Autumn in Somerset

Autumn in Somerset

A beautiful time of year when mists hang low over the Somerset Levels and trees parade cloaks of burnt orange, honey and ruby leaves, autumn in Somerset is a real beauty. With an abundance of autumnal walks, festivals and attractions to look forward to, you’ll need little excuse to wrap up in cosy layers and head out into crisp air, ready to relish this magical season. 

From the best places to eat to the top seasonal attractions, enjoy our guide to autumn in Somerset.

Places to Eat

Woods, Dulverton

Decorated with two AA Rosettes and accredited by the Good Pub Guide for its food and wine, Woods in Dulverton is an award-winning pub and restaurant that’s high on the autumn list. One of our favourite pubs in Exmoor National Park, it resides in a picturesque village and sets an inviting scene with country lodge-style interiors and glowing log fires. Select from dishes composed of ingredients from the pub’s own farm and local producers and peruse the list of over a hundred wines that can be enjoyed by the glass.

Osip, Bruton

One of the best Michelin star restaurants in Somerset, Osip in Bruton boasts both a Michelin star and a Michelin green star for its gastronomic excellence and commitment to sustainability. A top place to go for delicious autumn feasts, it beckons with the highest quality modern British fare, deftly prepared by owner and Head Chef, Merlin Labron-Johnson, and his team. Adding to the novel experience, this restaurant removes menus from the equation, and instead leads with daily-changing set menus that feature produce plucked fresh from the restaurant’s garden.

Olive Tree, Bath

The Olive Tree restaurant is renowned for the standard of its culinary offerings. One of our favourite Michelin Star Restaurants in the Cotswolds, it serves up delicious tasters and tipples in Bath and promises to make every autumn break that much sweeter. Draw out your experience with a drink in the handsome bar area to start, before finding your table in the restaurant ready to browse the menu. Innovative and creative, each dish is a celebration of colour, texture, and flavour – experimental yet refined for the best in contemporary cuisine. 

The Exmoor Forest Inn, Simonsbath

There’s no better way to round off hours of autumnal exploration and moorland strolls than with a hearty meal in the gorgeous Exmoor Forest Inn gastropub. Sitting within the heart of Exmoor National Park, it extends a friendly welcome with cosy interiors and open fires and serves up flavoursome seasonal repasts. With a Michelin green star, this pub is supported by a dedicated local network, with all its menu ingredients, including organic meat and vegetables, sourced from nearby farms and producers.

Queen of Cups, Glastonbury

A Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, the esteemed Queen of Cups restaurant is located within a characterful seventeenth-century inn in Glastonbury. Fusing West Country produce with Middle Eastern cuisine, it specialises in spice-infused eats that pop with colour and taste. Book yourself a table and look forward to relishing individual plates and sharing platters expertly prepared by co-founder and Executive Chef, Ayesha Kalaji. House specials include The Queen’s Feast, composed of a selection of tapas-style savoury dishes.

Places to Visit

Leigh Woods

Home to a diverse array of landscapes, Somerset’s autumn transformation is quite the sight to behold. One of the best places to see autumn colours is the National Trust-run Leigh Woods near Bristol. One of our favourite woodlands of the South West, this autumnal arcadia is home to ancient trees of all shapes and sizes, including noble oaks which are some of the first trees to change their colour in autumn. Trace the trails through bronzed trees and enjoy the backdrop of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s suspension bridge in the distance.

The Bishop’s Palace

A sleepy sanctuary within the heart of the Medieval city of Wells, the historic gardens of The Bishop’s Palace are hidden within ancient ramparts and encompassed by an ancient moat. Home to fourteen acres of grounds, the Grade II listed gardens make for an idyllic place to step into autumn walks and soak up the dreamy atmosphere. Among the crisscrossed verdure, you can find different garden areas to explore, such as the South Garden at the foot of the Great Hall ruins, the East Garden with its autumn perennials, and the Wells Garden with its glassy pools.

Wimbleball Lake

A view over Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor National Park

One of the most beautiful lakes in the South West, Wimbleball Lake rests within the hummocky hills of Exmoor National Park and entices for beautiful alfresco walks. Intertwined with a weaving network of walking and cycling trails, the lake and its surrounds cover an area of more than five hundred acres. Head over by day to admire the gorgeous autumn blaze of colour sweeping across the landscape, or venture over in the late evening for stargazing. A designated Dark Sky Discovery Site, Wimbleball offers some of the best conditions for admiring magical night skies blinking with the light of countless stars.

Forde Abbey

Forde Abbey

If you are looking for somewhere special to enjoy autumn hours, then turn your attention to Forde Abbey in Chard on the Somerset and Dorset border. A historic country house hugged by thirty acres of award-winning gardens, it is the perfect place to walk hand in hand with your beloved or follow footpaths with your family, absorbing the elegance and romance of the setting around you. Spend time uncovering the fascinating history of the nine-hundred-year-old abbey and wend your way around the gardens, looking out for the water fountain (the highest powered in the country) and the arboretum decorated with autumn’s fiery embellishments.

Prior Park Landscape Gardens

The dog-friendly Prior Park Landscape Garden near Bath dates back to the beginning of the eighteenth century and presents something to see at every turn. One of the best places to visit in autumn this year, the estate proposes captivating adventures with Capability Brown designed landscaped gardens and rolling grounds. Whether you’re looking to capture the rich colours on camera, take a pocket canvas for watercolour inspiration, or simply would like to crunch footsteps along leafy paths and enjoy the moment, this sprawling parkland is sure to capture heart and mind.

Things to Do

Cider Tasting

The autumn months of September, October and November are known as cider season in Somerset with its ferile soils and flourishing orchards. One of the best times of year to sample the fruits of the county, this seasonal harvest sees the finest British apples collected and crushed to begin their transformation into liquid sunshine. If you would like to learn about traditional cider making processes and taste some of the delicious ciders produced in Somerset, pay a visit to some of the county’s most famous producers, including Torre Cider Farm and Thatchers Cider Farm.


A good dog on a walk through the Quantock Hills in golden autumn sunshine

With feet wrapped in thick socks and sturdy boots, set out on foot to explore the unique Somerset landscapes this autumn. For coastal panoramas, the three-mile Brean Down walk takes you three hundred feet above the surroundings, rewarding hikers with views over the Bristol Channel and Somerset coastline. For inland heights, hike into the Quantock Hills or Blackdown Hills and bask in the rolling greenery and incredible views. Or, take to Exmoor where country meets coast in a patchwork of wooded valleys, towering cliffs and sprawling moorland.


One of the best autumn activities, cycling encourages all generations outside to enjoy a new perspective of the landscapes. Choose from both mountain and road biking in Somerset to make magical memories. For mountain biking, it’s hard to beat Exmoor in North Somerset for its variety of routes, including both solo and guided rides for beginners and experienced bikers. Meanwhile, the South Somerset Cycleway is a real favourite amongst road cyclists, featuring an eighty-mile loop through some of the county’s pretty countryside and villages.


A view of Cheddar Gorge in Somerset

From the dramatic faces of Cheddar Gorge and the iconic Glastonbury Tor, to the healing Roman Baths and romantic gardens of Stourhead, sightseeing in autumn is a real treat. Hop in the car with a complete bucketlist for a full day of adventure or select your favourites for spellbinding hours. To step back in time, Bath Abbey is especially fascinating, embodying over a thousand years of history. Explore the abbey before picking up the Bath Skyline Walk for the best city views. For sightseeing with a twist, a trip to Wookey Hole in the Mendip Hills showcases a different side to the county with intriguing cave tours. Sign up and find the Witch’s Parlour, the UK’s largest natural underground dome.


One of the best things to do in autumn in Somerset is to relish all the fantastic foodie events and opportunities taking place within the county. Throughout the season, food festivals, feast nights, cookery classes, foraging trips and more all invite culinary connoisseurs to savour a sensory celebration of autumn. Pencil in The Great Bath Feast in September, Somerset’s Eat Festivals in September and October, and Wells Food Festival in October. For an immersive experience, you can also book onto cookery courses at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage or at The Bertinet Kitchen.


Bath’s Children’s Literature Festival

27th September - 6th October 2024

Bath Children's Literature Festival was founded in 1948 and today is the largest festival of its kind in Europe. Taking place annually in autumn in Somerset, this renowned book festival brings together authors, poets, illustrators and more to celebrate the wonderful world of children’s literature. Uniting all generations, the event’s line up includes storytelling, screenings and an array of family-friendly workshops and activities.

Exmoor Dark Skies Festival

18th October - 3rd November 2024

For night owls and starry-eyed astronomers, Exmoor Dark Skies Festival is an unmissable event this autumn. Held at various venues and sites around Exmoor National Park, it aims to share the beauty of the night sky and reveal awe-inspiring facts about life above our planet. Running for a fortnight, this celestial festival promises all sorts of activities and attractions, including guided night walks and cycle rides, yoga sessions, dark sky safaris and talks.

Wells Festival of Literature

A view of the picturesque Vicars Close in Wells, Somerset

18th - 26th October 2024

Appealing to everyone with a passion for words and a thirst for stories, Wells Festival of Literature is one of the most widely anticipated events in the county’s creative calendar. Centred around Cedars Hall, a state of the arts performance venue in the centre of Wells, it features nearly forty events and dozens of speakers. Book a ticket to see your favourite wordsmith and glean insights and inspiration from world-renowned authors and poets.

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival

2nd November 2024

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival is the oldest carnival in the UK and stars one of the biggest illuminated carnival processions in Europe. Featuring family-friendly attractions and events, such as live concerts and dance routines, as well as the main carnival procession, it is one of the most popular events in the county. During the procession, a two-mile-long parade of fifty floats and carnival carts works its way through the town, ready for one to be crowned the winner by a judging panel at the end of the night.

Bristol Christmas Market

Dates TBC

The beginning of November sees the start of the famous Bristol Christmas Market. One of the county’s largest Christmas markets, this festive celebration sees the city’s streets come alive with happy throngs of Christmas shoppers and the twinkling lights of countless bulbs. Cosy up in warm layers and enjoy the cheerful atmosphere, perusing the food and market stalls and savouring the divine scents of cinnamon, ginger and cloves hanging in the autumn air.

Illuminated Carnival

8th November 2024

Weston-super-Mare’s Illuminated Carnival is another annual autumn event in Somerset that draws visitors from near and far. An explosion of colour and creativity, it combines impressive carnival displays, street processions, jaw-dropping fireworks, fairground rides, food and more for the ultimate evening to remember. This year, get ready for the spectacular sight of more than a hundred carnival entries parading through the town and along the seafront across two hours.

Bath MozartFest

8th - 16th November 2024

First established in 1991, Bath MozartFest has been delivering world-class performances for more than thirty years and is now one of Europe’s leading classical musical festivals. Having earnt a global reputation for its artistic excellence, this annual festival presents the finest classical and orchestral music and provides an important platform for national and international musicians and artists. Secure tickets to your favourite performances and look forward to musical mastery.

Feeling inspired for a dreamy autumnal escape? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Somerset

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