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  • Writer's pictureMarsh Farm Glamping

Rainy Day? Things to Do in Somerset When it’s Wet and Wild

Updated: Apr 10

‘A rainy day is like a lovely gift -- you can sleep late and not feel guiltyElizabeth Jane Howard, Mr. Wrong

Whilst a rainy day may be like a lovely gift, having had approximately four hundred and thirty two consecutive days of rain and wind here at the farm (hyperbole? Not by much I can assure you) I can definitely say that that gift needs to be ‘Returned to Sender’.

But whilst the fields may be waterlogged and the sheep channelling soggy marshmallows, there are still plenty of rainy day activities to check out in beautiful South Somerset. Here I’ll take you through five of the local favourites.

Wells, the Cathedral, Wookey Hole and Cheddar Gorge

Did you know that Wells boasts the accolade of being England’s smallest city? That said, it certainly isn’t small in stature, packing in a whole host of history, independent shops, events and festivals whilst retaining a small market town vibe. So named for the three wells which rise in the Bishop’s Palace, the spring water still runs alongside the high street. There is so much to see and do in Wells, from the twice weekly market to the medieval Vicar’s Close, the Bishop’s Palace to The Crown pub – one of the film locations for the movie Hot Fuzz - that it deserves a post all to itself. On a rainy day in Somerset, however, Wells Cathedral is really where it’s at.

Wells Cathedral's West Front on a sunny day
Wells Cathedral - A truly staggering piece of architecture

Wells was the first English Cathedral to be built in the Gothic style. It is also home to one of the oldest medieval clock faces in the world where jousting knights rush out to do battle every time the clock strikes the quarter hour. Its staggeringly beautiful and imposing West Front is adorned with over 300 life-sized carvings from the Twelve Apostles, to orders of angels, kings and bishops and Christ himself, amongst others.

Inside the Cathedral is one of the largest collections of stained glass in the country, including the Jesse Window from the 14th century – one of the most unique and impressive examples within Europe.

I could continue to wax lyrical but I’m sure you get the drift – Wells is well worth a visit, and the Cathedral is perfect to while away a few hours on a wet and windy day. For entry prices, tours and more, check out their website here.

A mere 5-minute drive from Wells is Wookey Hole, a magical place of caves, legends, and adventure for the young and young at heart’. It is of course the caves that Wookey Hole is most famous for, and rightly so. Carved out of the Mendip Hills by the action of drops of rainwater over millennia, during the last 50,000 years the caves have variably been home to Neanderthals, Celts (ancient farmers) and perhaps most interestingly (for me at least) cave-dwelling hyenas. It was these hyenas that are believed to have chased their prey over the cliffs into the Enchanted Valley below. Those prey animals? Rhinoceros, bear, mammoth, and lions!

A hyena inside a cave with her eyes closed and her face in the sun.
A hyena in a cave. Admittedly not one of THE cave hyenas, but I still wouldn't mess...

Apart from the caves (perfect for taking a tour on a rainy day in Somerset) Wookey Hole also boasts a 4D cinema, museum, theatre, circus shows, vintage penny arcade, hall of mirrors, adventure golf and event nights. For the more adventurous there’s also the chance to crawl, climb and abseil through the caves in a Wild Wookey experience. And if that’s not your bag (and it definitely isn’t mine these days) then you can always retire to the ice-cream parlour, restaurant or shop where you can buy some of their famous Cave Aged Cheddar. Don’t forget, if you do visit Wookey Hole, keep an eye out for the famous, or infamous, Wookey Hole Witch…

Twenty minutes further on from Wookey Hole is Cheddar Gorge, another iconic Somerset location and one of Britain’s natural wonders. The gorge itself is almost 400 feet deep and 3 miles long, Cheddar Gorge is not only spectacular, but also home to wonderful walking trails and the opportunity to spot some of Somerset’s rarest birds, mammals and plant life. There’s also the feral goats – keep an eye out for those too!

Sunset over the gorge
Cheddar Gorge - A perfect Somerset day out

However, as this is a post about things and activities to do in Somerset when it’s raining, then the Cheddar caves are where it’s at. These subterranean stalactite show caves include Cheddar’s Gough’s Cave, home to the Horse Hunters – ancestors from 15,000 years ago who may well have been cannibals who ate their enemies. Its’ also where the Cheddar Man was discovered – the oldest complete skeleton ever discovered in Britain and dating back 10,000 years.

If an audio tour of the spectacular caves isn’t rocking your boat, then how about signing up for the Black Cat Freefall, adventure caving or rock climbing (again, perhaps not the best activity on a wet and windy day in Somerset!). And if you’ve mastered the skill of the freefall, and the giddy heights of the rock climb, how about exercising your mental chambers in one of their escape rooms? Never tried one before? Now’s your chance! The Vault and Caved In are two to six person escape rooms that are Cheddar-themed (no not Cheddar cheese-themed. That would be too cheesy...)

Stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave.
The 500,000 year old Gough's Cave

The Haynes International Motor Museum and Fleet Air Arm Museum

Located 25 minutes away from Marsh Farm Glamping is the Haynes International Motor Museum. Based in Sparkford, it’s not a museum that ever sparked any interest in yours truly. Until I was dragged along with visitors one wet and miserable day. And it was, to my unfettered surprise, a bit of a revelation. We spent a thoroughly enjoyable day exploring the Red Room (not quite as exciting as that Red Room, granted, but fascinating nonetheless), the Hall of Motorsport, the Veteran and Vintage area, the American Dream, the Drivers and the Driven and the Minis and Micros, to name but a few of the exhibitions housed inside this Second World War American munitions depot.

On the first Sunday of the month they hold a Breakfast Club – perfect for the motoring enthusiast in your life, tickets strictly in advance. Show off your pride and joy or attend as a spectator and enjoy breakfast whilst you indulge your passion for all things automotive.

The museum also hosts volunteer talks and a regular car boot sale (very appropriate for a car museum methinks).

A selection of cars all red, all different makes and models at the Haynes Motor Museum
The Red Room

Just ten minutes away from the Haynes Motor Museum is the equally fascinating Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum – another destination I had no interest in (so shoot me) until I experienced Europe’s largest naval aviation museum for myself. The museum boasts four exhibition halls, and covers topics such as Saved! 100 years of search and rescue, pioneering women of the Royal Navy, and the great Barracuda rebuild. It houses the first British Concorde and you can experience their state-of-the-art Aircraft Carrier Experience.

So all in all, there are PLENTY of exciting, adventurous and entertaining activities to do on a wet, windy, rainy Somerset day. If you're staying at the hut, all of these are within a short and easy drive, with lots of alternative pit stops and places to explore along the way.

The moral of the story? Don't let a bit of bad weather stop your Somerset glamping experience - we have lots of lovely things here in this quirky, colourful county!

If the thought of travelling a whole 25-40 minutes to Wells, Wookey and beyond seems like a step too far (you are on holiday after all, no judgement here) then check out four fabulous finds all with a meagre four miles of the hut right HERE.

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