Dunster holidays offer countryside quiet and seaside fun, being right on the edge of Exmoor and just three miles from the seaside resort of Minehead. A beautifully preserved small Medieval town, those who are familiar with its quaint, cottage lined streets, English tea rooms and independent shops, will tell you it’s a special place indeed, where a veritable treasure trove of historic architecture and charm lie waiting to be discovered.


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Did you know? A local’s guide to Dunster holidays…

Things to do in Dunster

Dunster is surrounded by stunning Somerset countryside yet within minutes of the coast making it a lovely place for holidays whether it be to explore its nearby nature trails or to enjoy bucket and spade days down by the seaside. Amongst the town’s fascinating buildings, pretty tea rooms and charming shops, you’ll discover a unique octangular Yarn Market from the 17th Century, while slightly further afield, Dunster Castle and its working water mill overlooks the town.

Afternoon tea in Dunster

If you enjoy sweet treats, a holiday to the southwest of England wouldn’t be complete without a cream tea, and Dunster has a host of beautiful tearooms for you to choose from.

Some of our top picks are:

Castle Coffee Shop

Billed by one customer as being ‘Quite simply the best homemade cakes I’ve ever eaten…’ this delightful tea room right in the heart of Dunster, specialises in home bakes including their signature doughnuts with fillings like Tiramisu, Chai Latte and Blackberry Ripple. YUM!

Tessa’s Tea Room

Set on the ground floor of their Grade II listed building, this fabulous spot not only has kerb appeal, but serves up an assortment of delicious hot and cold treats too including their signature Florentines. Eat inside or out in their secluded courtyard Tea Garden.

Locks Victorian Tea Rooms

For a thoroughly traditional English tea, this tearoom can be found in an original 15th Century building where tea and cake is served in delicate China, within a beautifully elegant Victorian interior with antique furniture and chandeliers. On warm days there’s a charming courtyard garden for soaking up the sunshine.


Dunster Attractions

Dunster Castle

With commanding views from its hilltop position, this ancient castle, working watermill and lovely country home is owned by the National Trust, and with its dramatic scenery and subtropical gardens, makes for a wonderful day out for all the family.

In the terraced garden, you can see all sorts of plants from warmer climates. Down by the river, there’s a peaceful wooded garden where kids can play naturally. This area also leads to a historic watermill that still works today.

Below the Castle is St. George’s Church which dates mainly from the early 15th century. The church contains many beautiful features, the finest being a rood screen which stretches the full width of the building.

Yarn Market

Set on the high street in Dunster right at its centre, The Yarn Market which was built in 1609 to give traders a place to stay dry while doing business still takes pride of place among the bustle of visitors and town life. It’s shaped like an octagon, which makes it pretty unique and is a must-visit for anyone who is interested in the history of the town and area.

Steam Railway

Running for 20 miles from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead through glorious Somerset scenery, the West Somerset Steam Railway whose station is on the outskirts of the town, is a wonderful way to take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding landscape including the beautiful Quantocks. There are ten restored stations along the route, including Dunster; many have signalboxes, engine sheds, museums, displays, steam engines and other rolling stock to see.


Dunster and Exmoor

About a 15 to 20-minute drive from Dunster, the wonderful natural landscape of Exmoor National Park is not too far at all, and once there you’ll have many great walks to choose from including its most popular route from Dunster Castle to Gallox Bridge which takes you through some stunning scenery along the river.

Known for its unique beauty, the park spans ancient woodland, lovely stretches of coastline, and open expanses of moorland. It also teems with wildlife, including the easily spotted Exmoor ponies, some red deer, and a variety of bird species. Exmoor National Park, is a designated Dark Sky Reserve, so why not pencil into your holiday schedule, an evening of stargazing – a pastime that visitors of all ages will love.

If you’re feeling peckish after your adventures, or just fancy a drink, The Luttrell Arms Hotel in Dunster is a brilliant spot with a cosy atmosphere and scrumptious food. It’s the perfect place to relax after a day of exploring Exmoor.

Tarr Steps

Tarr Steps is a famous ancient clapper bridge located in the heart of Exmoor National Park, not far from the village of Withypool. Believed to date back to the Bronze Age (which would make it one of the oldest bridges in Britain), it spans the River Barle and consists of large stone slabs, or “clappers,” placed atop stone piers.

Unbelievably, this simple structure has stood the test of time for thousands of years, so it’s understandably a popular destination for visitors in search of not only scenic walks and picnics along the riverbanks, but photo opportunities too. The surrounding area offers picturesque views of the Exmoor landscape, with wooded valleys and rolling hills providing a stunning backdrop.

Nearby, the 17th-century Tarr Farm Inn creates a fabulously secluded and picturesque place to enjoy a delicious meal after your outdoorsy escapades. The cooking here is top notch so make sure to arrive hungry whether for lunch or afternoon tea.


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