Friday, 19 March 2010

Walking on Exmoor - some walks we've done recently

Frank and I found ourselves with a bit of free time over the last week or so, and we've discovered some walks we hadn't done before....

...From Exford, along the river Exe towards Nethercote, then climbing up to Room Hill and Road Hill and back to Exford via Court Farm (this was on a perfect frosty morning - lovely)

...Up over Dunkery Hill via the Rowbarrows, along the lane then across Bagley Combe and back over Dunkery again (the scenery is very different on the two sides of Dunkery Hill you see on this walk - an amazing contrast)

We revisited some old favourites too: including Snowdrop Valley (of course!). Some of our guests were down there yesterday and report that the snowdrops are still looking great. The primroses are out too and the daffodils are on the way.

And we did the walk down Putham Lane and over to Hart Cleeve, up to Lype Hill and then following the Coleridge Way back to Wheddon Cross. Quite a brisk wind on the hills - very refreshing!

The moor still looks quite wintery, but the signs of spring are here: apart from the flowers mentioned above, we spotted the first few gorse flowers and some catkins, and the beeches are in bud. The new lambs are arriving now, of course, too.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Events coming up on Exmoor

Here is a preview of just some things happening soon on Exmoor. Being more or less in the middle of the National Park, Exmoor House is very well situated, so is a perfect place to stay if you're visiting Exmoor for any of these events.

The Exmoor 4x4 Jaunt and Challenge, a charity fundraising event which starts from Wheddon Cross, is on March 19th, 20th & 21st.

West Somerset Steam Railway's Spring Steam Gala takes place on 20th-21st and 25th-29th March, with visiting locomotives and lots going on.

The North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival takes place from 29th April to 7th May. There'll be a range of fabulous (and varied) guided walks.

This year's Golden Horseshoe endurance ride, which starts a few miles down the road at Exford, is from 16th-18th May.

The half Ironman triathlon is on 20th May at Wimbleball Lake (just over 8 miles from Exmoor House). We don't have any rooms left for Ironman weekend itself, but for participants who are planning to do a recce before the race, Exmoor House is a great place to stay! We'll also be doing a high-carbohydrate dinner for Ironman participants - featuring our home-made pasta - on the evening before the event. People who aren't staying here are also welcome to join us for dinner (advance booking is essential).

Looking way ahead, December sees the very popular Dunster by Candlelight, on 3rd and 4th December. Very atmospheric, with street entertainment and Christmas shopping. The town will be closed to traffic but special buses will be running.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Is spring here at last?

Wow - it's been absolutely gorgeous here these past few days, with those fabulous clear skies that Exmoor does so well. We finally made it down to Snowdrop Valley, which is looking spectacular. Even better than last year! I think the snowdrops should still be good for the next week or so. If you're walking down there, I'd recommend avoiding the last bit of path and going on the road instead (watch out for tractors etc) as it's very slippery.
Yesterday we went to Lynton & Lynmouth - we drove there the Simonsbath way, then back via the coast road. There was an icy wind - very refreshing, not to mention bracing - and the views from the top of the cliff railway were as good as we've ever seen (often, Wales gets lost in the haze but it didn't yesterday).
Here's to a lovely weekend...