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Jessica Padley

Jess moved to Somerset three years ago and enjoys exploring the local area on her bike with a local cycling club. She recently had a baby and is looking forward to exploring walking options with her little one.

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Tell us about yourself

Tell us about yourself?

Now living in Castle Cary, I moved to Somerset three years ago and enjoy exploring the local area on my bike with a local cycling club. I’ve recently had a baby and am looking forward to exploring walking options with my little one.

Why do you love getting outside in Somerset?

Somerset is so varied, full to the brim with interesting towns and villages to visit, beautiful countryside and terrain which can work for any type of cycling or walking. I’m also partial to a café stop, and there are plenty of options across the county! Being outside is a real mood booster for me, it provides an opportunity to just be, switch off from the world and be able to say hello to likeminded people when out and about.

Can you tell us a little more about any outdoor activities you love in particular, and how you got into them?

Cycling is a big passion of mine, having been regularly pedalling for the last 12 years. Finding some friendly people to ride with was key for me to get into the sport. I would encourage anyone to find their local club, organised rides or simply get a group of friends together to go exploring! My family is also fortunate to have an allotment, which provides both the opportunity to be outside as we grow our own fruit and vegetables. It’s a reminder of the positive power of nature and simply being outside. Now I’ve had my baby, I’m looking forward to a different type of exploring (although will definitely be getting a bike seat for them!) and seeing the world through their eyes as they get bigger.

Where are your favourite places to go outside in Somerset?

There are so many places to choose from! For hills, the Mendips and Cheddar always provide some challenges on a bike ride. The Levels are perfect for exploring on quiet lanes with plenty of nature to look out for. I also love heading west for a trip to the seaside. Wells, Langport and Frome are also great destinations for a wide choice of cafes as well as interesting cycling and walking routes to enjoy.

What advice would you give to people who want to get outside more?

Just go for it! Even starting with a quick 10-minute walk from your house will be great – use the time to look around, spot nature and just enjoy being outside. From there you can build up to longer activities or going further afield for a bigger adventure.