Dating back to 1844, this cosy holiday cottage sits in an enviable position in the medieval Somerset village of Dunster with great restaurants, independent shops, ancient castle and easy access to Minehead for traditional seaside fun and beaches.
This charming replica train carriage has been built to high standards using modern eco-friendly touches to provide a unique holiday home beside the heritage West Somerset Railway line. The two bedrooms sleep four people who enjoy luxurious features like an outdoor hot tub, underfloor heating and TVs in the bedroom. Dunster Castle, Exmoor National Park, the Quantock Hills and Taunton are all nearby, while Bristol is also within easy reach. Tourist board rating: 4 Star Gold
You don't have to be a steam train buff to appreciate the high standard of accommodation of Railway Cottage, which sits beside the historic train line and has far-reaching views of the Quantock Hills. The Victorian cottage was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel during the construction of the West Somerset Railway and sleeps six people in three bedrooms. The holiday cottage is a favourite with families and friends, is close to Exmoor National Park and Dunster Castle and available for short breaks all year round. Tourist board rating: 4 Star Gold
Your family will love the chance to stay at Dunkery, which enjoys fantastic views towards North Hill and Minehead Old Town. Dunkery is a spacious bungalow that has been extended and modernised throughout to provide a high standard of accommodation. It has three lovely bedrooms, an enclosed garden and an open-plan layout that works well for families, couples and friends. Minehead's beach, harbour, esplanade and the start of South West Coast Path are a 20 minute walk (or 5 minute drive), as is the border of Exmoor National Park. One well-behaved dog is welcome.
Located in the medieval village of Dunster on the Somerset coast, this lovely holiday cottage is positioned in a quiet road standing at the foot of Dunster Castle and ancient church - ideal for an activity packed holiday exploring Exmoor or relaxing break by the sea.
The Coach House is an ideal choice for a relaxing holiday in West Somerset, being surrounded by gorgeous countryside and around a mile from the beach at Blue Anchor. It is next to Exmoor National Park, and favourite attractions such as Minehead, Glastonbury, Lynton, Lynmouth and Dunster Castle are all within easy reach. The two-bedroom period property sleeps four people and has a flexible layout that makes it as comfortable for couples and friends as it is for families. Tourist board rating: 4 Star
The Bramleys offers self-catering for four guests in two bedrooms and sits on the edge of the Somerset village of Old Cleeve, close to the popular seaside resort of Minehead on the coast. Perfect for families or friends looking for a seaside holiday and base for exploring the many attractions of the area, including Exmoor National Park close by and the West Somerset Steam Railway. Relax, walk, cycle or explore - the area offers something for everyone. Tourist board rating: 4 Star
Offering a lovely blend of cosiness and old-world charm, The Old Inn is perfectly placed in the very heart of Exmoor's National Park close to Wheddon Cross and Snowdrop Valley. Guests can enjoy wonderful walks from the doorstep of the holiday cottage and plenty of attractions within easy reach including the beaches of Devon and Somerset.
The Pippins is nicely presented throughout and provides the perfect self-catering retreat for couples looking to enjoy everything the Exmoor National Park and Somerset coastline has to offer. Nestling in the grounds of Cedar House on the edge of the Somerset village of Old Cleeve close to Minehead, the cottage has been awarded 4 Star Gold status by EnjoyEngland and provides a home from home and base for exploring the surrounding stunning countryside. Tourist board rating: 4 Star Gold
Beautifully presented, Combe Cottage sits right in the heart of Exmoor National Park and is an ideal base for exploring the areas many attractions, including the Somerset coastline. Sitting on the edge of Winsford, one of Exmoor's prettiest villages with an excellent pub, this welcoming self-catering holiday home is an excellent choice for families, friends, walkers and dog-owners.
The pretty medieval village of Dunster is a wonderful place to stay as it gives easy access to both the Somerset coast and Exmoor's beautiful countryside. Like many of the buildings in Dunster, Fuller's Mill has medieval roots, having once been a busy cotton mill powered by the stream that still flows alongside it. The cottage sleeps up to six people in three bedrooms and, being within walking distance of shops, pubs and a playground makes it ideal for families. Minehead, Porlock and Lynmouth are just a few miles away and there are walks and cycling routes from the door.
Step Back in Time - Simply walking around the centre of town is like stepping back in time when you visit Dunster, where the jewel in the architectural crown is undoubtedly the 1,000-year-old Dunster Castle that perches on a hill above the community. The National Trust manages the castle and its watermill, and the house is an excellent choice for a day out, especially if you bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful gardens. Another notable Dunster building in the Yarn Market with an unusual octagonal-shaped timber frame. The building, which dates from the 1600s, is in the care of English Heritage. Other historic sights in Dunster include the Butter Cross on the outskirts of town which was a meeting place for medieval butter sellers, and the medieval stone arch bridge over the Avill River.
Walking, Cycling & Other Outdoor Activities - The views around Dunster are impressive in every season but possibly none more so than in February when carpets of snowdrops with nodding white heads herald the end of the cold weather. Dunster is close to Snowdrop Valley in Wheddon Cross, and there is a lovely circular eight-mile loop with spectacular views not only of the snowdrops but of the Exmoor countryside. Other waymarked footpaths lead from town to Shingle Beach, along the coast to Minehead, and following the Riverside Jubilee Walk and over the West Somerset Railway Line.
Cyclists can create a route along country lanes or make good use of the miles of bridleways and cycling routes in the national park. There are some brilliant routes around Dunster and Minehead, with the natural hilliness of Exmoor calling to the hearts of mountain bikers. Many of the cottages to rent have secure bike storage and washing facilities, while local businesses provide bike hire and advice to visitors who need it.
Being close to the Bristol Channel means that kayaking and paddleboarding are both popular outdoor activities. Horseriding, golf, fishing, sailing and coasteering are all further options.
Local Attractions and Days Out - Dunster and the surrounding area have plenty of all-weather attractions that appeal in every season. Minehead is an excellent choice for a day out with its two beaches, vintage steam train, pier, promenade and traditional seaside entertainments. The coast around Lynmouth is also breathtaking with unwary visitors sometimes taken by surprise at the local population of wild goats that live in the Valley of the Rocks. Save your legs with a ride on the Lynton and Lynmouth Funicular Railway, which has been ferrying passengers since Victorian times. There are churches and country houses for those interested in history, and family-friendly attractions include the West Somerset Railway, Doniford Farm Park, Tropiquaria Zoo, and the Dunster Museum and Doll Collection.
No trip to the south-west is complete without at least seeing this charming medieval town, but why stop for merely an hour or two in Dunster when you can stay for a few nights? Dunster's location makes it easy to access Somerset's best beaches and attractions as well as those in the Exmoor National Park.