Posted By The Bower Inn

A little bit of luxury in the heart of Somerset

There's a lot more to Bridgwater than the landmark willow man beside the M5 that we all drive past on our way to Cornwall.

There's more than the annual carnival, hailed as the largest illuminated procession in the world.

People don't think of this part of the world as somewhere to visit for a weekend or midweek break but we're hoping to change all that.

Bridgwater is at the heart of The Quantocks. The Quantocks was the first in England to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in the mid Fifties. It is formed by a 19 kilometre ridge from Taunton Deane to the Bristol Channel and includes wooded combes and open moorland, but very few people know or appreciate it nationally.

We have spent the past six years refurbishing and revitalising The Bower Inn's fortunes and creating a highly successful venture.

There's loads to see and do around and about. If you enjoy rambling, or have dogs like us, then there are plenty of great walks. We love to go up to Seven Sisters to inhale the fresh air and marvel at the stunning view.

The Seven Sisters is a collection of trees on Cothelstone Hill and from here you can see for miles. If the weather is kind and the day a bright, clear one, you can enjoy a 360 degree view, taking in the Blackdown and Brendon Hills, the West Somerset Coast, the Bristol Channel across to Wales and the Mendip Hills.

Bridgwater has lots to recommend it as a place to visit, but often it is overlooked in favour of Taunton and The Quantocks are bypassed by many visitors heading for Devon or Cornwall on the M5.

We get lots of guests who use us as a lunch stop off point, as we're so close to the motorway and are much more appealing than the services, and they are very surprised when we explain and they see what the area has to offer.

There are plenty of interesting places to visit including the unusually shaped St Mary's Church, Bridgwater Arts Centre - the first in the country, and the Docks, large parts of which now form a Conservation Area.

Go back a little further in time and you'll find Bridgwater was the birthplace of Admiral Robert Blake (1598-1657). There is a wonderful statue of the sea general in the town. And then there's the best fish and chip shop in the area named after him here too!

Once you delve deeper into the town's past you discover all sorts of fascinating things - for example, did you know Bridgwater became the first town in Britain to petition the government to ban slavery in 1785?

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