As well as the local attractions listed on this site, touring a little further afield you can find some real gems. A few examples are given here.
Note: Most of the pictures below give links to their own web sites.
18 miles (35 mins)
We are told that this is 'the world's largest exhibition of living honey bees'. You can view an indoor apiary with 20 colonies of bees in a natural habitat, and hives which open to show the bees living and working inside. The whole process is explained and demonstrated, and there is a farm shop. Open April - October.
24 miles (43 mins)
It is a beautiful drive up the Exe valley from Bampton to Minehead - you can take in Dunster on the way. Minehead is a seaside town with seaside attractions - the beach is very gently shelving and quite safe. For those with stamina, there are good walks along the South West Coast Path to the top of North Hill (257m, 840 ft).
An added attraction is the West Somerset Railway running steam trains on a regular timetable from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard (where there is a railway museum).
An English Heritage site on the edge of Washford - you can even get there by train on the West Somerset railway. The abbey has a riverside setting (just the gate-house is shown here) with some of England's finest cloister buildings.
16 miles (28 mins)
This industrial heritage museum is situated at Uffculme, near Cullompton. On show are working spinning and weaving machines in a Victorian factory - there are two giant mill steam engines and a Lancashire boiler. Shop, restaurant, riverside walks and picnic area.
20 miles (40 mins)
Just outside Taunton, formal gardens and landscape gardens: opened in the spring of 1997 for the first time in over 125 years, the landscape garden was created in 1750.
A tranquil 40 acre valley includes lakes, temples, and magnificent views.
23 miles (45 mins)
A very attractive and bustling city, with a gem of a cathedral in its centre. There are many attractions in the city, including its famous maritime museum.
33 miles (1hr 5min)
Two attractions here: The Dartington Crystal factory is a popular visitor attraction. It has a visitor centre with an exhibition of glass-making, conducted tours of the factory (highly recommended), and a very extensive shop.
53 miles (1hr)*
A town, an abbey, and of course the famous 'Tor'. There is more to this place than a rock festival! Some people feel a spiritual essence in Glastonbury, and you will find here shops offering crystals, healing, and items for the inner self.
60 miles (1hr 15 mins)*
* Both Wells and Glastonbury can be visited conveniently on a day trip from Bampton (they are just a few miles apart) - but there's a lot to see!
67 miles (1hr 25 mins)
It's probably just coincidence that the guide to the caves is called Joe Bampton! A tour of the caves is a spectacular experience, and they are situated just four miles from Wells. Is the witch of Wookey a myth? - can you see a face on the left of the picture?
Cheddar Gorge is not far away. The road follows an ancient watercourse which has cut its way through the limestone rock, creating a very steep-sided and narrow passage through high cliffs - it is truely spectacular, particularly if approached by driving down from the top. Somerset's answer to thre Grand Canyon?!
Cheddar also gives its name to a rather famous and delicious cheese.
75 miles (1hr 50 mins)
You don't have to be a Jane Austen fan to want to visit Bath. This is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. Bath is an amazing location for a city, being in a snug valley with the river flowing through and even some hot springs - the Romans first realised its value, and later it gained many Georgian buildings as it was a popular spa. As well as Bath Abbey, pictured here, there are the Roman baths, the Pump Room, the famous bridge and weir, and the Royal Crescent. Be warned though - Bath was built before the age of the motor car - use park-and-ride!
104 miles (2hr 20 mins)
Although the Eden Project (near St Austell) is some distance from Bampton, it is a very easy and pleasant day trip by car - and of course it is a 'must' for any visit to the South-West. The project is so visionary and so spectacular that one cannot fail to enjoy seeing this. Allow at least two hours to see around.
See also our Eden Gallery.
Recommended book for those touring by motor:
Touring Exmoor Country
P and H. Titchmarsh - Jarrold White Horse Guide - ISBN 0 7117 0336 1