When You Hear The Bells
About 5 pm every evening except Sundays you'll hearing the ringing of handbells and the honking of hooters in the High Street. This isn't an emergency evacuation warning but simply a local custom of the shops to announce last orders before they close.
I happened to be in the pub at the time and didn't get out fast enough to catch a pic of the event happening but the barmaid filled me in re the gen.
- Beer Tasting
The Visitor Centre
The website claims that this is "unsurpassed as the friendliest and most helpful Visitor Centre in the South West" and yep I'll add my endorsement to that. Even though I didn't actually need any advice I did notice a little book sale in the porchway on my last visit and just happened to find a book that I'd been sortof looking for for ages. I think they only wanted 50 pence for it but as it was in aid of the local school I gave them a couple of quid for which they were amazingly confused but equally grateful.
I then took a bit of time to have a look around and I was duly impressed. As well as providing loads of local info (freebies and stuff for sale) the centre is also a mini-museum/gallery and one of its features is the bones of a prehistoric forerunner of modern cattle - an aurochs.
In addition to all the advice you could ever wish for the centre also assists with local accommodation and next door, in the local library, there's further resources for information as well as an internet connection.
The only thing lacking is a bar!
The centre is located on the West End heading towards Porlock Weir, at the bottom of Porlock Hill.
- Museum Visits
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
The Village Centre
Porlock's Parish Church is the Grade 1 listed Anglican St Dubricius. The building dates from the 13th century, although it was substantially rebuilt in the 19th, and is distinguished by its unusual hexagonal tower as well as its dedication to the Welsh saint.
Not only is it the religous centre of the village the church also plays a strong role in the secular community and its railings are used as a sort of community noticeboard. Here you'll find details of local events, workshops and other activities and the diverse range of notices give you an idea of the village's community spirit which contributed to it being awarded the title of "Village of the Year" for Somerset in 2009.
Being surrounded by stunning scenery it's no surprise that Porlock has a strong arts and craft community as evidenced by the various galleries and studios dotted along the High Street. The village also hosts an annual Art Festival which began in 2003 and is now scheduled to take place every September. The Art Festival has a very varied programme which includes "writing and poetry workshops, theatre performances, musical evenings, book fairs, literary walks and tours, radio drama, and art and craft exhibitions, as well as the many and varied guest speakers" and has as its patron the actress and writer Margaret Drabble.
A couple of the galleries that particularly caught my eye were the Melody and the Wheelhouse (websites below) both of which feature works inspired by their immediate surroundings and are well worth perusing.
- Arts and Culture
If You Need Some Cash
Whilst most businesses in Porlock are perfectly happy to accept credit/debit cards (even one of the local taxi drivers does) if you do need cash there is an ATM situated outside the "One Stop" convenience store on the High Street. This is a free-to-use machine for debit card holders with all major UK banks and will also dispense cash for those with Visa and Mastercard.