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Fitness / Practicalities
Tour Director

  • Join the RSPB’s Peter Exley on this winter wildlife tour and look out for Somerset’s growing flock of cranes, recently reintroduced after a 400-year absence

  • Visit key historical sites including Glastonbury Abbey, and seek bitterns, barn owls and marsh harriers at one of the country’s most exciting and beautiful wildlife projects – the Avalon Marshes

  • Explore one of the RSPB’s oldest and largest nature reserves at West Sedgemoor, walking along an ancient drove route to view the remarkable winter wildfowl roost

“Excellent friendly guidance. The tour was extremely well organised and enjoyable… The location of the hotel and the itinerary were very good”

- ACE customer on the 2023 tour to Somerset led by Peter Exley


The Somerset Levels have had a colourful history: ‘the land of the summer people’ was once home to a Bronze Age population and it was here, in the house of a swineherd, that King Alfred is said to have sought refuge from Danish invaders.


Wildlife is now returning to England’s largest wetland in dramatic numbers – from the millions-strong murmuration of roosting starlings, to the growing flock of cranes recently reintroduced after a 400-year absence. As well as observing the region’s wildlife, our tour will investigate key historical sites such as Glastonbury Abbey, England’s oldest abbey, and Glastonbury Tor, long associated with King Arthur, topped with the tower of a ruined medieval church.


The Avalon Marshes host one of the country’s most exciting wildlife projects: over 3000 hectares of wetland habitats have been created from former peat workings, giving refuge to bitterns, barn owls and marsh harriers.


Greylake, once a series of carrot fields, has been transformed into a wetland reserve teeming with wildlife, while West Sedgemoor is home to up to 100,000 ducks and waders during the winter.


Our base will be the charming four-star Swan Hotel in Wells, a 14th century coaching inn which enjoys comfortable, classically decorated rooms. It is ideally located in the heart of the city, a short distance from the beautiful cathedral.


This tour will be led by Peter Exley, BSc, an ecologist and ornithologist who has held posts with BirdLife International and the Albatross Task Force in South Africa. Now working for the RSPB, Peter has led and managed many ACE tours in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Algarve, New England, Madeira, the Faroes and Shetland.


Peter is delighted to be returning to Somerset for this long-standing ACE tour: "The Somerset Levels are one of our greatest historic and cultural landscapes, yet largely ignored by visitors. But they are rapidly and rightly becoming known as one of our country's best wildlife destinations. And for me, it is the conflicted fusion of nature and people through history that makes this place truly unique and special, that draws me back again and again."

Tour Code

Included: accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, three breakfasts, one lunch, three dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £125.

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