My 4 days on Exmoor….

Text and Photos by Sophie Jemma Rose

Autumn 2018

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!

By Sophie Jemma Rose

Exmoor Memories: When I fell in Love with Exmoor

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

Exmoor Memories: Exploring Exmoor….

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.

Rachel Rice-Ault

 

Exmoor Memories: Summer on the Exmoor Coast

IMG_6677A.G. Bradley, “Exmoor Memories”

(first published in 1926)

 But Lynton, whether at the first boyish encounter, with its high, uplifting scenery, or at eighteen, when I had come to feel its attractions more deeply, was always my favourite place for these exhilarating trips. (…) Sometimes we took the rough moorland road, as it then was, turning off left-handed on the way to Simonsbath and heading across the open moor for Oare and Brendon, by Brendon Two-Gates, nowadays so familiar to tourists, and so down the glorious valley of the East Lynn. At other times we would take the Combe Martin road, and turning right-handed at Blackmore gate, in those days what its name portended, a turnpike, follow the coach road through Paracombe and on down the valley of the West Lynn. This was the route from Barnstaple for the comparatively small number of visitors that then found their way to Lynton. A long and hilly road of nearly twenty miles, over which agonised honeymooners from flat counties clung together on the coach roof as, with groaning brakes, it rocked down the steep hills, over loose stones and a stream-riven surface. Even Ilfracombe  had only as yet talked of a railroad.  Lynton had not even dreamed of such a thing. It would have seemed to us nothing short of sacrilege. (…)

What can one say of Lynton, or Lynmouth, that has not been told by pens innumerable since those old days of the ‘sixties? It is not so much the bold coast scenery, because that extends with equal, if intermittent grandeur all the way past Ilfracombe to Barnstaple Bay, and eastwards into Somerset, but rather those two lovely winding valleys, wrapped to their summits with foliage, and cloven by white streams foaming to the sea, which make it unique among English coast resorts.

Arthur Granville BRADLEY 1850-1943

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