Saturday, 13 October 2012

Food at Exmoor House: 'traditional with a twist'

One of the main things that makes Exmoor House a bit different is our food. Our guests tell us that it’s a highlight of their visit and a major reason why they come back and stay with us again. Generally about 80% of guests have dinner here; many book our multi-night dinner, bed & breakfast packages.

So, why is our food different? For a start it’s genuinely home-made, by an expert. Frank trained as a chef quite a few years ago but hadn’t cooked for a living for some time. He really enjoyed getting back in a professional kitchen again when we bought Exmoor House – something to get his teeth into, as it were.

We aim to be imaginative in our cooking without being too way out or fancy (traditional with a twist is how I describe it). Some recipes are our invention; others we’ve gleaned from various sources and adapted. Just a few of our specialities: proper pies; ice creams; breads; pickles and preserves. You’ll find a previous post about our pies here:

The menu changes every day. There are normally two or three choices for each course rather than a vast array of dishes (quality over quantity is the watchword). So that everybody has a good choice, we encourage guests to discuss any dietary needs and preferences with us when they book.

And that brings me to another Exmoor House difference: catering for special diets. Each day’s menu is designed around the guests who are eating with us that evening. We do some really good vegetarian food. To give you some examples, here’s a link to my summery guest post on Jane Alexander’s Exmoor Jane blog:

And other requirements? For example, if you don’t eat wheat, gluten, dairy, prefer to follow a low-fat diet, or there’s anything you are allergic to, let us know when you make your booking and we’ll see if we can devise menus to suit. Of course, do tell us if there’s something you’d really like to see on the menu, too! You can find a review by some of our regular guests here:

We insist on good quality ingredients, and wherever possible we use local producers and suppliers, both from an environmental point of view and because we want to support other local businesses. I blogged about this a while ago:

Most of the suppliers we use are the still the same people as in the above post (we have a good relationship with them and they’re consistent and reliable). There is one significant change, though – our previous wine merchant has retired and we now get most of our wine from the equally excellent Vitis Vinifera, based down the hill in Dunster.

By the way, you don’t have to be staying here to enjoy dinner at Exmoor House – although, for reasons which will be apparent from this article, you do need to book a few days in advance.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

What are you doing this Christmas? How about a house party on Exmoor?

Christmas at Exmoor House is when we do something a bit different. At that time of year, the only bookings we take are for house parties. Each house party is for a group of up to 12 people with exclusive use of our guest house for two or more nights. We’ll provide all meals and will plan the menus around your group’s requirements to help really make it an event to remember.

Take a look at this piece about Christmas and New Year house parties at Exmoor House, which I wrote earlier this month for our local About My Area website:
(Because this particular website focuses on the West Somerset area, the article was primarily aimed at people living locally; but of course we welcome guests from all over the world.)

Julie Dawson of The Wedding Genie has stayed at Exmoor House with her husband several times. Here’s a blog post she published last year, which will give you a feel for the atmosphere at Exmoor House and what we have to offer:

You can find more details about festive house parties on our website at
…or do give us a call or drop us an email, we’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Exmoor walks with a railway theme

We recommend two excellent little books of walks from stations along the West Somerset Railway (see details below). Most of the walks are not particularly long, so are ideal for us when we have an afternoon off! Here are some we’ve done recently.

Moorland path, Woodcombe, North Hill
The South West Coastal Path begins at Minehead (marked by a sculpture of a giant pair of hands holding an equally gigantic map) and there are several other good walks from the town too. This is an easy one of about 5 miles which you can start from the railway station or the centre of town; it goes through The Parks area, up past the ancient farmstead at Bratton Court, via woods and moorland to Woodcombe and back down the hill from Higher Town to the town centre.

On the beach near Blue Anchor
Blue Anchor, Carhampton and Dunster
We combined two walks from the books, to make one of approximately 6 miles. Starting from the station end of Blue Anchor Bay, we walked parallel to the railway line for a short way before branching off through the fields to Carhampton. Then up to the top of the village and via the Deer Park to Dunster. Through Dunster, down the hill to Dunster Station and the beach; follow the seafront path all the way back to Blue Anchor.

Near Chapel Cleeve

Washford, Old Cleeve and Kentsford

This one is a little over 4 miles. Starting from Washford station, you follow the route of the old Monk’s Path for part of the walk; there is also an old sunken lane, some road and track walking and a woodland path. Take some time to look around the church at Old Cleeve, which is utterly charming. Eventually you’ll end up on the trackbed of the Old Mineral Line, from where you can walk back to Washford or, if you prefer, on to Watchet.

These walks are all taken from:
Country Walks from West Somerset Railway Stations
Some more Country Walks from West Somerset Railway Stations
By Audrey & Ron Short; updated by Malcolm & Natalie Short
Pub. West Somerset Railway Association
Available from the Buffer Stop shop at Minehead station
We have a copy here of both books here at Exmoor House; guests are welcome to borrow them during their stay with us.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Summer on Exmoor and why we would take a holiday here

Here in the heart of Exmoor National Park we don’t really have what you might think of the as the normal ‘tourist season’. So there are no traffic jams on the roads and it’s unusual to see crowds of people. Exmoor is a lovely, relaxing destination for all seasons and could absorb many more visitors without seeming crowded at all. I keep banging the drum about this, and for good reason: quite a few people have told us that they’ve avoided visiting in July and August because they thought that everywhere would be too busy and all the Exmoor accommodation would be fully booked. It ain’t necessarily so, folks!

Would we holiday here, if we weren’t already lucky enough to live in this beautiful area? Well yes, we would. Here are just a few reasons why:

The pace of life is relaxed – Exmoor is a real escape from everyday stress.

There is a remarkable range of excellent accommodation (including Exmoor House Wheddon Cross) and great places to eat (including, again, Exmoor House Wheddon Cross!).

Exmoor is astoundingly lovely, with an incredible variety of scenery: from wild coastline, to rolling farmland, to pretty villages, to pleasingly bleak moorland.

There is plenty to do: visit National Trust and English Heritage properties, enjoy some fantastic walking, cycling and mountain biking (you can hire an electric bike from if you want to make the ride a bit easier), fishing, golf, horse riding, some great attractions (although, hooray, no theme parks – who needs them when we’re surrounded by such real-life beauty?)… and a range of festivals and other events take place during the year. For more ideas, visit 

OK, so we know the English weather is never entirely predictable – but that’s just part of the fun. You can see some of my suggestions for things to do on a rainy day at

If you need another reason to visit Exmoor, here’s a great incentive: the Exmoor Guineas promotion. Find some excellent special offers at - including some from - er – Exmoor House Wheddon Cross.

If you’ve never been to Exmoor, now is an excellent time to visit. If you have, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Take a look at our facebook page for photos of things to see and do on Exmoor, some of our favourite walks, and more:

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Another day out on Exmoor: Allerford, Bossington, Selworthy

Following on from my last post, here’s another idea for exploring Exmoor: a day out in Allerford, Bossington and Selworthy, on foot, by bicycle, using public transport and/or by car…

This trio of villages on the National Trust-owned Holnicote Estate are (as you would expect) lovingly preserved and maintained. They’re also chocolate-box pretty and each has interesting corners to explore. Start at any of the villages and you can walk or cycle to any of the others via various routes (some quite challenging) or drive via typically winding Somerset lanes.

At Allerford, the famous packhorse bridge (one of Exmoor’s iconic images) dates from the 15th century. Some of the cottages have round chimneys, very characteristic of this area. In the old school building you’ll find the West Somerset Rural Life Museum, which includes the Victorian Schoolroom and the West Somerset Photographic Archive. There’s an impressive collection of artefacts, mostly dating from the 1800s to the 1950s. Also at Allerford is a forge where Kyle Roberts and his team produce an amazing variety of ironwork. At Lynch, just a short walk (or drive) from Allerford, the Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre offers flying displays and many other activities.

Many of the houses and cottages in Bossington have tall round chimneys, and bread ovens that bulge from the walls. Kitnors Tea Room and Garden (near the village car park) is a lovely place to stop for lunch or a snack. Take a wander round the village and if you can, walk down to the sea shore: you’ll see some spectacular hilly views and the famous pebble ridge, which sometimes gets breached if Horner Water is in spate (it’s happened twice so far this year!). The ridge mends soon mends itself though.

Selworthy’s attractive limewashed church has an almost Mediterranean look about it. Set above the rest of the village, it’s visible for miles. The view from the church is beautiful and the inside of the building is very interesting, with some spectacular ceiling bosses among much else to see. The village itself, clustered around the green, is full of almost impossibly picturesque thatched cottages. Whatever you do, don’t forget to bring your camera. There’s a National Trust shop here, also the charmingly traditional Periwinkle Tea Room (which usually has a fabulous range of cakes, as well as other delicious things).

Public transport
Bus 39 runs between Minehead and Porlock (all year round)
Bus 300 runs between Minehead and Lynmouth (April – October only)
They both stop at Allerford Turn and Selworthy Turn. Bus 39 makes very occasional stops at Bossington Green (check timetables for latest information).

Useful links


Shortish Walks on Exmoor by Robert Hesketh (Bossiney Books) has two walks that can be done separately or joined together: Allerford, Bossington and Hurlstone Combe plus Allerford and Selworthy Beacon. Each walk is about 4½ miles.

Explorer OL9 (Ordnance Survey) 
Exmoor for Off-Road Cyclists (Exmoor National Park Authority)

Friday, 29 June 2012

Days out on Exmoor

Running a guesthouse / bed and breakfast as we do (which we thoroughly enjoy) it’s not often that we get out to explore this beautiful area we live in. So it’s even more of a treat when we do! We both love walking, and you can find details in earlier posts about some of our favourite Exmoor walks. This time, I’m concentrating on trips that don’t necessarily involve much walking – though they still can if you like. Here are two suggestions. In keeping with our green ethos, I’ve included some public transport options to get you there and back, so that you can be car free. Of course, another way to be car free is to go by bicycle. Exmoor is fantastic for cycling, with routes as challenging as you like, on and off road. Both conventional and electric bikes can be hired locally.

Malmsmead and Oare

Lorna Doone country! You can do a shortish circular walk that takes in both places, a longer walk to explore the valley, or just take the shortest route between the two hamlets and have a mooch round each. Oare Church is where, in the book, Lorna was shot on her wedding day. Malmsmead has a pretty bridge and you can wander along the river as far as you like towards the Doone Valley. For lunch or other refreshments, two good options are the Café Deli Malmsmead and (on the road towards Minehead) the Culbone Inn.

Public transport: Bus 300 (Minehead-Lynmouth, runs April-October only) travels along the main road; you’d need to walk to Oare/Malmsmead from the nearest bus stop. You could, though, book the Moor Rover bus to take you to either of the villages, and pick you up later.

Blue Anchor, Watchet and Williton

If you do like to be beside the seaside, Blue Anchor is a good place to stroll along the prom, prom, prom (it’s much more scenic looking towards the coast than towards the caravans – sorry, site owners!). The Driftwood Café is something of an institution locally, serving fish and chips (and more) accompanied by sea views. For a longer walk, head inland for a while, or continue on to Watchet.

Watchet is very interesting to wander round, with two small museums full of local history, some good non-chain shops and a pleasant esplanade. There are several pubs and teashops; we’ve eaten at Chives Deli and the Star Inn, both of which we’d recommend. If you want to continue on foot to Williton, it’s a little over two miles via Doniford.

In Williton you’ll find an antiques centre and shops including a proper old-fashioned hardware store (which I always enjoy looking round). There are a couple of pubs and places for snacks and, a little way outside the village, the Bakelite Museum. This quirky paeon to all things plastic is almost guaranteed to cause cries of ‘oh, my mum used to have one of those!’. Also to be seen are some far less usual objects, such as a rather bizarre doll (you’ll see what I mean) and a Bakelite coffin. There’s a small café at the museum (check for opening times/days as they may vary). The museum has been threatened with closure because, being in an old mill, it’s difficult for them to comply with modern fire regulations. They’ve made some adjustments though, so we hope it will be open for the foreseeable future.

Public transport: there are West Somerset Railway stations at all three places, so if you book a Day Rover ticket (available at a discount from Exmoor House if you’re staying with us), and plan the day carefully, you should be able to fit in visits to them all. Bus 18 (between Minehead and Taunton) stops at Watchet and Williton; bus 106 (Minehead – Doniford) stops at Blue Anchor and Watchet.

Useful links our facebook page, with photos of the area (more being added!) includes timetables and special events a taste of what there is to see bus timetables bike hire electric bike hire

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Six things you might not know about Exmoor

1. It’s not exactly where you may think it is

Most of the National Park (two thirds of it in fact) is in Somerset - although many people seem to think of it as being in neighbouring county Devon, home to the remaining third.

2. It has prehistoric animals

(No, not the Exmoor Beast! Or perhaps, who knows?) Exmoor ponies are one of our oldest breeds of animal, and their ancestry can be traced way back  

3. It’s a great place to see the stars

Exmoor is Europe’s first Dark Sky Reserve, making it a wonderful place for astronomers and anybody interested in stargazing:

4. It contains many natural wonders: animal, vegetable and mineral

Several thousand red deer live here – the largest concentration in Britain – as well as a huge variety of other wildlife

Ancient woods at Horner have rare species of lichen

Exmoor has the highest coastline in the country, and the highest sea cliff (at Great Hangman).

5. It has record-breaking and unique trees

Woodlands on Exmoor contain some species unique to the area (such as varieties of whitebeam).

The longest stretch of coastal woodland in the country can be found between The Foreland and Porlock.

Nutcombe Bottom, near Dunster, has England’s tallest tree (a Douglas fir) and also England’s tallest magnolia 

6. It is absolutely beautiful!

Incredibly varied, too. But don't just take my word for it... pay a visit and see for yourself.

This post was inspired by a survey conducted on behalf of Exmoor National Park, about what people who have not visited the area think of Exmoor. You can find the survey results at

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Even more Exmoor walks near Exmoor House at Wheddon Cross

Exmoor is fabulous for walking. Here are a few more walks in and around the National Park that we’ve discovered recently. These are all quite short (but could easily be incorporated into a longer walk). If you’re staying at Exmoor House, you wouldn’t need to use a car to get to the start point of most of them (see below).

Kennisham Woods

There’s an entrance to Kennisham Hill Woods at Goosemoor, not far from Wheddon Cross. We did a four mile walk that also takes in Colly and Lype Hills, with great views across the Brendon Hills and towards the Bristol Channel. The walk passes through Forestry Commission woodland, beech woods and farmland as well as open hills. Lype Hill is invariably windy, so you will certainly get some fresh air.

Conygar Hill

This is the hill with the folly on top, visible from Dunster and the area around (in fact, sometimes people think the folly is actually Dunster Castle – an easy mistake to make if you haven’t yet seen the castle itself). We went via the Butter Cross and the community orchard going up the hill via the more meandering and less steep route, coming down by a more direct (steeper!) path into the village. There are some fabulous views of Dunster, its surrounding countryside and the Somerset coastline and you pass through a mixture of woodland. The name Conygar, in case you were wondering, indicates that this is where rabbits were bred for eating.

Old Mineral Line, Washford to Watchet

A more or less straight walk along part of the Old Mineral Line; only about two miles. We walked there and back, having a wander round Watchet before returning to Washford. On the way back we walked via the church, to visit St Decuman’s Holy Well - a mystical and peaceful spot - rejoining the Mineral Line route by Kentsford Farm. You could do this walk as part of a day out on the West Somerset Railway.

Clatworthy Reservoir

On the edge of the National Park, still in West Somerset, in part of the Brendon Hills. It’s a five mile walk round the reservoir; the terrain is fairly flat for much of the way although there are some up and down bits by the nature trail. I took loads of photos on the way round the lake – it’s all very picturesque. There is a lot of plantlife and birdlife to see, so it would be interesting to do this walk at various times of the year.

Car-free walking

You could incorporate Kennisham on a walk from Exmoor House via the Coleridge Way. For the Conygar walk you can get the bus to Dunster from Wheddon Cross. The bus goes to Minehead too, where you can get the West Somerset Railway to Washford, Watchet and stations beyond. In fact, the Clatworthy walk is the only one for which you’d have to take a car, as the reservoir is in quite a remote area.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Seeing stars, follies in the woods - just two things that make Exmoor unique

‘Living here, I bet you take all this for granted’, is a frequent comment from guests, while gesturing towards the view of the moorland and Dunkery Beacon from our dining room.

Well, actually, we don’t – we feel incredibly privileged to be living here and I never get tired of that view. It changes many times in the course of each day because of the light and the clouds; it changes throughout the seasons because of the colours of the grass, gorse and heather.

Running a guest house is a pretty full-on job (not complaining – I love it), so we have to take the chance to get out and about when we can. There’s always something to learn about the area you live in; and as we’re not native to this area, there’s even more for us to learn.

Each year Exmoor National Park organises a series of Exmoor Awareness seminars for tourism businesses. This year I managed to attend two out of the three sessions, and am really glad I made the time to do so.

On 14th March there was an evening seminar – The Star Attraction – about, you guessed it, stargazing. Very conveniently for me, it was at our Wheddon Cross village hall, about two minutes’ walk away from us at Exmoor House. Exmoor is Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, which is really something to celebrate (more info at )

We learnt about just how special this accolade is, and how we can help visitors (and ourselves) get the best out of their night sky watching.

Unfortunately, after a wonderfully clear afternoon, a dense cloud cover had emerged – so there was no real-life stargazing for our group. But presentations from ‘Dark Sky Man’ Steve Owens (you’ll find his blog at ) and the Exmoor Stargazers ( ) made up for it.

Town and Country Through the Ages was the name of the 28th March session, held in Dunster Tithe Barn with a walk around Dunster afterwards. Rob Wilson North and Jessica Turner (respectively Historic Environment Manager and Archaeologist for the National Park) gave us a fascinating and lively introduction to the way an archaeologist reads the landscape and the layout of towns and villages.

In the afternoon, Andy Player from the Crown Estate told us about all the work they do in the area, and some exciting future plans they have. He took us on a guided walk around the village (reminding us how it pays to go just a little off the beaten track; there’s much more to see). We also walked up through the woods to the Conygar Tower, the most prominent of the Dunster Castle follies; some wonderful views en route. Frank and I have done several walks from Dunster, but hadn’t got round to this one yet.

Of course, events like this are also a great opportunity for networking, which everybody took full advantage of. If you are a tourism provider on Exmoor and you haven’t yet been able to get to one of these seminars, I urge you to do so when the opportunity comes round again. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

More detail about Exmoor Awareness:
More than tea and fudge - my previous blog post about things to see in Dunster:

Friday, 16 March 2012

What's happening on Exmoor in March and April

In my last blog post I mentioned some of the Exmoor events coming up in February, March and April. There’s still time to catch some March events if you hurry… and check out our website at  for details of some great special offers we’re running this month.

Thursday 22nd March: Take Advantage of Your Future (the software programme for the brain). This seminar, run by Rollo Clifford, is at the recently-reopened Hobby Horse in Minehead. We were lucky enough to participate in one of Rollo’s seminars last December, and found it a fascinating and enlightening day. Book a place if you can! More details at

Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th March: The West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala continues, with a whole host of things happening. You can see when particular locomotives are appearing, download the brochure and book tickets online at

Going into April, we’ve still some rooms left at Exmoor House over the Easter weekend, 6th – 9th: we recommend that you book soon though! You can reserve rooms online or direct with us by phone.

The North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival (27th April – 6th May) is operating in a slightly different way this year, giving a flavour of some of the very diverse places within the National Park (both in Somerset and Devon) and slightly further afield. For the first two days, the walks are based around the Ilfracombe area. From the 29th until 1st May there are walks in the Lynton area. May 2nd, 3rd and 4th have walks around the Porlock area, and on May 5th and 6th the focus is on the Dunster area. So if you wanted to make a holiday of it, you could base yourself in Ilfracombe or Lynton for a few days, then move on to Wheddon Cross for the rest of the time! On the festival website at  you can search the walks by area, date and several other criteria (e.g. linear/circular; on bus routes).

We hope to see you soon!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Spring 2012 events on Exmoor

What’s happening on Exmoor? Quite a lot, as ever! I keep saying this, but it does bear repeating: there is always something going on here, but the area remains peaceful and unspoilt. Here’s some information about things happening over the next few months, takuing us through the rest of winter and into spring.

The big event, from now until early March, is Snowdrop Valley, here at Wheddon Cross. Beautiful and unique – don’t miss it! More information on our website, in my blog post of 12th January and at Our dining room opens each day as a tearoom from 4th February until 4th March, so you can enjoy our great food before or after your visit to the valley.

On 14th – 16th February, the West Somerset Railway is running a special Snowdrops & Steam service: combine a scenic ride on a steam train with your snowdrops viewing. For details of this and other railway events, visit

March 16th – 18th sees the 4 x 4 on Exmoor Jaunt & Challenge, in aid of Wooden Spoon children’s charity. The teams start and finish at Wheddon Cross and enjoy an active weekend while raising funds for a very good cause
Also in March is the West Somerset Railway Spring Steam Gala (17th – 18th and 22nd – 25th)

Easter weekend falls on 6th-9th April this year – book your break at Exmoor House now! Later in the month – on the 21st - there’s the Somerset Stages rally, which is always interesting to watch. More info here: And, new for this year, there’s the Exmoor Beauty Cycle Challenge on the 22nd (sister event of the infamous Exmoor Beast):

The North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival starts on 27th April and continues until 6th May. A guided walk is a fantastic way of getting to know the countryside better, and on Exmoor we are extremely lucky to have an amazing choice of walks. Find details and updates at

There’s an active theme to these events, which is fitting as Exmoor is such a wonderful area for getting out and about. Later in the year, however, there’ll also be arts and cultural festivals – I’ll cover these in another blog post. In the meantime, for those of you with a taste for outdoor adventures, here are two more websites to check out:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Exmoor House, Wheddon Cross, Somerset: reviews of our guest house

We’re famous! Well, getting there we hope… You may have spotted some reviews and mentions of Exmoor House in various publications (both in the paper-based press and online) over the last year. We love to blow our own trumpet(!) so in case you missed them, here are a selection of comments:

Exmoor Visitor 2011:
”Showing the way with their green credentials is the award-winning guest house Exmoor House in Wheddon Cross. In 2008 the business received a Best Performer award from Green Tourism and at the end of last year went on to achieve a Green Tourism Gold, the first one on Exmoor.”
The Exmoor Visitor is an essential (free) publication for anybody visiting the National Park; it's packed with useful information. We keep a supply at Exmoor House for guests to help themselves. The 2012 edition will be out soon.

Daily Post, June 2011:
In her article “Moor to Explore”, journalist Sarah Batley said:
”The house was once a tailor’s – there’s photos on the walls of the workers sitting cross legged on the cutting table. The comfy sitting room, with big squashy sofas and an honesty table laden with drinks, was previously the village reading room. Today owners Rosi Davis and Frank Velander run it as a thriving business – being right on the cross country Coleridge Way certainly helps. Frank, originally from Liverpool, used to be area manager for the YHA, so he knows what hungry ramblers need: a good feed. He makes his own bread and the breakfast showcases local produce, such as eggs with golden yolks from a neighbouring farm. We also ate in the first night, sampling the cheese tart that’s landed Frank prizes.”
The Daily Post is published in North Wales but articles are also syndicated to other areas:

Exmoor The Country Magazine, Autumn 2011:
Exmoor House featured in Simon Dawson’s article “On fire about food” (extolling the virtues of smoking):
“’I have a stove-top, hot smoker,’ Frank told me. ‘I love it and use oak chips for that very distinct oaky flavour and then maybe smoke a salmon fillet to make beautiful fish cakes, or a trout to make a gorgeous pate. But my favourite winter dish of all has to be smoked sausage cassoulet. Come in after a long walk and have a bowl of that and you feel as if you’ve conquered the world’.”
Simon continued: “Exmoor House is a complete and utter escape, a bolt hole from the stresses and hassles of everyday life. With no TVs, no internet access and little mobile reception, it’s a place to enjoy fresh, home-cooked Exmoor produce…”
There’s more information about the magazine (which is always a really good read), and updates about the area, at

The Times, Saturday 29th October 2011 (Travel Section) 20 fabulous festive bolt holes:
”…At Christmas and New Year you can book the whole place for a house party, so not only do you get your own residence to share with family and friends but also – drum roll please Raymondo – someone else to do all the cooking and washing up… and with Exmoor on your doorstep there’s no excuse for not stepping out on plenty of bracing yomps o’er hill and dale.”
More info  (subscription necessary for this website)

The Wedding Genie’s blog, October 2011:
Julie says:
”I will let you into a little secret of a fabulous retreat which we think of as home away from home. Exmoor House in Wheddon Cross, Exmoor is just the most fabulous place to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or not! And eat the most delicious home made and home-grown produce you will ever taste…
What is also great if you want to hold your wedding reception somewhere a little more unusual and very homely please consider this an option. Frank will make you food to die for and you will have the run of the house. It is also a great place for a house party. I keep thinking about how Christmas would be here!! Pure heaven.”
Julie’s full blog post is here
(and if you’re planning on getting married, do have a look at the rest of Julie’s site – she provides a fantastic range of wedding planning & organisation services, with great enthusiasm, professionalism, flair and friendliness)

What’s on Somerset, December 2011 – February 2012:
Exmoor for Less: Base Yourself at Exmoor House To Explore Our Wild West (Chris Inge).
Chris bemoans the fact that people tend to think of Exmoor as being in Devon, when most of it is in Somerset! He says:
”…ignore the lemmings and approach Exmoor through Somerset. If you stay at Exmoor House you’ll be just three miles from its high point, Dunkery Beacon…”
Chris continues, about Exmoor House: ”Nothing was too much trouble: an early cup of Earl Grey and the offer of cake; advice on walks; a phone call to book Sunday lunch at a busy pub. On the wall were credentials showing a wider, more considered professionalism: four stars from VisitEngland and a commendation for their walking and cycling facilities; gold in the Green Tourism Business Scheme and Best Performer in the 2008 Green Tourism Awards. I would add two others: one for the most comfortable bed I have slept in, ever, and a second for the most unexpected reminder of a kinder, nicer era: an honesty bar…”
Read the full review at  - you can download the whole magazine – it’s a very useful resource covering events in the whole of Somerset. The review of Exmoor House is on page 6

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Snowdrop Valley: February 2012, Wheddon Cross, Exmoor National Park

Snowdrops make everyone smile – they’re such a welcome sign of Spring. Exmoor’s Snowdrop Valley in Somerset, once a well-kept secret, is becoming more well known, and deservedly so.

The narrow road to Snowdrop Valley will be closed to traffic during snowdrop time, but there is a park and ride service from Wheddon Cross village down to the valley and back. This year’s dates for the park and ride buses are 4th to 26th February, with the road remaining closed for a week after that. Of course, you don’t have to get the bus – it’s a beautiful hilly walk (walking boots or wellies essential!).

You can find more information at

To get to Wheddon Cross, why not use the West Somerset Railway Snowdrops & Steam service? It runs on February 14th 15th and 16th and will be a great day out! For more details and bookings information, visit

And while you’re here, you could have morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea at Exmoor House. We’ll be opening our lovely dining room as a tearoom and serving delicious food, all home-made with care and local ingredients. If there are going to be four or more of you, we recommend that you book in advance. Exmoor House is also open for dinner most evenings – booking is essential for this. Find more information about our food at

Looking for somewhere to stay for a few nights for your Snowdrop Valley visit? Do check out our place: comfy accommodation, great value dinner bed & breakfast packages:

No need to just take our word for it, though: here’s a link to What’s on Somerset magazine, where there is a review about us on page 6.

Hope to see you soon!