Peaceful and unassuming, Chard’s one of those sleepy Somerset villages that you could easily drive right past, but that’s part of its charm. This historic village sits just between Dorset and Devon, and it’s the perfect place to escape the rat race and just enjoy unspoilt scenery and the feel of days gone by.
If you’re anything like us, a big part of any break is the food, and one of the many things we love about a break in this neck of the woods is that there are some seriously good country pubs waiting for you to amble in and sample the specials, and what a way to break up a walk in the region…
Thanks to its setting close to the border, Chard makes a lovely base for those days out, so it’s a popular destination with those of you who like to hop in the car and see where the road takes you. You’ll find Forde Abbey House and Gardens, the attractions of Taunton and more walking routes than you can shake a stick at within easy reach of this friendly village, but make sure you visit Chard Museum right in the village itself too.
Things to do in Chard
There’s a relaxing feel to holidays in Chard that’ll have you enjoying leisurely lie ins, brunches and walks. And with those walks in mind, Chard Reservoir makes a picturesque spot for a quiet walk at any time of year. Whether you’re happy to walk or you’re keen to cycle the route, the reservoir’s one of the area’s most peaceful spots to spend some time during a stay in the area, and the paths are accessible for wheelchairs too. Keep your eyes peeled for the bird watching spot too, as if you can get the kids to sit quietly for a while you’ll most likely spot some of the local birdlife.
If you love a historic house, you’ll find a little piece of Heaven less than a fifteen-minute drive from Chard – and that’s Forde Abbey House & Gardens. The house started life as a monastery in 1141, and the centuries have seen it gradually converted into the beautiful home you can visit today. The building’s often used as a filming location, and it’s recently found its way onto the silver screen in Far From the Madding Crowd and Restoration.
Places to eat in Chard
There’s that one evening during every holiday where you just want to tuck into a plate of something delicious in an award-winning pun…and Candlelight Inn is one of the yummiest places to eat in Chard. Set in the heart of the Blackdown Hills, this traditional pub draws on local produce to serve a menu that keeps its foodie followers happy all year round. Think wooden floors and roaring open fires, perfect for that cosy meal after a busy day walking those country footpaths.
If it’s the nostalgic character of a country pub you’re after, there’s also the Cotley Inn. With a reputation for serving up great food in a warm, friendly atmosphere, this pub comes into its own on warm sunny days when walkers can sit outside with their dogs and enjoy the pretty beer garden. Just imagine sitting on the raised terrace and making new friends over good food when you’re walking that gorgeous Somerset countryside…that’s what Chard holidays are all about.