Bridgwater is an eclectic town with a rich industrial heritage. The town itself is somewhat a mixed bag but it is well worth an explore and offers some great walks. Bridgwater has a long and interesting history and was once a bustling port town. Alfred the Great purportedly hid out in the marshes nearby. In the 11th century, the Norman castle that stood on the river was held by the barons against the kind. During the peasant’s revolt in 1381 locals executed tax collectors in the streets. In 1865 Duke of Monmouth was crowned the King of Bridgwater, lost the battle of Sedgemoor and was subsequently executed.
Modern-day Bridgwater is somewhat less turbulent and here we look at some of the best Bridgwater has to offer.
The Bridgwater canal runs for miles and offers fantastic walking opportunities with locks, bridges and villages to explore along the way. There is a 15-mile route to Taunton that takes in some beautiful countryside and has models of the solar system placed at their relative distance from the sun. The canal locks and historic bridges are the highlights of the walk.
Maunsel Canal Centre
Maunsel canal centre provides canal trips between Bridgwater and Taunton and is a great way to explore the old canal highway and experience some of the best countrysides Somerset has to offer.
Dunwear ponds are old brickworks on the southern edge of Bridgwater. They comprise four large ponds with pathways intertwined between them. They are a fantastic place to watch the birds and take a relaxed stroll.
Admiral Blake Museum
Admiral Blake was born in Bridgwater and this small museum is at the birthplace of Blake. The museum showcases British maritime left, has a collection of Blake’s personal effects and exhibitions on the battle of Sedgemoor that took place nearby and the agricultural history of the area.
The Somerset Brick and Tile Museum
Though not to everyone’s taste and interest the Somerset Brick and tile museum celebrates one of Bridgwater’s oldest industries. It features a large pinnacle kiln and exhibits on the trade in the area. When you walk around Bridgwater you’ll see plenty of old buildings built with bricks from here.
At the bottom end of the high street, you will find a host of independent shops and small boutiques offering a range of knickknacks and second-hand goods – areas well worth exploring. The town is replete with small cafes and some fantastic pubs.
Bridgwater is full of beautiful old buildings, statues and historic buildings. Strolling along the old docks (and stopping for a beer), walking amongst the old factories and through the wide streets is a wonderful way to wile away an afternoon.
The Apple Tree Hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Bridgwater and a great place to pop for an evening meal or just a quick shop.