Coleridge’s former home is now owned by the National Trust and is open to visitors as a museum. From the cottage you can pick up the long distance walking trail The Coleridge Way. This will take you through the Quantock Hills and on to Exmoor National Park.
Nether Stowey Attractions
Nether Stowey is a village just on the northern side of the Quantock Hills. It has several historic buildings and claims to fame making it a popular place to visit. Nether Stowey is the birthplace of Robert Parsons who masterminded the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. The Somerset Illuminated Carnivals have evolved from celebrating Guy Fawkes’ notorious achievements. You can see the finale of the Somerset Carnivals in nearby Bridgwater in November.
One of the three pubs in the village, The Ancient Mariner, is named after one of Coleridge’s most famous poems that he wrote while living in Nether Stowey. The village also has a post office. A motte and bailey castle built in the eleventh century once stood in the village. This was destroyed in the fifteenth century but Castle Mount is still a popular viewpoint to head to with views out over Bridgwater Bay and the Welsh coast. Check the Quantock Online villages section, weblink right, for more information on Nether Stowey.
Coleridge Cottage National Trust, Nether Stowey
Coleridge lived in Nether Stowey on the northern side of the Quantocks for some time. Wordsworth claimed that Coleridge was inspired to write The Rime of the Ancient Mariner on a walk through the Quantocks with his sister and Wordsworth in the spring of 1798. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of Coleridge’s longest poems and mixes the supernatural with the trials of deep sea voyage. Along with Coleridge’s other poems published in "Lyrical Ballads" in 1798 it is regarded the beginnings of British Romantic literature and a shift to modern poetry.
Coleridge also wrote Christabel and Kubla Khan here, or started to. A man from Porlock is said to have interrupted Coleridge when he was writing Kubla Khan meaning that he forgot his dream on which it was based and the poem remained unfinished! The National Trust now own the cottage he lived in and run it as a small museum displaying some of his personal mementoes. It was here that the Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written.
The Coleridge Way – Quantock Hills Walks
You can pick up The Coleridge Way from Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey. The Coleridge Way is a 36 mile long distance walking trail which includes places that Coleridge is known to have wandered during his time in Nether Stowey drawing inspiration from the landscapes around him. You can do the whole route or just take the Porlock to Wheddon Cross route which will take you through the Exmoor section.