A favourite day out of ours is a trip on the West Somerset Railway. Riding the steam trains is like going back in time and gives a very different perspective on the countryside between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard. Watch out for Dunster Castle, nestled among the trees; further on the line hugs the coast for a while; there are also wonderful views of the Brendons and the Quantocks.
If you have the time, it’s definitely worth changing trains at least once to have a mooch around. All the stations are interesting in their own right; some have second hand bookstalls, gift shops, museums or cafés. However, there is a lot more to see beyond the stations themselves. For example, Watchet is a fascinating little town, there are beaches at Blue Anchor and Doniford (the latter with fossil formations), and medieval Cleeve Abbey is within walking distance of Washford station.
Last time we travelled on the railway we took with us the two little books of ‘Country Walks from West Somerset Railway Stations’ (by Audrey & Ron Short, updated by Malcolm & Natalie Short, published by WSRA – we bought our copies from the gift shop at Minehead station). We walked from Crowcombe Heathfield to Bishops Lydeard, stopping for a very good lunch at the Farmers Arms, Combe Florey. At Bishops Lydeard there was time for a circular walk around the village and tea at the station before getting our train back to Minehead.
You can now buy West Somerset Railway Day Rover tickets from us at a discounted rate when you stay at Exmoor House. There’ll be details on our website soon, or contact us for more information.