If a day out at the seaside is on the cards when you’re staying in Somerset on your large group family holidays, Minehead might well suit you because there’s plenty to keep all ages occupied. The main draw is the mile long sandy beach that stretches all the way out to the historic harbour where the boats bob gently up and down and it’s fun to go crabbing; up behind are the wooded hillsides, and in front is the open sea.
Take your bucket and spade and be prepared to roll your trouser legs up for a paddle, because it’s that kind of beach, all nice and traditional, everyone doing their own thing, enjoying being beside the sea. See who can build the best sandcastles, hire a deck chair and top up your tan, and get out on the waters in a kayak or inflatable raft with Channel Adventure. If you’re organised you might plan ahead and charter a boat or try catching your supper on a fishing trip.
When you fancy a break from the beach and the heat of the sun, have a wander around the town; stroll along the esplanade, browse the shops along the leafy Avenue – most are independently run, with a few big names standing alongside. One of the loveliest parts of Minehead is Church Steps, the cobbled street that climbs past centuries old thatched cottages and the church, connecting Middle Town and Lower Town; it’s the kind of quaint scene you see on postcards.
Come on a Friday and you can pile your baskets with local produce at the weekly Farmer’s Market; come in August and the vibe is high for the annual food and drink festival. On that note, if a picnic on the beach isn’t your thing, you’ll find several fish and chips shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants in the town for when it’s time to eat; one of the most popular is The Old Ship Aground on the quay.
Make your trip to Minehead more of an adventure by travelling there on the steam train with the West Somerset Railway; climb on board, sit back and unwind as you pootle through the glorious edge-of-Exmoor scenery – rolling fields, softly tumbling hills and big open skies. Lovely.
All information correct at the time of writing