Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Coleridge Way: a walk through Exmoor in Somerset and North Devon

The river at Lynmouth
Exmoor’s wonderful scenery has inspired many artists and poets, prominent among them Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In recognition of this, the Coleridge Way walk, starting at Nether Stowey in the Quantocks (where the poet lived for some time) opened in 2005, attracting many walkers to discover the area. Previously a 36 mile walk, entirely in Somerset and finishing at Porlock, it now continues to Lynmouth, taking in some of the North Devon part of Exmoor too.

The new section of the walk was launched on 21st May, and I joined other people from the tourism industry, local communities and organisations including Exmoor National Park and local councils, to walk part of the route. The weather was absolutely perfect, with the waters of the Bristol channel looking as blue as I’ve ever seen them, and spring flowers blossoming along the route.

Starting at Broom Street, near Culbone, we walked down past Oare, taking a short detour to join more people at the Lorna Doone Inn, Malmsmead (more literary associations!) for a cream tea. There we met some very special guests: members of the Coleridge family, including the poet’s great-great-great granddaughter, who cut the ribbon to officially open the path.

The route notes now include the new section and they have been rewritten to make it easy to follow the walk
A glimpse of Cutcombe Church from the Coleridge Way
in either direction, starting at any point along the way. View and download all the details (with or without maps) from the Coleridge Way website

The Coleridge Way passes through our village, Wheddon Cross & Cutcombe, making Exmoor House an ideal place to stay whether you are walking all or part of the route.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Exmoor events: Simonsbath Festival

‘When the world comes to Simonsbath in the heart of Exmoor’

The third Simonsbath Festival started on 5th May and continues until 20th June. Taken place already (to give you some examples): the quintet Westcombe Brass in concert with children from local schools; the film premiere of How Many People see the Stars as I do? about remarkable Exmoor writer and artist Hope Bourne; a talk by Lord Douglas Hurd.

Still to come (to mention but a few): gypsy swing & jazz; traditional songs and stories about Exmoor; a Latin American evening; drumming and poetry workshops; talks by local authors; guided walks by the Exmoor Society.

Take a look at Simonsbath Festival for more information - and if you want a lovely place to stay during your visit, check out Exmoor House.