top of page
Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357


Nestled in the centre of the wide plane between the Quantock and the Brendon Hills and on a ridge overlooking the coast is the small town of Williton which provides a good range of facilities for the Coleridge Way Walker. Around 1 mile off the Coleridge Way the village is accessed using the Macmillian Way trail via the gentle wooded valley of the Donniford Steam with its old mill house and pastoral field systems.

At one time administered by the Knights Templar, Williton has always been an important stop over for travellers due to its location,  sitting at the junction of routes from Taunton and Bridgwater to what was the Royal Hunting Estate on Exmoor. In times past your fellow travellers would have been the full Kings Party of Royal Hunters, dogs, falcons and keepers. By the 17th Century it was the pivot for the Toll Roads and coaching routes from London. Its church of St Peter dates back to the 13th Century and is well worth looking around.

Today with a population of around 3500 its one of the largest places on the Coleridge Way route and as such the town itself has a good range of facilities for walkers with a supermarket, several pubs and shops and accommodation options ranging from simple B&B’s to more lavish Country Houses as well as a thatched Inn - the popular Masons Arms. There are also several options for evening meals in the local Inns as well as the Bengali Spice Indian restaurant if you want a bit of variety.

Williton can make a good option for taking a day out and further exploring as it sits right on the restored West Somerset Steam Railway line and you can take a nostalgic visit back to the days of steam visiting the fully restored station buildings and signal box on the east side of the town. If you take a rest day here then a superb option is to catch the steam train to explore the medieval town of Dunster with its huge castle and old Yarn Market.

Closer, only a couple of miles and also accessible by steam or bus is the 12th Century remains of the Cisterian Abbey at Cleeve. An impressive grade one listed monument maintained by English Heritage this is said to be the finest example of monastic cloister buildings in the UK – look out for the Angel Roof in the monks refectory and unique wall paintings in the painted chambers. Well worth making the effort to reach and if you like to keep off the main tourist trails this is something those rushing through to Exmoor by car never get to see.

An easy 2 miles to the coast (or another steam train ride) gets you to the ancient harbour town of Watchet south of here where you will find the iconic statue of Coleridges Ancient Mariner complete with “that” Albatross glaring over the little harbour he departed from in The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner. There is a good museum here, fossil hunting on the beach, unusual independent shops and some good eating options all easily accessible from Williton in a lively and unique ancient port.

Finally whilst it may only appeal to those of a certain age, one of the countries most bizzare museums lives at Williton - The Bakelite Musuem being a homage to nostalgia for all things…well Bakelite – the precursor to plastic from the early 20th Century - not just the art deco radios and TV’s piled high here but real oddities like the Bakelite Caravan and even a Bakelite Coffin! It’s a surreal visit for those who take it on !

bottom of page