With the nationwide lockdown officially coming to an end earlier this month, it’s safe to say that people up and down the country deserve a treat.
And what better way to treat yourself than with a well-timed winter mini break to somewhere special.
The great British staycation has seen a resurgence in recent months. With foreign travel off the menu for most, people have been exploring the fabulous destinations available on home turf, and there’re plenty more inspirational places to visit right here in England come winter.
Based in the stunning county of Somerset, St Audries Park is the perfect base for your winter escape.
Our award-winning coastal mansion and estate is just a stone’s throw away from beautiful countryside – the Quantock Hills, Blackdown Hills, and Exmoor National Park are all a short drive away.
This gorgeous countryside is flanked by the most picturesque villages, but which pretty villages should be on your mini break hit-list when staying with us?
Just 30 minutes’ drive away from St Audries, you’ll find the stunning village of Porlock. Famed for its friendly locals, Porlock offers a pretty idyllic scene, with breathtaking views, a beautiful shingle coastline, perfectly-manicured gardens, and quaint thatched cottages all a part of the package.
The village has a fascinating history to explore, with links to Saxon kings and Danish pirates adding yet more colour to this vibrant coastal community.
Take your history lesson to The Ship Inn, one of the oldest pubs in Exmoor and a great place to enjoy great homemade fare.
In under 10 minutes, you can be in the lovely village of Holford. The charming village makes the most of its Quantock Hills setting, and is framed by ancient oak trees and heathland.
It’s also home to some fantastic cream teas, a local staple that will provide a great pick-me-up after a long day hiking the renowned, 51-mile long Coleridge Way.
The route was said to have inspired famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who lived in the Quantock Hills for three years and composed some of his best known work here.
Although the village has a more recent claim to fame! The video for Bryan Adam’s iconic, number 1 hit ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ was filmed in Holford.
A little further afield, you’ll find Mells, a small village that is definitely worth the journey. Mells is famed for its ancient architecture and colourful history, which stretches back many thousands of years.
Here’s what the current Earl of Oxford and Asquith, Raymond Oxford, had to say about the destination’s long history in his recent account for the official Mells Village website:
“MELLS can trace its history from the Mesolithic flint workshops (ca. 6,000 BC) found on the down to the north of the village, and the Neolithic (ca 2,000 BC) fortresses that are positioned in echelon, guarding the entrances of its valleys.
Archaeology has shown that Tedbury Camp, to the east, was part of the same ‘kingdom’, or defensive system, that is dominated by Dolebury Camp above Burrington Combe and the Bristol Channel.”
Mells is a great place to while away the day, enjoy local produce and appreciate ancient architecture.
There are many more pretty villages to explore – most of which are based just a short drive away from St Audries.
Ready to start your winter adventure? Book your stay at our extra mile venue today and enjoy the very best food, drink and hospitality in a beautiful country house setting.
Find out more about our stays and dining experiences here.