Photos by Debbie Mitchell.
Not often do we have the chance to see Dunster castle from a new perspective – thanks to Liam Holly who shared this aerial view of the castle and the village all the way to Minehead and North Hill with us on Instagram.
I first fell in love with Exmoor and Porlock in the Eighties.
My dad was in the Metropolitan police force, pay wasn’t great back then, he had a wife and two young children, so he couldn’t afford to go on expensive holidays. He heard from a W.P.C that she had a holiday in Porlock. Other PCs had been there and heard how lovely it was and it was a reasonable price so he booked a week there.
We loaded up the Morris mariner: there was my mum and dad, my nan, my brother and myself – and our seven and a half stone boxer dog on the backseat.
The roof rack was full of luggage and my dad’s sea fishing rods and lead weights. Now thinking back I am surprised the poor car ever made it down there.
We didn’t know anything about Porlock and Exmoor. It was an adventure, mum handed out the rolls while dad was driving and the odd foxes glacier mint. When we saw the signs for Porlock you could feel the anticipation when we started to drive down Dunster steep and the sea and the landscape unfolded before us – it was just breathtaking, just so beautiful. We turned left into Doverhay and found our holiday cottage. We were so excited. When had unpacked we had a wander along the high street – it had everything you wanted: two bakeries, Stenners and Burgess, three banks and grocery shops. We had such a lovely holiday there we kept going on holiday down there for fifteen years.
I’ve known Exmoor and Porlock for thirty years now. It got me loving nature and wildlife and it’s shaped the person who I am today.
I absolutely love it and still go down there every year on holiday. Take care all.
By Trevor Parsons
I first went to Exmoor as a teenager with my parents staying at Porlock Caravan Park: I remember hearing the sheep in the field next to the caravans. 25+ years later I was back camping with my husband and dogs at the same site. We holidayed in and around Porlock most years since and will be spending Christmas there this year. We love the scenery, the peacefulness and the wildlife – it’s a perfect place to unwind, enjoy the fresh air and appreciate how beautiful the area is. Favourite walks include Dunkery, Watersmeet, Valley of Rocks, Tarr Steps, Horner Water, Porlock Weir to Culbone, up and around Hawkcombe, and last year we found Bats Castle. This was a stunning walk up and over the grounds of the castle until you reach the old settlement. Up here you can see for miles. We came across Red Deer and Exmoor ponies. It was quite a steep descent in parts especially with an eager terrier and two Lurchers who all have keen noses! The dogs enjoyed being able to cool off in the river at Gallox bridge before we got back to the car. The area is perfect for dogs, it doesn’t bother us or our dogs that they need to be on lead in certain areas, they get plenty of exercise and stimulation from the new places and smells, we are all ready to relax after a day out exploring Exmoor.
Paul Waby shot this video during his recent trip to West Somerset.
Can you guess the locations?
Jazz, Brazilian and Greek music will be performed live at the 4th Dunster Music Festival from 29th-31st July 2016. This much anticipated annual event held at The Luttrell Arms Hotel offers a varied programme of music by local artists on Friday and Saturday and concludes with a chance to hear upcoming new talent at the Open Mic on Sunday 31st.
Friday’s programme begins with the return of the ever popular singer/songwriter Bob Gallie followed by the much loved rock n rollers, The Beverley Brothers.
And finally a chance to sing along with the fun guitar/mandolin duo Don and Mark who perform Irish and 60’s and 70’s songs with great enthusiasm.
Saturday’s programme starts at 1pm with a list of eight bands including Bristol’s famous rocking hillbilly band Slap Face and The Hoagies, Greek influenced music by Xenos and performances by popular local singer/songwriter Steve Pledger.
The festival takes place around the hotel, in the Monk’s Courtyard and Secret Garden. Admission is free.
Get the full three day programme and timings here
Special rates for the festival start at £320 for two people for two nights to include dinner in Psalter’s
Restaurant on Friday. Call 01643 821555 or book online www.luttrellarms.co.uk