Sunday, 28 November 2010

Winter on Exmoor

It's pleasing to see that there's been quite a lot of media coverage about Exmoor recently. Johnny Kingdom's series about birds makes charming viewing (I particularly liked the shots of the wren colony that were apparently trying to break the record for the most birds to fit into one nesting box).

The November issue of Country Walking magazine carried an article on the Exmoor deer rutting season, as well as details of one of our favourite walks (from Simonsbath along the Barle Valley, via Cow Castle & Pickedstones) - where you can see deer if you're lucky.

BBC Countryfile magazine (December) has a comprehensive feature about Exmoor in winter, with a number of suggested walks and other things to do and see.

And Exmoor the Country Magazine's latest edition, as ever, includes some wonderful seasonal pieces, pictures and recipes. This time they also included a free supplement, Winter Wonderland, giving details of things happening soon (including Snowdrop Valley, in February) and Christmas gift ideas.

As I write this, there's a beautiful silvery dusting of snow on the fields, under a clear blue sky...

Why not pay us a visit?

Friday, 19 November 2010

Village life on Exmoor

One of the interesting things, for us, about moving to the country is that there's always so much going on. In our small village there are lots of clubs and societies (which, because of the nature of our work, we don't manage to join in with much - though I did get to one of the WI meetings last year).

The village hall is very well used (drama groups, keep-fit classes, Parish council meetings, parties, exhibitions...) and for special occasions (Snowdrop Valley, the Exmoor Food Festival, the village fete) it becomes a cafe. Last week the hall hosted an IT clinic, with workshops and one-to-one consultations available. Along with many other local small businesses, we went there to get information and advice - and very useful it was too.

Speaking of local small businesses, there's so much enterprise here: crafts, web design, complementary therapies - you name it. Several of the craftspeople will be at an event held by one of our larger village businesses, the Rest and Be Thankful pub, next Wednesday (24th November). Their Christmas Fair is from 9.30am to 2.00pm and then again from 6.00pm to 9.30pm; there'll be jewellery, hand-crafted pens, cards & stationery, pictures and much more. There's also a tabletop sale at Cutcombe School this Saturday, 20th November; so plenty of opportunity for a bit of retail therapy and Christmas gift buying. Why not come on over?

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Candlelight and starlight - early December on Exmoor

The first weekend of December sees the very popular Dunster by Candlelight, when shops and restaurants in the Exmoor village of Dunster switch off their lights, and candle lanterns are lit instead. On Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th December this year, most of the village shops will be open in the evening and there'll be street entertainment, food stalls and more. The event starts at 5.30 on 3rd December with a candle-lighting procession, and shops will be open until 9pm on both evenings.

Dunster village won't be accessible to traffic on these two evenings and there's no parking allowed; there'll be park & ride buses from various places including Minehead and Wheddon Cross.

For even more merriment and festive shopping, there's Dulverton by Starlight. Dulverton's a unique little town with a good range of interesting shops and some lovely cafes and restaurants, and in December it's full of Christmas trees and twinkling white lights. Sunday 5th December is an extra-special day, when the fun starts with Father Christmas arriving at 2.30. There'll be carol-singing at 6.00 and a firework display at 6.30 (more entertainment is promised too, but the full programme will be available nearer the date).

Exmoor House at Wheddon Cross is a great place to stay if you're visiting Exmoor for either of these events - you can enjoy all the fun, do your Christmas shopping and then escape to a peaceful haven afterwards. The Park & Ride for Dunster village is only a very short walk away from Exmoor House. We've great-value special packages available.

Book your room now, or just give us a call if you'd like more information...

Friday, 5 November 2010

Snowdrops at Wheddon Cross

Snowdrop Valley, near Wheddon Cross, is always a wonderful sight. The snowdrops are normally at their best in February (though obviously this depends on the weather!). It's about a mile and a half to Snowdrop Valley from the village and is a lovely - though quite steep and sometimes very muddy - walk.

If you don't fancy the walk, you can take the bus. Each year a park & ride service runs between Wheddon Cross car park and the valley; in 2011 the dates for this are Saturday 5th February to Sunday 27th February inclusive. Please note, though, that the road down to the valley willl stay closed until 6th March (so from 28th Feb-6th March you'll be able to walk down to the valley to see the snowdrops but the valley won't be accessible by motor transport).

For latest news about Snowdrop Valley, visit or the village website at

As usual, at Exmoor House Wheddon Cross we'll be opening our dining room as a tea room (or tearoom!) during the day at Snowdrop Valley time. We serve home-made cakes, scones and teacakes, lunches (e.g. ploughman's, filled home-made rolls, soup) and you can also enjoy Somerset ciders, local beers and a good choice of wines with your meal - as well as coffee & tea of course.

If you like the idea of a short break on Exmoor to see the snowdrops and explore the area, at Exmoor House we do special dinner, bed & breakfast packages. Lots more details on our website at  - we are also open to non-residents for dinner in the evening: come and try our fabulous food, all home-made using lovely local ingredients. Advance booking is essential!