Photos by Peter Mather.
All photos by Steve Webber, taken on 27 December 2018 on Exmoor.
Join us for a tasting of the latest gin produced on Exmoor at the Exmoor Store* on Saturday, 15 December 2018, from 2pm till 4pm.
Dulverton based Exmoor Distillery will be here to explain all there is to know about Northmoor Gin. You can also buy gin from the Exmoor Store between 15 and 21 December – we are now taking pre-orders!
Here is a bit more info about Northmoor Gin:
‘Infused with passion’
Named after the historic estate of Northmoor, nestled amongst the steep wooded valleys on the southern edge of Exmoor, our Northmoor Gin is a delight for the discerning gin connoisseur. Light on the lips, this full-bodied gin, with 44% ABV, has a punchy three-dimensional taste, leaving a deliciously smooth flavour at the back of the mouth.
Our premium recipe packs an authentic taste sensation of the traditional juniper berry with personally chosen botanicals of angelica root, citrus and spice. Our gin, fine enough to sip neat over ice, comes into its own when mixed with a quality tonic to produce a classic G&T with wonderful citrus notes that linger on the palate, or as the premium ingredient to many a cocktail.
Harvested from September to January, there are over 50 species of juniper grown in the Northern hemisphere. Hand-picked by collectors in the mountains, only the very best berries and botanicals are sourced for our Northmoor Gin.
Located in the idyllic Somerset countryside, near the border of Devon, Exmoor Distillery sits on the southern gateway to Exmoor at Dulverton, on the edge of the Exmoor National Park.
This historic location, mentioned in the Domesday Book, is the perfect setting in which to distil one of the UK’s finest small batch artisan gins.
With the refined juniper flavour dancing in your mouth, where better to enjoy this premium spirit, than in the rolling hills and valleys of the English countryside at any time of year.
Developed from our own passion for fine spirits, Exmoor Distillery is a small family run distillery, sharing our love for a premium quality gin.
After sampling many of the world’s gins on our travels, there was nothing that quite hit the spot, so we decided to produce our own. Customers love the complex flavours of the juniper and botanicals that give our gin a decidedly country taste and smooth texture.
- Exmoor Store, 1 Friday Street, Minehead TA24 5UB. Tel 01643 704788
You can pre-order the Northmoor Gin from the Exmoor Store for pick-up between 15 and 21 December.
35cl = £19.95 70cl=£35.00
(Send payment via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org using Family & Friends, call the shop on 01643 704788 to pay over the phone, order online or just pop into the shop!)
NEWS FROM EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK
Exmoor National Park Rangers teamed up with the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) yesterday (Wednesday) to move 60 tonnes of local stone needed for repair work along the Two Moor’s Way, near Simonsbath in Exmoor National Park.
Two huge Merlin MK3 helicopters from CHF’s 846 Naval Air Squadron collected the crushed stone in underslung bags from a nearby farm and delivered them to an eroded section of path near Wheal Eliza, which forms part of the Two Moors Way. The repair will improve the accessibility of the path, enabling more people to enjoy the stark beauty and tranquillity of the ancient Barle Valley.
The operation took place as part of routine training undertaken by 846 Naval Air Squadron for pilots new to the Merlin to gain experience in real-life specialist manoeuvres and helicopter handling.
The Two Moor’s Way is a 102-mile coast-to-coast walking route passing through some of the most dramatic and remote landscapes of Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. A programme of major improvement work, including new signs, bridges and surface renovations, was kicked off in 2016 for the 40th anniversary of the route, together with a new website www.twomoorsway.org and pocket guide available at National Park Centres.
Dan Barnett, Exmoor National Park’s Access and Recreation Manager, said: “The Two Moors Way is an iconic long distance walking route and it’s our mission to make sure people of varying ages and abilities can get out and enjoy it. The path between Simonsbath and Wheal Eliza is level, dry and easy to use, meaning it’s a great spot for those with young families, or even Tramper mobility scooters, to get off the beaten track and explore this breath-taking landscape.
“It’s great that 846 Naval Air Squadron has been able to help us get the job done as part of their training exercise, as to get the stone shifted over land would have been considerably more challenging and costly.”
Lieutenant Commander Andy White from 846 Naval Air squadron said: “It’s important and very rewarding to be able to occasionally undertake tasks such as this to reinforce that we are part of those communities in which our own family’s live. Today has formed a link with the Exmoor National Park Authority in undertaking a pretty huge task. We fly and exercise over Exmoor and Dartmoor frequently and it is gratifying that we can say thank you in some meaningful way.
“The Commando Helicopter Force, which is part of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm comprises Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel. It is a deployable Force on notice to move anywhere in the world at short notice to undertake humanitarian and defence tasks and operations. To be able to do that with skill and confidence all its personnel need to constantly train and keep their skills honed. Not only is CHF based in Somerset but many of our personnel live in communities across the south west of England.”
The 2018 Photo Competition ran on our FB group back in May/June for four weeks. We had meant to turn the top 13 images into a calendar again, but simply ran out of hours in the day to get this organised. However, we now have a new project called “A Year on Exmoor”. More details will be revealed soon, just as the winners of the competition. The standard of entries have yet again been amazing and, in our eyes, every single one deserves to be a winner!
Text and Photos by Sophie Jemma Rose
M Y 4 D A Y S O N E X M O O R. ✨
My heart , my soul and my childhood.
My granddad who sadly passed away two years ago aged 98 used to cycle to and from Porlock pre world war 2 he would go every year when he was a teenager. Then when he had his own children ( my dad being one of two) started taking them to stay in and around Exmoor. From the early 1960’s onwards.
And when I was born in 1995 my family took me and have taken me nearly every year since! I am now 23 and Exmoor has always been and will always be my favourite place. It’s my happy place and the one place where I feel home even though I’m away.
My parents will be retiring there in the near future and I can’t wait to make more memories and to bring my future children there to see and experience the magic Exmoor brings.
Home and already planning and excited to be back! ✨
*** COMPETITION ***
For our new project “A Year on Exmoor” we are looking for your stories and poems about your favourite season and place on Exmoor.
Your story should be no longer than 500 words.
The top four stories and four poems will be chosen by a combined vote by our followers on social media and a small jury.
We already have 13 images from our last Exmoor4all photo competition (the winning entries will be announced with the winning stories and poems!)
Please email your entries to email@example.com by 10 January 2019.
Guest Post by Tracey Gemmell
Is it possible for clotted cream to evoke jealousy? Yes, as it turns out, because clotted cream leads to hireth, and hireth ‒ the Cornish word for homesickness with a sense of longing and loss ‒ wakes in me the green-eyed monster. Of course, that silky, smooth nectar of the cows is not the only trigger for this chain reaction. It may be an Exmoor pony on North Hill, or thatched cottages at Selworthy. It may be Landacre Bridge, the Doone Valley, the beach at Porlock Weir. I could go on and on. No matter the image flitting across my laptop portal out here in Wisconsin, USA, jealously follows; directed at those living on Exmoor.
I know, I know. It’s not your fault I don’t live there anymore. The blame for that lies squarely on the shoulders of my American husband. Well, maybe a little bit on my shoulders for leaving my Porlock-based equestrian life to marry an American. Anyway, not a day goes by my soul doesn’t return, and I’m fortunate to get to physically visit twice a year. But I have to leave again, and it gets harder every time. Oh, to live in that place where I sleep the best and breathe the deepest! There’s something otherworldly about Exmoor; a small world, or vast, depending on my mood or exact location. I can walk along Horner Water and feel cocooned, as though swathed in the combe’s deep, comforting folds. Or, from the crown of Porlock Hill, I can gaze up at the entire nightly universe, stunned by its ability to reduce me to nothingness. Sheltered from the world or dwarfed by the universe; my choice on Exmoor.
I selfishly began writing ‘Dunster’s Calling’ as a personal balm for hireth. I could sit 3,842 miles away from Exmoor ‒ though who’s counting? ‒ and hear again the winds whipping across Dunkery Beacon, and hooves clip-clopping through Luccombe. In time, the balm turned into a novel; a humorous, yet poignant, tale of an expat’s search for home. Based on reviews, the tale struck a nerve for other hireth-sufferers ‒ and clotted cream lovers. Readers who’d never heard of Exmoor vowed to visit, and readers who’d never owned a horse fell in love with Dunster, the cheeky Exmoor pony character who guides Sam through her trans-Atlantic dilemma. It seems many can relate to the pull of home.
As I plan my permanent return, I know this for certain: when I finally get there, I’ll recognise the green-eyed monster in the faces of visitors unable to call Exmoor home. And I’ll understand. One question: does clotted cream count as a liquid in carry-on luggage?
Tracey Gemmell’s novel, ‘Dunster’s Calling’ is available worldwide on Amazon. A percentage of royalties is donated to the Moorland Mousie Trust, working to promote and protect the endangered rare-breed Exmoor pony.
Visit Tracey on Twitter @TraceyGemmell17, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/author.traceygemmell/, Instagram traceygemmellauthor or at www.traceygemmell.com.
Tracey Gemmell will be at the Exmoor Store
in Minehead (1 Friday Street, TA24 5UB)
on 10 November 2018, 2pm:
10 November 2018 * 2pm
Exmoor Store, 1 Friday Street, Minehead TA24 5UB
Tracey is a self-confessed Exmoor addict who would like to make it perfectly clear she’s NOT seeking a cure. In fact, after many years living in the United States, she’s planning her return to the area where she ‘sleeps the best and breathes the deepest’.
Join Tracey at the Exmoor Book Fest for a humorous conversation about life as a homesick expat. Then follow her through her writing process. Dunster’s Calling is now a tale of the bond between a girl and her pony, and a woman and the country she left behind. But it didn’t start out that way …
Dunster’s Calling was a runner up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition. Tracey’s short story, ‘Scooby-Doo and Hobnobs’, received an honourable mention in the humour category of the 2018 Jade Ring Contest. It’s been published in the Wisconsin Writers Association Anthology. Visit http://www.traceygemmell.com for more details.
Reviews for Dunster’s Calling:
‘It is a remarkable writer that can take you on a journey that allows you to feel something beyond the scope of your own experience and leave you changed because of it. Tracey Gemmell is that writer, and Dunster’s Calling is that book.’ Kashmira Sheth, author of Boys Without Names
‘Perfect for Anglophiles, horse-lovers or anyone who wonders if their life has played out the way it should.’ Pauline Wiles, author of Saving Saffron Sweeting
‘I would read this book again just for pure enjoyment! Moreover, this book has piqued my interest, big time, for a visit to Exmoor one day… it’s been added to my bucket list!’
5-star Amazon review