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We drove here for a day's visit from Bristol taking our dog and we walked around the Jubilee Trail which is a circular walk around the woodland and river Barle. We began from the car park (pay and display), which also has a public WC, and walked down past the Tarr Farm Inn and into the woodland which was beautiful, such vibrant greens and oranges (we visited in November 2011), the river fastly flowing under the scheduled monument that is the Tarr Steps. The steps were originally thought to be prehistoric in origin but are now thought to be Medeaval. You can still walk over them, which we did to continue the rest of our walk around the area. Wellies were required at this time of year.
I've since found out that the area is internationally significant for the mosses, liverworts and lichens including a type of moss found in burrows, which appears to glow in the dark. The woods have a spectacular display of bluebell carpets in springtime. Dormice live amongst the mature hazel, blackberry and honeysuckle and otters feed on fish, eels and amphibians along the unpolluted, unmodified river. Source: http://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/visiting/visitor-map-old/gw-tarr-steps
Written Apr 25, 2012
A whole village owned by the National Trust - that is Selworthy. Built as a model village to provide housing for the retired workers of Holnicote Estate, the village now sees lots of tourists every day, but fortunately hasn't lost its charm. Honey-coloured cottages next to beautiful flower arrangements and crooked apple trees, all surrounding a kind of village green, make Selworthy look like from a book titled "Quintessentially English". It's definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. And if you've got some more time, why not hike up Selworthy Beacon behind the village? A pleasant 25 minutes walk will take you to the highest point in the area from where you can enjoy a 360° panoramic view.
Written Jan 22, 2012
During our short time in Exmoor we stayed in the beautiful village of Porlock with its old cottages along the winding High Street, but what I liked best about this place was the harbour at Porlock Weir. It's an incredibly photogenic place which we reached for the best light conditions in the early evening. Following a downpour, the sky brightened up again and the soft yellow sunrays illuminated the boats on the grey waters, the flowers in front of the cottages next to the harbour, the fishermen huddling next to their rods and the thousands of round pebbles. I had already taken some pictures during the rain, but now I had to take them all over again as the light was just great. Soaked to the skin I walked around for another hour until almost all light was gone and I had taken approximately 100 photos... See my travelogue for some of them.
Written Jan 22, 2012
The twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth are a popular tourist destination on the Exmoor coast. This is mostly because of the funicular railway which connects them via an incredibly steep cliff, but also because of their pleasant location at the end of the mystic valley of the East Lyn River. Another top sight is the Valley of the Rocks nearby (see another tip).
When you come from the east, you'll first arrive in Lynmouth, the lower of the two towns. It is a friendly looking place squeezed between the sea and the densely wooded East Lyn River valley. What nowadays looks idyllic became the scene of a terrible catastrophe in 1952. 229mm of rain had been falling within 24 hours and the rising water levels of the river simply swept the town away. It has never been proved, but conspiracy theories suggest that the English government was performing a secret military operation nearby which included "cloud seeding" and hence led to the freak weather conditions. A little memorial garden on the river bank commemorates the 34 victims of that day.
Walking towards the beach, you'll soon find the lower station of the funicular railway. Let your view wander up the hill, and you'll immediately understand why this railway with its two carts is often called a masterpiece of engineering. An ingenious system built between 1887 and 1890 uses water from the river that fills the tank of the upper cart causing it to descend as soon as the brakes are released, while simultaneously the lower cart is pulled upwards. The steep cliffs (58% gradient!!!) that had for so long divided the two towns had at last been conquered.
Once you have arrived in Lynton, the upper town, you should stroll through its picturesque streets. It's a touristy, but otherwise rather sleepy place with some nice buildings and a few interesting shops. If you come with kids you should go to the building of the Lyn District Health Care where there is a funny installation for collecting donations.
Written Oct 8, 2011
Allerford is a tiny village near Porlock. It's not exactly spectacular, but it has got a romantic atmosphere owing to its old-fashioned looks and the ford which gave the village its name. Just next to the ford is a picturesque stone bridge for those who do not want to wet their feet, and all around this main sight are very cute cottages with well-kept and beautiful gardens. You should not miss going to the post office building. For whatever reason (we couldn't find out as it was Sunday morning when we visited the village and literally nobody was around), there is a curious little graveyard with funny and often rather rude inscriptions. A few examples:
"Here lies an old atheist by the name of Joe, all dressed up but no place to go."
"Mary, Mary, how does your garden grow? Quite well, I bet, since it's well fed by her body decomposing below."
"Some come to this graveyard to sit and think - I've come here to rot and stink."
Written Oct 7, 2011
The former hunting and fishing lodge of Watersmeet south of Lynton and Lynmouth makes for a great starting point for some nice walks through the oak forest surrounding the building. Just in front of the lodge (which nowadays is owned by the National Trust) the rivers East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water flow together, and on their banks a number of trails lead through the woods. I don't want to recommend a particular walk as we only strolled along some of the paths, but they were all beautiful with their gnarled oak trees and the soft burbling of the streams. The restaurant at Watersmeet House provides many a tasty snack. Unfortunately you have to pay a rather high fee for the car park (£1 per hour), but you can avoid that by parking 500m up the road on a free car park.
Written Sep 25, 2011
Address: Watersmeet Road (A39)
Travel Guide Trip & info's : www.madisonvillearts.org
Surrounded by undulating, verdant countryside, as well as diminutive, charming hamlets, Exmoor is justifiably acknowledged as the land of cottages and combes. Located on the north Devon coast, Exmoor National Park is residence to a plethora of chocolate box villages along with magnificent landscapes.
Exmoor is the smallest National Park in Britain, although the scale of grandeur is by no means less. Wildlife flourishes throughout the impressive expanse of rural area. Exmoor ponies graze the vast spread of summer meadows and red deer still roam unbound. Modest rural communities operate their commerce, as farmers persevere to make hay while the sun shines.
Travelling eastwards along the A39, we enter Exmoor National Park at the northwestern corner and meet the wonderfully named Valley of Rocks. One of the showpieces of the area, Valley of Rocks is a glorious cliff top gorge, soaring above the shoreline resembling titanic sentries. Toothed peaks penetrate the sky as the rocks stand watch over the coast.
Barely east of Valley of Rocks are the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. From its prominent position high on the north Devon coastline, Lynton is home to some of the most dramatic views across the Bristol Channel. Beneath Lynton, at the mouth of the river, sits the quaint fishing village of Lynmouth, scene of the dreadful flooding of 1952. The two villages were united in 1890 by the cliff railway.
A further eastward along the A39 rests the beautiful little village of Oare. Positioned two miles inland, Oare lies in a picturesque valley, bathed in stunning surroundings. At the heart of the village is Oare Church, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. When constructed, the church would have accommodated approximately twelve people, however in recent times capacity has increased.
To be found amid the rolling sea green coastline, the tiny rural community of Culbone is home to the smallest parish church in England. The church rests deep in the woody hills and features a bell dating back to the 14th century.
The village of Porlock lies in the northeastern region of Exmoor Heritage Coast. Formerly a significant port, Porlock now sits one mile inland as a consequence of rising land levels and receding sea.
Located in the outermost northeastern corner of Exmoor National Park, Minehead is a modern, active town and serves as the western terminus of the West Somerset railway. Amid pleasant climate and fresh amenities, Minehead operates as a contemporary seaside resort. The stone quay, built in 1616, was once an essential trading port with Africa and North America, while today works primarily leisurely pursuits.
Travel Guide Trip & info's : www.madisonvillearts.org
Written Jan 19, 2010
If you like English sea views (I don't mean sunbathing and beaches), try Porlock weir,a short drive from Minehead.
This is a lovely place very serene, full of little kids trying to catch crabs in buckets and older people quietly sketching and looking out to sea.
It is a relaxing place to walk along the shore.
We loved it.
Written Jul 26, 2007
we chatted to a couple at our B and B ( see accomodations at Dunster tip)over breakfast and they told us that if we go up on Exmoor there is a lovely place called the Tarr Steps that we should visit.It is a little difficult to find but we followed the B road from Timberscombe in the direction they told us and eventually we reached it. It is a little stone bridge over the river Barle, a lovely walk in the moors and beautiful scenery.You drive over Exmoor to reach it , and the sky is just lovely. You will see horses and cattle and sheep everywhere.
Walk down to the river and then there are trails in the woods in all different directions of different lengths and difficulty.
Written Jul 26, 2007
I have been criss crossing the National Park for a few months now and it is sooo versatile and beautiful - hard to discribe - you got to see it really :)
Written Nov 21, 2006
Address: Exmoor - Devon