Summer is here and staycations have been very popular in the UK in recent years, thanks to the recession. With many places to visit around the country it’s hard to decide where to go. My friends and I decided to check out the holiday town of Minehead, Somerset, which offers a promenade leading to the start of the southwest coastal path, sandy beaches, pleasure gardens, shops and many restaurants and evening entertainment at the local bars and Butlins.
We’re used to staying in hotels but opted for a bed and breakfast for this 2 night staycation. As we arrived at The Parks Guest House we were greeted with a warm welcome by the proprietor Bryan, whose friendliness and cheery nature put a smile on our face after our long, traffic filled drive from London.
It was easy to find and park and our room was outside opposite the car park so we didn’t have to carry our luggage too far. The Parks is a quaint looking Grade II listed Georgian property located in a quiet area of Minehead on the lower slopes of North Hill. The room which we were staying in was called The Selworthy Suite and was immaculately decorated and furnished and contained one double bed, with a small hallway passed the bathroom that led to another room with two single beds – all of which were very comfortable. Suitable for families or four friends the room was very spacious, light and bright and contained quality toiletries on the dressing table in the main bedroom and in bathroom, which contained a shower. The room had everything you would need in it, including plenty of mirrors, which we needed for getting ready for our night out.
If partying isn’t your thing and you want a cosy night in The Parks have a healthy DVD collection and books and free wifi at your disposal.
In the morning we woke up early to have breakfast. The menu contained plenty of breakfast options so my friends and I didn’t know what to choose. This is also where we met Sarah, Bryan’s other half. Together they made a dynamic duo, with pleasant banter with all the guests while running the kitchen and cooking tasty breakfasts of which I decided to have a full English before we headed out.
Having had a heavy alcohol infused night we couldn’t drive so Bryan kindly dropped us to Dunster where we were meeting, where we were meeting Daphne from Barle Valley Safaris.
It’s not often that you would get to go on a safari in the UK so we jumped at the chance. We took the trip in a Land Rover 110 Defender we will take you on a leisurely trail of discovery through steeply wooded valleys, by clear rushing rivers and over the dramatic windswept moors.
This part of Somerset is extremely picturesque and despite the fact that it was raining through half the trip we were captivated by the lovely national trust villages, beautiful coast line and contrasting moorland. As we climbed higher into the hills off the beaten track on a leisurely trail Daphane kept us informed on the wildlife and intriguing stories on local legends as we drove through steeply wooded valleys, clear rushing rivers and over the dramatic windswept moors as we saw Exmoor Ponies, Red Deer and birdlife.
There was plenty of opportunities for us to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. At three hours long we thought the time would go slow but we were back on the road on our way back to The Parks before we knew it.
Food glorious food
After a much-needed rest we headed out to the town to grab some food at seafood restaurant Pips Fish. From the front it looked like it was just a standard fish and chip shop. The restaurant is through the fish bar at the back and there are special menus with a variety of sea food options.
As we walked in we received smiles from all the staff. Nicole who was our host for the evening was very knowledgeable of the menu and the wonderful chef also gave useful tips on meal combinations. With it’s bright lights, white tiles, groove wooden panels and photos of fishing in action creates and inviting atmosphere in the restaurant.
With one of my friends disliking fish she opted for Battered Halloumi, while I had smoked haddock and the last member of our party had sea bream. All of which were cooked to perfection, nice presented and left us feeling extremely full.
With an extensive drinks menu as well, whether you want great fish and chips or an exceptional seafood meal, you won’t be disappointed with this dinning experience. They also have a special offer for Parks Guests – 2 courses £19.50 or 3 courses £24.00 (not including side dishes or drinks).
Having never traveled to Minehead prior to this trip I was pleasantly surprised with the many tourist attractions the area has to offer. This was also the first time that I had stayed in a B&B and The Parks made me fall in love with the home like feel of the accommodation.
With its picturesque countryside, beautiful beaches and lots going on party wise at Butlins, add Minehead to your list of locations for your UK getaways.