Thursday, 24 February 2011

Spring is on the way on Exmoor

After a long cold winter, it seems spring is definitely on the way (or maybe I'm tempting fate by writing that!). These last few days have been much milder, and the daffodils are coming along well in our garden. The herbs are starting to wake up from their hibernation too, and soon we'll have beautiful fresh lovage, marjoram, chives and fennel (to name a few).

The snowdrops in Snowdrop Valley are still looking wonderful. Park & ride buses from Wheddon Cross continue for the rest of this week; the last day is this Sunday, February 27th. Do remember though that the road down to the valley will remain closed to traffic until March 6th - so between Feb 27th and Mar 6th, the only way to the valley will be on foot. Our dining room at Exmoor House will be open as a tearoom on most days until March 6th, serving cream teas (of course!), homemade rolls with a choice of fillings, hot soup, a selection of cakes, and more. Everything's homemade, including our delicious teacakes. Do remember too that you can book lunch at Exmoor House at any time of year (subject to availability) for groups of 4 or more people; we'll plan the menu to suit you.

In my last post I mentioned the Exmoor 4 x 4 Jaunt and Challenge, which is centred on Wheddon Cross during the weekend of March 19th and 20th. This popular event raises funds for the rugby charity Wooden Spoon. The off-road vehicles follow carefully planned routes, where the landowners have given them permission to go. You can see more detail about the event at

Also on March 19th and 20th, as well as March 24th - 27th, is the West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala. This year the Gala celebrates 35 years of the West Somerset Railway running along the former Taunton to Minehead Branch of British Rail. There'll be many visiting locomotives (including new types not seen before on this line), and plenty of attraction around railway to visit, including sheds and workshops. You'll find updates about the gala at
Whether you're a rail enthusiast or not, a trip on the railway is highly recommended. It's a scenic, tranquil journey between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard. Each station has something interesting to look at, and there are some good walks from the stations also.

At Exmoor House we have a special offer during the rest of February, and March: weekend dinner, bed & breakfast breaks are the same price as midweek breaks. Currently there are some rooms available for most dates, including during the events mentioned here. There's more detail on our website. Why not treat yourselves to a spring getaway?  To make a booking, just give us a call!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Exmoor: have your cake and eat it

We love living on Exmoor. Beautiful scenery, friendly communities, great local food...

Exmoor is truly a place where you can escape and get away from everything. The countryside is very unspoilt, with some extremely wildernessy areas; the roads are uncrowded and the pace of life is relaxed.

Yet, we seem to have it both ways (or have our cake and eat it too) because there's always something going on. Just to give you a few examples of things happening in the next few months:

Right now, it's snowdrop time, and each year there's an amazing spring display of these fabulous flowers, almost on our doorstep. Snowdrop Valley is just a mile or so from our village, Wheddon Cross. It's a pretty (but steep & sometimes muddy - appropriate footwear advised) walk down to the valley and back, or there are park & ride buses from the village car park.

And speaking of cake again: at Exmoor House we open our dining room as a tearoom during the day during Snowdrop Valley time, serving snacks, light lunches, hot & cold drinks and more. The park & ride, which runs until 27th February, is run by our local parish council, with support from the Exmoor National Park Authority and the Badgeworthy Land Company. Exmoor House tearoom will be open until 6th March (although after then we can still do prebooked lunches or meetings for groups of 4 or more people: just contact us if you'd like more details).

Later in March (19th & 20th) is Exmoor 4 x 4 Jaunt and Challenge, which raises money for charity. The West Somerset Railway's very popular Spring Steam Gala is on the 19th & 20th also, and then from the 24th - 27th.

April 29th sees the start of the North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival. It continues until May 8th, and includes a fantastic variety of walks that cover most of Exmoor. The extra public holiday, which will mean many people can extend their Easter break, fits in nicely with the Walking Festival.

More in May: the famous Golden Horseshoe ride, an endurance ride across Exmoor National Park, is an exciting spectacle. Many people come back year after year to watch or to take part. It's centred on Exford (5 miles from Exmoor House), is on May 15th - 17th and also includes social events, trade stands, demonstrations and a sponsored pleasure ride.
There are links to these events (and more besides) from our website  
You'll also find lots of information about our award-winning guest house accommodation - including current special offers - and pictures of the snowdrops too.