Where Moor Meets The Sea


Porlock Weir


For a number of reasons things have been getting on top of us at chez rusty duck. And so, earlier on this week, we abandoned all else and headed off to the coast. The weather forecast was awful. Persistent rain. But such was the need for a clearing of heads we chose to ignore it. Neither of us had ever been to Exmoor. We drove across the centre of the moor and stopped for a leisurely pub lunch along the way.


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Dunster Castle

And then on to Dunster. I wish we’d had time to spend at the castle, but the streets of the old town are picturesque.


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The Yarn Market

Dunster had become a centre for woollen and clothing production by the 13th century, with a market dating back to at least 1222, and a particular kind of kersey or broadcloth which became known as ‘Dunsters’. The market as it stands today was constructed around 1590 to shelter traders and their wares from the rain. One of the roof beams has a hole in it, a result of cannon fire in the Civil War, when Dunster Castle was a besieged Royalist stronghold for five months. Following the damage, it was restored in 1647 to its present condition (via Wikipedia).


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 Porlock Weir can be found a little farther west along the coast.

It was certainly overcast, but the rain held off. And warm enough, just, for me to forget that I’d left my coat in the car.


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I’m not sure we’d have found the way to the beach were it not for this little sign…


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It felt more like walking through somebody’s garden.


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The pill box has partially collapsed into the shifting shingle


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Looking back at Porlock Bay from a turn off on the coast road to the west.

A rare patch of sunlight before the mist closed in.


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Lynmouth beach and cliff top Lynton


Only a short drive, but it has whet our appetite for more. Just beyond Lynton lies the Valley of Rocks. According to our guidebook it’s a “valley remarkable for eroded limestone pinnacles with such names as the Devil’s Cheesewring, Ragged Jack and Castle Rock. Drop of 800ft from Castle Rock to Bristol Channel is one of Britain’s highest sea cliffs.” Now that sounds like the makings of a pretty fine walk.