6 reasons to visit East Coker

I was lucky enough to grow up in the pretty village of East Coker. When I was younger I didn’t always see it that way, and it seemed a long way into the nearest town, although Yeovil is only three miles away. One thing I always have loved is being connected to nature, I used to go looking for pond snails in the nearby stream with the boy next door and remember revising for my GCSEs while sat under a tree in a nearby field. East Coker would make a great place to visit and with that in mind I’ve complied a list of 6 things to do in East Coker:

A picture of the sunset over a field
Sunset at East Coker rec. Pic taken by Rachael of Lunasana Yoga.

(1) Visit the Helyar Arms

I went here for a drink on a Saturday night with some of the mums from school and we were all able to sit outside in the summer evening. The landlord was so friendly and welcoming to us, it was almost like he could tell that we rarely get the chance to have a night out as mums! The pub was packed inside which says it all. It really is chocolate box picturesque surroundings and lovely inside and out, with an open fire in the winter.

(2) Walk up to St Michael and All Angels’ Church

If you’ve had a lovely lunch at the Helyar Arms, take a stroll up the hill to the church. Wikipedia reliably informs me that there is a link to the Helyar Arms: the window of the south transept includes the coat of arms of the Helyar family who were the local lords, including William Helyar who became archdeacon of Barnstaple and built the Helyar Almshouses.

It’s a beautiful traditional church and  noted as the resting place of the poet T. S. Eliot whose ashes were interred in 1965, T.S. Eliot is of course known for his poem titled East Coker.

Oh and make sure you watch the 1996 film “Emma” based on the Jane Austen novel, a small part of it was filmed in the walk up to the church. I remember crowding round to watch the talented Toni Collette and rising star Gwyneth Paltrow with the other village kids, we couldn’t believe that Brad Pitt’s girlfriend (Gwyneth at that time) was here in East Coker!

(3)  Visit the East Coker Village Café

This is a new addition since I lived here! It’s very handily located opposite the school, while you’re there check out the friendly pigs on the opposite side of the road.

(4) Cycle over to Sutton Bingham reservoir

This is a beautiful reservoir and a short cycle ride away! Home to egrets, dragonflies and there is a small play area. Lovely place for a picnic, and you can watch the sailing boats and wildlife.

(5) Go horse riding!

East Coker has it’s very own riding school – Eastfield Equestrian with lots going on from activities to pony days to riding lessons.  I have never tried it out because it wasn’t there when I was a kid, but I did go to Greggs Riding School in nearby Yeovil, offering treks across countryside. I have so many fond memories of going there on a Wednesday after school although I couldn’t see a website for them. If anyone goes riding there I’d love to hear from you.

(6) Pop into Goose Slade Farm shop

Goose Slade Farm shop is run by a local family who have a farm in the village, the shop is located slightly outside of East Coker. I’ve never actually been in, but it’s on my to-do-list and from the website it all looks delicious and a great local business to support.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post, and in essence if I could pick one thing it would just be wandering through the village itself with the stunning countryside views. Here’s a pic.

East Coker views
The expansive countryside surrounding East Coker.


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