the monks' lavatory, a thatched building that is unique in Britain! Take a stroll along the cloister walk, sections of which are richly decorated. The abbot's house dates from the early-16th Century and remains in one piece despite the ravages of time and kings. The rooms are still magnificent and there are displays and exhibitions about religious life down the ages.
The Quiet Life at Muchelney Abbey with Somerset Hotels
The Somerset Levels have some of the most serene and attractive landscapes in the West Country, and it's easy to see why the area was chosen as a suitable site for a Benedictine abbey. A visit here has all the makings of a good day out with the family, whatever the weather, although in summer kids have lots of things to do in the grounds. The interactive exhibition of Daniel and the Great Flood is especially popular. Take a picnic along from your Somerset hotel or guesthouse, or drop in to the onsite café for tea and snacks. The historic market town of Taunton is nearby for some shopping.