Somerset

Coast & The Levels

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Overview

From Portishead follow the coast to Weston-Super-Mare, Brean Down Fort and the resort of Burnham on Sea. Head for Somerset Levels via the Avalon Marshes centre, visit Glastonbury with its Abbey ruins and the Tor before heading to Barrow Mump. Head to Bridgwater before finishing at the newly created wetlands of Steart Marshes.

Portishead

Overlooking the Severn Estuary this historical fishing port has stunning views of Wales. The High Street has many shops to explore and the redeveloped Marina area offers a great variety of bars, restaurants and cafes situated with pleasant views of yachts and sailing boats. For walkers there is the nearby Gordano Valley Nature Reserve, Battery Point and the Clevedon Coast Path to explore.

Weston-super-Mare

The Victorian seaside resort with a large sandy beach and the Grand Pier offers all the family fun you would expect. At the Seaquarium you can find out all about marine life, without even getting your feet wet. With plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants which you can sit outside and watch the world go by and if that hasn’t worn you out, the nightlife’s pretty energetic too.

Brean Down Fort

Discover one of the great landmarks of the Somerset coastline on a scenic walk across Brean Down. Over 300ft high and extending 1.5 miles into the Bristol Channel, the Down is steeped in intriguing stories, from prehistoric worship to Second World War weapon testing. It’s also renowned for its wildlife.

Burnham-on-Sea

Burnham-On-Sea offers miles of sandy beaches, wonderful seaside walks and plenty of great value pubs and restaurants to eat and drink. It blossomed during Victorian times and many of its finest buildings date from that time.

Avalon Marshes

This is a landscape rich in food, peat and water. These give the marshes their special character and have left a wonderful legacy of history and archaeology. For thousands of years people have been drawn to the area; once for food, fuel and safety; now for relaxation, wildlife and heritage. The Marsh centre is a good starting place.

Glastonbury Tor

The conical hill that is Glastonbury Tor is topped by the roofless St Michael's Tower, a Grade I listed building. Managed by the National Trust the hill of clay and Blue Lias rises from the Somerset Levels. Artefacts from human visitation have been found, dating from the Iron Age to Roman eras. The remains of Glastonbury Abbey are nearby.

Burrow Mump

Burrow Mump is a hill and historic site overlooking Southlake Moor and the village of Burrowbridge. It is a scheduled monument with the ruined church on top of the hill a Grade II listed building. The hill stands at a strategic location with the first fortification of the site being the construction of a Norman motte

Bridgwater

On the river Parrett and on the edge of the Somerset Levels the market town has a colourful past. The history is reflected in its many fine buildings and brought to life through the tradition of its extraordinary annual illuminated carnival procession. Alfred the Great, whose defeat of the Vikings is commemorated on May 11th Somerset Day, is said to have burnt cakes while hiding in the marshes outside Bridgwater.

WWT Steart Marshes

A wild, wetland landscape for the future that helps people and wildlife adapt to climate change. Rising sea levels threaten the coast and led to the creation of one of the UK’s largest new wetland reserves. Hundreds of hectares of saltmarsh and freshwater wetlands now provide a habitat for a rich mix of wetland wildlife including otters, egrets, owls waders and wildfowl.

Overview

1

Portishead

2
19.9 miles

Weston-super-Mare

3
11.3 miles

Brean Down Fort

4
8.4 miles

Burnham-on-Sea

5
11.0 miles

Avalon Marshes

6
6.8 miles

Glastonbury Tor

7
12.9 miles

Burrow Mump

8
9.3 miles

Bridgwater

9
7.8 miles

WWT Steart Marshes

What to see and do…

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About the Coast & The Levels Trail

Distance: 87 miles
Cites / Towns: 9
Number Of Businesses: 0

Starting at Portishead you can meander down the coast to Weston-Super-Mare and on to the Napoleonic Brean Down Fort and then to the seaside resort of Burnham on Sea before heading inland to see part of the Somerset Levels via the Avalon Marshes centre. On to Glastonbury with its Abbey ruins and the Tor before heading to the peculiarly named Barrow Mump and on to the town of Bridgewater before ending with the newly created wetlands of Steart Marshes.

Sandy Beaches

The area boasts the second longest strip of sand in Europe with several family friendly beaches at Weston and Burnham-on-seas. With views across the Bristol Channel and some lovely walks especially at Brean Down the area has something for everyone.

Somerset Levels

Marshland has offered sustenance to humans and birds since prehistoric times. Now the area which naturally floods has been threatened by rising sea levels so water management is big business. the newly developed WWT Steart Marshes provides more capacity and is a magnet for bird life.

Through the Ages

Variety is the theme from Iron Age and Norman forts to monastic settlements and abbeys the area is rich in history. King Alfred defeated the Vikings near Bridgewater, the Victorians fell in love with the sandy beaches and now Glastonbury is synonymous with biannual music festivals.