Come and see the willow industry … from the Withy Bed to the Basket at the Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre …
The Centre is owned and run by the Coate family, who have been growing willow on the Somerset Levels since 1819. Visitors will find a warm welcome and are invited to learn about the history and art of willow growing and basketmaking. The Centre was opened by David Bellamy in 1987 and has proved a huge tourism success for Somerset.
Visitor Centre Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5.00pm.
The Lemon Tree Coffee House- Opening Times:
Monday - Saturday 10.00 am to 4.30 pm.
Guided Tours: Monday - Friday 11.00am & 2.30pm (Not Bank Holidays).
To view our Visitor Centre video click here
You will find a wonderful selection of basketware to buy, handcrafted from Coate's own willow, by their team of skilled basketmakers. Why not call in to our tea rooms to enjoy tea and a homemade cake after your stroll around the centre!
Enjoy free entry into the:
• Video Room, where our short video depicts the way we are keeping the best of this most traditional of industries, whilst also looking towards the future.
• Basket Museum with its large display of both familiar and unusual willow artefacts.
• Levels and Moors Exhibition highlighting the history of both the beautiful countryside and this most traditional of English industries.
• Environmental Interpretation. This display tells the story of the way water has shaped the Somerset Levels and continues to play a major part in life here today.
Daily Tours of the Basket Works. 11am and 2.30pm Monday - Friday (duration approx 1 hour). Adults & Children over 5 @ £3 per person. Under 5's free (no booking necessary). Group bookings welcome - please call Nicola Chant on 01823 490249 to arrange these or email email@example.com.
The Shop & Furniture Gallery stock an enormous range of baskets, from the unusual and decorative to the practical. Furniture and garden items, as well as smaller willow to suit most pockets, are also displayed. If you cannot find the basket you want, a custom made service is available - browse our Gallery
Willow is also sold, both for basket-making
or as a living willow
(in season), or green willow for garden structures. DIY kits for borders and climbers are also obtainable for those gardeners who enjoy a "hands-on" approach.
The Lemon Tree Coffee House is a delightful stop for coffee and home-made cakes, or a light lunch. Whether you prefer the cool, flagged floor of the traditional tea room, or the landscaped courtyard with its rushing water feature, the surroundings are a pleasant place to relax, especially if you have just returned from one of our walks. The Lemon Tree Coffee House has achieved a 5 star Food Hygiene Rating from Taunton Deane Food Standards Inspection Service.
A Walks Leaflet is available in the shop. There is a gentle walk through our withy beds, or a longer circular walk along the River Tone and up to the viewpoint on the top of Windmill Hill. Here you can sit and take a rest and enjoy the view across Hay Moor and Curry Moor to the far distance.
If the weather is warm you may see a variety of insect life on the moors. Damsel flies and the much larger dragon flies abound, as do many varieties of butterflies. Marbled white, small copper, common blue, and orange-tip are some of the many species of butterflies found here. Even the silver-washed fritillary has been seen, and the stunning hawk moth is not uncommon.
For directions and a map of how to find us please view our contact page
Rentable Craft Units at Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre, Stoke St Gregory, Taunton TA3 6HY
Unit 1- this is a split level unit with access doors to both levels, it can be let as two separate units or one whole unit.
The upper level measures 322 square feet and the ground floor measures 394 square feet (not including the toilet space). These measurements do not include the stairs at all, the stairs will occupy 51 square feet of both units. At the moment the stairs have not been installed. There is a large open space from ground floor to upper level ceiling which would be used for some very impressive displays. THIS UNIT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. DETAILS OF THE NEW OCCUPANT WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.
Unit 2- currently occupied by Sarah Edwards- Bespoke Leather Worker
Unit 3-This is a ground floor unit measuring 650square feet. It has two entrance doors, one for public access and one for private use. As well as the large shop window it has 3 Velux windows at one end giving plenty of natural light. THIS IS THE LAST AVAILABLE UNIT.
Each unit has its own electricity consumer unit, individual units will be billed separately.
There are no additional charges for water or sewerage. There is no mains gas available. Heating and air-conditioning is provided via an air-source heat pump system. If the unit is your only business premises we understand the occupant will be entitled to a 100% business rates refund. We are offering 5 year leases with the option of a break clause. Rent will be between £9 and £10 per square foot.
For further information please contact Nicola Coate