Somerset is sometimes overlooked when considering destinations to visit in England and yet it offers a wide range of opportunities for photographers. This is a county that really has it all; from historic villages like Dulverton, Dunster, and Cheddar to seaside resorts such as Weston Super-Mare, Burnham on Sea and Minehead. Somerset is a county of contrasts with a varied, rugged coastline, coves, sandy beaches, moors and levels. There are also beautiful woodland areas located in Exmoor, the Quantock Hills, and Mendip Hills. Somerset has something to offer all year around. Come in January / February for a chance of snow on the high ground as well as flooded Somerset Levels, May for colourful bluebells, summer months for colourful canola fields and lush woodlands.Late October / early November is the best time for rich autumn colours. Somerset has few restrictions for photographers other than respecting fenced off fields and guidelines in National Trust properties. Locations in the guide are relatively close to each other, so you can visit a number of different spots based in any one location. This guide covers a mixture of popular spots as well as few hidden gems in Somerset. I have tried to include spots from different parts of the county to give a variety of photographic options, but it is by no means an exhaustive list as there are many other locations to be discovered!
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The Cheddar Gorge is definitely one of the most visited spots and not to be missed. Compared to the rolling hills and vast open fields of Somerset, this spot almost feels a little out of place. Views are stunning both from below and also from the top of the gorge. It is also hard to appreciate scale of the cliffs until you see them in person. Glastonbury is another lovely place – especially on a misty morning. Walk up to the Tor can be strenuous first thing in the morning, but the views from the top are stunning with Somerset Levels extending as far as the eye can see. Kilve is my personal favourite coastal spot in the area. It is such a complex piece of coast. Due to the tidal range, no two visits are ever the same. Even after all these years I still discover something new here every time. I would recommend at least a long weekend in Somerset to get a sense of what the area has to offer.
Somerset is a safe destination for travel in general. You can photograph everywhere in confidence, including at night, but apply usual common sense when out with your camera gear. Take care when photographing on the coastal areas, particularly along the Severn Estuary on the Somerset coast as it has has the second highest tidal range in the world. Respect and follow National Trust guidelines when in National Trust areas and in Exmoor National Park. Follow local weather updates before setting off. The UK uses three-pin British plugs at 230V. If you are coming from mainland Europe, you will need a simple adapter for your electrical equipment. The major mobile network providers are EE, O2, Vodafone and Three. The majority of the country has network cover and data transfer is usually fast and reliable. 4G is common around most towns and cities.