Woods on the Quantocks

The Quantocks is celebrating its 60th anniversary as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this year

The 19 kilometre ridge from Taunton Deane to the Bristol Channel was one of the first in England to be designated an AONB back in the mid Fifties.

The area is famous for being a favourite haunt of the Romantic Poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, who lived there in the late 1790s. Coleridge at Nether Stowey and Wordsworth nearby. The Quantocks is also a jewel for walkers in the UK. Cothelstone Hill provides stunning panoramic views, taking in the Blackdown and Brendon Hills, the West Somerset Coast, the Bristol Channel across to Wales and the Mendip Hills.

However since being made an AONB in 1956 the area has sadly seen relatively little promotion. Candida Leaver from The Bower Inn on the outskirts of the market town of Bridgwater at the heart of the Quantocks says: “There is a lot to see and do here; however The Quantocks has been overlooked in favour of trendier destinations in Devon or Cornwall.”

Candida Leaver - The Bower InnCandida and her husband Peter Starling have spent the past six years refurbishing and revitalising The Bower Inn’s fortunes and have now created a luxury boutique hotel, country pub and restaurant, open throughout the week serving locally sourced food.

For further details about The Bower Inn visit