There’s something for everyone here! Do you like to explore the great outdoors on foot or by bike? Are you into birdwatching, fishing or soaking up local history? Perhaps retail therapy is more your thing.
If you’re planning how to spend your time while staying with us here at Old Oaks, we hope you’ll find this information helpful.
Don’t be surprised if you can’t fit in all the things you want to do. In fact, it might be a good idea to leave something for your next visit as we’d love to welcome you back!
Take a country walk
Let’s start right here at Old Oaks. Our park is surrounded by an extensive network of footpaths. You can walk to Glastonbury Tor (¾ mile) and some guests walk to Glastonbury (see below for more about our local town).
We’ve provided nearby walking routes and some walks further away on the page Walking Holidays in Somerset. You can also find beautiful walks in the nearby Somerset Levels – see below for more on nature walks.
Explore by bike
There’s so much to see within cycling distance of our park, including some great wildlife reserves detailed further on. No bike? No problem! You can rent electric bikes, and get them delivered to our park. For cycle routes and bike hire information, see Cycling near Glastonbury.
Here at Old Oaks we have a half-acre course fishing lake on site exclusively for our guests. For information and charges, see our fishing page. If you want to go further afield, there’s information on fishing lakes in Somerset here.
Get close to nature
If you like walking, cycling, wildlife and bird watching, the Avalon Marshes are just a short cycle ride or drive from the park. Nearby reserves are Westhay Moore Nature Reserve and Shapwick Heath. These areas contain reed-beds, lakes and fens, due to huge quantities of peat having been removed in the past, as well as woodland, and it all provides a much needed home for rare wildlife.
The Somerset Levels are among the largest remaining wetlands in England. At Ham Wall rare species include water voles and magnificent bitterns and kingfishers, plus there’s a great view to Glastonbury Tor from here.
Combe Hill Wood is a large area of diverse woodland near the village of Street. Stone paths and map boards make it easy to get around. There are four main viewpoints overlooking the stunning Somerset Levels. Birdlife includes goldcrests, bullfinches buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks. It also contains a section of the ‘New Ditch’, a 3,000 year old Iron Age earthwork.
Fall under Glastonbury’s spell
“England’s most magical town” is how Glastonbury (3.5 miles away) has been described. It’s certainly a place of magic, myth and legend and has now become a New Age centre.
You’ll come across unusual and unique shops, cafes, restaurants and events here, as well as some historic sites. We’re very proud to have supported a brilliant artist for Glastonbury’s Mural Trail. For more ideas of things to do in and around our local town, see these pages:
Our part of the country is steeped in myth and mystery, especially the legend of King Arthur. Some believe that Glastonbury is the Isle of Avalon where he was buried after his last battle. Cadbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort 15 miles away is one possible site for Camelot.
The iconic landmark of Glastonbury Tor, which you can see and walk to from our park, has for many centuries been central to both Pagan and Christian myths. Legend has it that Jesus visited here as a boy with his uncle, which inspired the well known poem and hymn ‘Jerusalem’.
The ancient Glastonbury Abbey is now an impressive ruin. Here you can take a tour with a costumed guide, explore the beautiful parkland and take a break in the cafe. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet, visit the Chalice Well and Garden, also a place for retreats and events.
At the Somerset Rural Life Museum, you can discover our agricultural heritage and also learn new skills. The museum runs one-day courses in country crafts such as basket weaving.
Bag a bargain
If time flies when you’re browsing shops, be prepared to spend a day at the Clark’s Village Factory Outlet. It has over 90 designer and high street brands offering up to 60% off every day. The centre also has cafes, restaurants and seating.
Glastonbury’s Tuesday market is a colourful mix of traditional and alternative stalls, including fresh fish, fruit & veg, organic herbs, clothing, jewellery, candles, arts, crafts and loads more. Definitely worth a visit. In non-Covid times, there’s also a Glastonbury Farmer’s Market on every 4th Saturday of the month.
See right for lots more markets in the area.
See the sights of a nearby city
Wells (6 miles) is England’s smallest city. It has a historic centre, magnificent cathedral and the unique Bishop’s Palace surrounded by a moat. Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years, the Palace and its 14 acres of RHS partner gardens provide a haven of tranquility all year round.
With its magnificent Georgian architecture and amazing Roman ruins, Bath (27 miles) is a World Heritage Site. It’s full of attractions and activities, not to mention shops and restaurants. To plan your trip go to Visit Bath.
It’s just over an hour’s drive (27 miles) to Bristol from our park. It’s a lively city with a huge choice of shops and cuisines. Iconic attractions include Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain, both built in Victorian times by the famous engineer, Brunel.
Try the local cider
Somerset is famous for its cider apples and at the nearby Wilkins Cider Farm you can sample award winning ciders made the traditional way. Call in at the farm whenever you like. It’s open every day (only mornings on Sunday).
Go for a dip
For outdoor swimming, there are two open air pools near our park: Greenbank Heated Outdoor Pool in Street, open from May to September (reopening 2022); and the Shepton Mallet Lido, which is also heated.
Take a trip to the seaside
It’s less than 20 miles to the sandy expanse of Burnham Beach. (There are restrictions for dogs on this beach.) Dogs are welcome off the lead on the sandy beaches at Brean Down about 7 miles north.
Be wowed by festivals, shows and carnivals
We’re just 6 miles away from the world famous Glastonbury Festival site, so if you want to stay somewhere peaceful Old Oaks is a great option. We even provide a small coach for guests to enjoy the festival by day, and there’s also a festival shuttle bus from the Glastonbury bus station.
But the music festival is not all that Glastonbury has to offer. The town hosts all kinds of festivals and events throughout the year, mostly based around music, spirituality and wellness.
The Bath and West Country Festival is one of the largest agricultural shows in the country and it usually takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Royal Bath and West Showground is less than 10 miles away and hosts a range of events throughout the year.
The Somerset Carnivals (postponed to 2022) are so spectacular that they have become the largest illuminated processions in the world! Raising money for charity, the carnivals take place in several local towns throughout the autumn, and we run a coach to the largest, Bridgwater Carnival, which is usually held in early November.
Strode Theatre in Street is Mid-Somerset’s main arts venue where you can see live shows and live screenings, as well as films and art exhibitions.
Take a spin through motoring history
You don’t have to be a petrol head to appreciate the incredible cars at Haynes International Motor Museum. This is an eclectic collection of cars, motorcycles and things to do with them from around the world.
Appreciate our aviation heritage
The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum is Europe’s biggest aviation museum. It has an amazing collection of aircraft spanning over 100 years. You can also learn about the theory of flight and catch some fascinating exhibitions.
Lose yourself in the past
At Hestercombe House and Gardens there are 50 acres of stunning parkland with restored formal gardens to wander round.
The elegant house and parkland at Stourhead is a great example of 18th Century landscaping with a man-made lake, bridges and Grecian temples.
Because the limescale rock of the Mendip Hills is so porous, the area is full of caves. These subterranean caverns and tunnels are dark and damp, and even the commercial caves at Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole are quite eerie. Be sure to wear shoes with a good grip! You may come across large truckles (wheels) of Cheddar cheese being aged in the caves.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can learn to cave with a local company such as learntocave.com. But don’t, whatever you do, go into any caves on your own!
Make the most of what’s on locally
The Glastonbury area is an incredible melting pot of creative and artistic talent. When COVID restrictions allow, make the most of the music and arts events taking place. All tastes are catered for! Find out what’s on at Glastonbury Online.