Sunday, 13 January 2013

Fantastic fields: Exmoor

One weekend before Christmas we decided on a walking weekend to blow away the cobwebs. Saving up for a house meant that exotic winter trips to far away lands like Mexico and Sri Lanka had to take a back seat and instead we hit on Exmoor. Yes, the land of the fabled Black Beast, livestock and flooding. Okay, the later might just have been from our experience!

We drove down in torrential rain, along roads that turned into rivers (yes, quite literally!), taking numerous detours to avoid the huge floods accumulating. We arrived late and exhausted at our quiet traditional country pub that was to be our base for the weekend with it's flagstones and an open fire. We got a little more than we bargained for when we bundled into the pub in our coats and bags and stumbled straight into the conversation of the few crusty locals sat around the fire!! We joined them for our baguettes (we were so late the kitchen had closed!) and were the gentle but of all their jokes and banter!

Tarr steps, Exmoor

Despite the grim weather predictions of the locals...gales, thunder and lightning, more floods....we spent a fantastic day in the glorious sunshine exploring Exmoor, including Tarrr Steps (above), the wooded valleys, arable land and bogs and open moors. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and enjoyed every minute of it, quite the antidote to our London lives!

The lighthouse at Watchet; our shadows on the moor

On the next day the rain kicked back in again so we drove along the coast stopping to hop out at each vantage point. We visited Watchet, a tiny little marina town just east of Exmoor where I once sailed to with my Uncle Huw - he was a sailing fanatic of the best sort. I have awesome memories of that trip, so I gave Ben the full guided tour and regaled him with all the stories! 

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