The Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme area encompasses the Quantock Hills in Somerset, north of Taunton and west of Bridgwater.
The core hill area, some 99 square kilometres, was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956 (the first in England) but the Landscape Partnership Scheme area also includes surrounding parishes and totals about 194.9 square kilometres.
Below you can find out more about a selection of some of the more accessible sites to study and visit and learn about cultural partners supporting the project.
In line with the latest Government guidance some sites are temporarily closed. Please check individual websites before considering a visit.
Visiting the Quantock Hills
Great Wood was originally a Royal hunting forest. Oak trees were used for ship building in the 1800s. In the 20th century, the Forestry Commission planted conifer trees to help replenish timber stocks used during the First World War. Today, Forestry England manages Great Wood for people to enjoy, nature to thrive, and timber to grow.
Great Wood is perfect for exploring, observing, and taking inspiration from the majestic Oak and Douglas fir trees. With over 627 hectares of woodland and on site classroom spaces, it provides a rich resource for learning all year-round.
A core aim of Forestry England is to increase conservation and enable landscape benefits. The long term aims of the forest plan is the restoration of the Ancient Woodland by increasing resilience to climate, pest and disease risks and develop the forest for all generations, present and future. Find out more here
These messages on ecology and environmental conservation can be shared with a whole community through educational outcomes inspired by students visiting Great Wood.
HOW TO GET THERE: Great Wood, Nether Stowey TA5 1HW
Cothelstone Hill is a great place to visit to experience the outstanding beauty of the Quantock Hills.
On a clear day you have wonderful panoramic views; the Brecon Beacons in Wales, Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, and the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Dorset, the Blackdown and Mendip Hills and the Gower Peninsular.
On a clear night is is also a spectacular site for stargazing.
Cothelstone Hill is the perfect place to visit with your school or organisation, if this is something you are planning the AONB produced a useful Cothelstone Hill Education Pack to help with the organisation of your visit and provide some interesting historical info about the site
Fyne Court is a hidden gem in the heart of the Quantock Hills. You can explore this wild garden and discover pieces of its history hiding in the undergrowth.
The estate was the home of the Crosse family who lived here until the house was destroyed by fire in 1894. In the information room, you can learn more about Andrew Crosse, Fyne Court's most famous resident, known as 'The Thunder and Lightning Man' by the locals.
There's plenty for children to do including three waymarked trails, building a den, climbing a tree and hunting for bugs.
Exit M5 at J25. Follow signs to Taunton but take 3rd exit at Wicks roundabout onto A358. At next roundabout take 1st exit onto A358. Continue forward, following Kingston Rd staying in the right hand lane. Continue forward to Kingston St Mary, go through the village and continue onto Buncombe Hill. At crossroads turn right and then immediately right again. Continue forward approx 1mile turning left at T-junction into Broomfield. Fyne Court is approx 100m on left.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From the East: Follow the A39 from Bridgwater to Kilve. In the centre of the village is a small turning on the right that takes you down to Kilve Beach (opposite the entrance to Kilve Court). After approximately 1.5 miles you will reach the car park (pay & display).
From the West: From Williton follow the A39 through West Quantoxhead to Kilve. In the centre of the village is a small turning on the left that takes you down to Kilve Beach (opposite the entrance to Kilve Court). After approximately 1.5 miles you will reach the car park (pay & display).
It is not recommended to take coaches down to the beach car park as the lane form Kilve village is narrow and winding and there are sensitive archaeological sites next to the road which suffer from damage by vibration (Kilve Chantry). We recommend you travel by minibus if possible. Coaches can drop off at a lay-by on the A39 in kilve village. It is a 20 minute walk to Kilve beach.
There are toilet facilities at Kilve Beach (near the car park). There is a tea room at the Chantry and shops at Kilve Village itself.
Our Cultural Partners
With 50 acres of gardens steeped in history and a contemporary art gallery with a changing programme of exciting exhibitions, Hestercombe offers lots of opportunities for learning outside of the classroom for students of any age.
Your school can enjoy year-round visits to Hestercombe with education membership.
From swathes of bluebells in spring, fragrant roses in summer, autumn’s red berries and snowdrops in winter, each season brings something different to see.
Use our beautiful Georgian Landscape Garden as a source of inspiration for creative writing or Rook Wood as a location for Forest School activities; Hestercombe’s diverse landscape can enhance learning across the whole curriculum.
GLADE (Global Learning and Development Education) have been supporting our partner schools to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals into their planning for the Quantock Hills Landscape Partnership Scheme, providing tips and resources on making the most of Outdoor Learning, with guidance on handling the big issues such as climate and landscape change, in the context of the classroom.
Global learning and development education is for everyone and is about respecting people’s varied ways of life around the world, understanding the issues that affect people’s lives and connect us all to each other and identifying what people can do to for a fairer more sustainable future for everyone.
South West Heritage Trust
We have a wide range of workshops, trails and object handling on offer at our three museums, The Museum of Somerset, the Somerset Rural Life Museum and the Brick and Tile Museum. We can also come to you with workshops in school and loans of real and replica museum objects to bring learning to life in the classroom.
Schools can subscribe to packages of services or access them on a pay as you go basis. For more information about how we can meet your needs please visit https://swheritage.org.uk/our-services/learning/schools-and-teachers/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org