The Seven Sisters take their name from a group of seven beech trees that stand on the top of Cothelstone Hill in the heart of the Quantocks. The trees have been bent and twisted into dramatic shapes over the years by the force of the wind, but it is worth braving the elements for the magnificent views. From the top of Cothelstone Hill you can see right across Taunton Vale as far as the Mendips and the Blackdown and Brendon Hills.
You can share the view with a herd of Exmoor ponies, a breed tough enough to cope with the weather, who were introduced to the hill for conservation purposes. You can also spot buzzards and roe deer here, and in the spring the hillsides are covered with great swathes of bluebells. The views from many points along the ridge haven’t changed much since Coleridge walked here more than two hundred years ago.
Cothelstone Hill, with its ancient prehistoric burial mounds is an area rich in history. On the south-western slopes of the hill sits Cothelstone Manor, which dates from the mid 16th century. It is hard to drive past the manor without remembering the two men who were hanged from its gateway after the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685.
The Seven Sisters are just one of the many reasons to explore The Quantocks. These hills were the first place in England to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956 – today they still offer a mixture of a largely open landscape with a fascinating heritage.
Cothelstone hill is a popular place for walking and is used by local people from the towns of Taunton and Bridgwater along with tourists visiting the region.