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.


2018-03-27T18:18:24+00:00April 4th, 2014|Tags: |


  1. Crafty Gardener April 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Such an amazing place to visit … so much history to absorb, so many gorgeous sites. Oh to walk along that beach and pick stones and driftwood.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Yes, I love doing that too. The stones seemed almost artificial, or just recently put there.. so clean and perfectly rounded thanks to the constant action of the sea.

  2. Anny April 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    It’s a beautiful part of the country. If you don’t already know it, there’s an amazingly inspiring true story about an overland lifeboat launch – well worth reading about http://www.visitlyntonandlynmouth.com/about/overland-launch
    If you’ve been there, it will make you even more amazed.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      Absolutely Anny, those hills make it an astonishing feat! Thanks for the link, I didn’t know the story. When we go back we’ll spend more time looking around and take in the history as well.

  3. Jo April 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    We stayed just outside Dunster on our holidays a few years ago, a wonderful part of the country. Lynton and Lynmouth are beautiful places but the drive up the cliffs had me clinging on to anything within my reach, not a drive for the faint hearted.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      I think we took the wrong turning in Lynmouth and ended up on the lorry route.. very tame in comparison! It sounds as though there is plenty to go back and see.

  4. elaine April 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed your visit -guaranteed to make anyone feel better-lots of interesting things to find out about too. Love the secret entrance to the beach.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      The beach entrance is very quaint, next to an old thatched cottage. You brush your hair on the shrubbery going through it!

  5. Jayne Hill April 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Glorious pictures, I hope you came back from your Grand Day Out feeling suitably refreshed and revitalised.

    The lovely shots of Dunster and Porlock remind me of a childhood family holiday to Exmoor, great to see it again.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      It certainly blew the cobwebs away!

  6. Christina April 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    You live in a very beautiful part of the country Jessica, I’m glad the rain held off for you. those stones would make a rather attractive water feature!

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      I was very taken with the stones, it’s probably illegal to take them away though! Like yourselves, we are very lucky to have access to beautiful places for a day out.

  7. Pauline April 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Such a lovely place, we last visited quite a few years ago by steam train and loved it. Hope you both came back refreshed from your visit.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Oooh, that sounds fun! Now you mention it, we passed a station that Mike was looking at with interest.

  8. rachel April 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Nooooooooo! You drove through where I live and you didn’t call in for tea and cake! Next time……..

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      DEFINITELY next time!

  9. justjilluk April 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Loved all that. Thankyou.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply


  10. Denise April 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    We holidayed between Lynton and Lynmouth a few years back and walked bits of the Valley of Rocks. Sturdy shoes and thighs of steel required but absolutely stunning scenery. Thanks for bringing back the memories with your lovely photos!

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Oh well, I have the shoes..
      Sounds good. We’ll probably leave it until after the Easter hols now, but it’s a must for a revisit.

  11. Alison April 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Sometimes you just have to get away. Thanks for posting your beautiful images of this coastal town.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      A change is as good as a rest, as they say. When we moved here we said we’d take a day off a week. Didn’t happen. Nor the fortnight, month… must try harder!

  12. Abby April 4, 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Lovely beach photos. Lyndon and Lynmouth are both really nice – visited that area a few years ago. Hope you feel better now for your mini escape. X

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      Much better, thanks. All it needs next time is a bit more sunshine and an ice cream shop open!

  13. countrysidetales April 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Why do we build towers of pebbles like that? What is it about them? We always do it on the beach too. Valley of rocks- been there- interesting place. Hope you are OK? x

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      I wondered how long the tower had been there, how many storms it had survived. It was below the high water line so the next spring tide will be the end of it. It seemed a bit Zen-like! I’m fine thanks CT, just a few things getting my goat. x

  14. angiesgardendiaries April 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    I hope the trip out cleared the heads! It would be difficult not to forget in such beautiful surroundings. Thanks for sharing your we trip out with us.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      It’s good to have somewhere to escape to. Scotland is great for that too!

  15. Freda April 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Even when you live in a beautiful place a change of scene is sometimes necessary, isn’t it. I hope it did the trick.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. And a walk along the beach does it every time!

  16. Amy at love made my home April 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    It is a beautiful place isn’t it! I love Lynton and Lynmouth especially. xx

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      We got there as the weather was closing in, so didn’t really do them justice. But will definitely go back again.

  17. Mark and Gaz April 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    It certainly does! A beautiful, atmospheric place that was well worth escaping in to even for a brief moment. And keep coming back to as well 🙂 there’s so much of the west to explore, a beautiful part of the world!

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      It is, and we don’t make the time to do it justice. If it’s true we are going to have a lovely summer, this year could be different!

  18. Joanne April 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    It looks a lovely place to visit, I hope it recharged your batteries. xx

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      Fully recharged, thanks Joanne!

  19. islandthreads April 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    weird, Jessica I have just posted that I went for a walk to the beach this morning, not as far as you though, it does seem we can spend too much time trying to do everything in the garden, sometimes when we can get out we need to do something different, glad you both had a nice day, thanks for sharing, Frances

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      It’s a fair old drive to get there for us, it must be wonderful just to walk down. But I agree, it’s so good to do something different from time to time. And sometimes it gives you a different kind of inspiration too.

  20. andreamynard April 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a great day. You capture it all so well with your descriptions and the lovely big pics with all those seaside pale greys. We stayed for a weekend at Porlock Weir a couple of years ago and I loved it, the laidback feel and the way that you’re so quickly up in wildly beautiful Exmoor, just lovely woodland separating the moors and the sea.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      I love those pale greys and blues! It’s a lovely place and at this time of year (although maybe because of the weather!) we had it virtually all to ourselves.

  21. Sarah April 4, 2014 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Your images are wonderful and bought back happy memories of a holiday around this area went the children were very small! I hope the sea wrorked it’s magic and cleared you heads. Sarah x

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      What is it about the sea? It certainly does work magic.

  22. Suzanne April 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    Looks like a lovely time in spite of the dampness. Thanks for sharing photos of places I can only dream of visiting.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      These places are heaving with people at the height of summer. I prefer them like this, even if it does mean a bit of dampness.

  23. knitsofacto April 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Now this is some of the home ground of my Somerset and Devon childhood! Here’s hoping the sea worked it’s magic on you, as it always does on me, and you headed home restored x

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      The sea air provides another benefit too… a really good night’s sleep! Thanks Annie.

  24. Wendy April 4, 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I had a holiday in this area about thirty years ago and haven’t been since, so I really enjoyed seeing it again in your lovely post. It seems like the right place to go for a much-needed break – I hope it helped.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Wendy, yes. I could happily have stayed much longer.

  25. Chloris April 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    I don’t know this part of the country at all, it looks so beautiful. What a wonderful trip, guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away.

    • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 11:45 pm - Reply

      It certainly did that, but was warmer than it looks… thankfully!

  26. nataliescarberry April 5, 2014 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Thanks for taking me visually and verbally along with you on your little getaway. I loved it! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      If only I could have thrown in some Texas weather it would have been perfect!

  27. CJ April 5, 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Oh it’s such a beautiful area, I’m glad you had such a good time. Dunster looks really pretty and the beach is certainly photogenic. Your pictures are fantastic. I do hope that things go better for you this week, although it’s always lovely to have a day out. Have a good weekend Jessica. CJ xx

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks CJ, you too. Although it doesn’t look much like a walking day tomorrow, from the weather forecast anyway.

  28. Rosie April 5, 2014 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Now I really long to see the sea and walk on just such a beach as in your photos! Glad you had a lovely day away from it all. Both times we’ve been to Dunster the castle has been closed – one day I will get to see inside:)

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      It was certainly refreshing, but a lot calmer than the last time we were on the coast in the run up to one of those horrendous storms.

  29. Eleanor from Stitches and Seeds April 5, 2014 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Dunster looks lovely. It is now on my list… xx

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      Can’t promise it will be as warm as St Helena..

  30. Jay April 5, 2014 at 9:50 am - Reply

    What a pretty place and your photographs are stunning. I’ve never heard of Dunster although I’m familiar with places nearby.

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Jay and welcome to rusty duck!
      Although we’ve been to Dunster before it was the first time we’ve properly explored the surrounding area and gone on to the moor. It’s beautiful.

  31. wherethejourneytakesme April 5, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    I remember going all round this area on holiday and going to Dunster Castle so nice to see it all again – that is what I love about blogland. How lucky to live so close you can down tools and head off for the day to the coast. I am envious I want to go on that little Beach path it looks so inviting. Hope your day out made all your troubles at home feel lighter.

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      The little beach path is lovely, not very long but beautifully maintained.

  32. snowbird April 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Well I’m sure such a fantastic day out will have cleared your heads, I hope everything is sorted now. Some brilliant pics here, I loved the sign to the beach and the sinking pill box.xxx

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      A day out is what’s needed occasionally isn’t it. Even when the weather is a bit rough. I wonder if the pill box sunk any more in this winter’s storms.

  33. Sue@GLAllotments April 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Tried to comment with my iPad without success.

    Love the first photo. We spent a day at Dunster and explored the castle gardens last year

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      Yes, the gardens are lovely. We’ve enjoyed walking down to the watermill too, on an earlier visit. Combined with the old town there is plenty to see.

      • Sue@GLAllotments April 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm - Reply

        We went round the watermill and also had our lunch at the cafe there as the town centre cafes were packed outa

        • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply

          That sounds good.

  34. frayed at the edge April 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Another place added to our to-visit list! If (when) you pop in to see Rachel for tea and cake, I hope she makes you her amazing cheese scones …….. we had them hot from the oven when we visited her in Newcastle!!

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      I thought of you when I saw all that gnarled old wood with rusty iron attached. 😉 I hope our attempts at ‘arty’ shots cut the mustard.
      And I will be sure to remind Rachel about the scones…

  35. SeagullSuzie April 5, 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Must be the time of year, because we’ve been feeling the same! So good to get out and about and I’m sure this beautiful place has had a positive effect. Wonderful images-they look fantastic in full size.

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      It’s odd isn’t it, picked it up from a number of other blogs too. You’d think we’d all be feeling full of the joys of Spring. Unusual seasonal patterns must affect the biorhythms in some subtle and unknown way.

  36. CherryPie April 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    This looks a delightful place to go walking and you have captured some spectacular photos.

    • Jessica April 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Cherie. The light was quite difficult to work with, especially towards the end.

  37. Cathy April 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Great to out and about, Jessica – well deserved, I am sure.

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Must do more of it this year, a resolution.

  38. Vera April 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I remember that area well having spent several happy holidays there, and so why does my camera not take quite such lovely photos! Message to self: Must try harder! And well done you for your artistic creativity.

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 11:02 am - Reply

      You should see how many photos end up in the virtual bin to get a handful of good ones!

  39. BadPenny April 6, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    What a wonderful place to escape to. I hope it did you both the world of good x

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 11:03 am - Reply

      I wish we were as close to the coast as you are, then we’d be there far more often. Thanks Penny.

  40. Em April 6, 2014 at 9:47 am - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to Porlock. Beautiful pictures make me want to go. I’ll be interested to hear the trials occurring chez Rusty Duck!

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Worth a visit Em. Exmoor has a very different character to Dartmoor. More rolling than rugged. We tried to get to the viewpoint on the highest hill, but Western Power had a cherry picker up blocking the road!

  41. Linda@arichtapestry April 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    A break away for the day and a change of scene is good especially when it involves going to the beach. It’s a long time since I’ve been to north Devon and the area around Lynton and Lynmouth, but I remember it as a beautiful coastline and your photos certainly show that.

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Linda. Lack of time and the weather got the better of us in the end, but it certainly warrants a return trip.

  42. Simone April 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    That was a lovely day out. Thank you! I would love to go back in time and see the traders at yarn market. Exmoor looks so pretty and the beach so tranquil. Please share more photos when you go again 🙂

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      The Yarn Market would most likely have been really buzzing then, with less chance of being run over! The streets in these very old towns are not enhanced by cars.

  43. young at heart April 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    wow….I always think bad weather is more bareable by the sea!!

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      It’s a good time to go… rough seas can add drama, and you can have the place pretty much to yourselves.

  44. woolythymes April 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    what a fabulous getaway!!!! hope you came home ready to tackle—whatever!!!

    • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      Can’t be long till your European trip now?

  45. Sigrun April 7, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Wonderful pictures, so silent. I’ve not been at Dunster, but it is on Mr. W.s list.


    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 9:32 am - Reply

      Thank you, you will enjoy it I’m sure!

  46. Philippa April 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm - Reply


    Hope your visit brushed away some cobwebs, and lifted some things that have been getting on top of you.


    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      At least gave us a break from them! Hope you are having a great time in the Lakes, sounds fab!

  47. Jenny April 8, 2014 at 10:13 am - Reply

    A few years back we walked the SW coast path from Porlock Weir to Lynmouth. It was a long day, but a fantastic walk. A lovely stretch of coastline 🙂

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

      That IS a long way, and a lot of hills! But it must have been a truly fantastic walk. The scenery on that stretch is breathtaking.

  48. Laura April 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    As soon as I read, “Neither of us had ever been to…” I knew we were in for a treat! Thank you for some gorgeous sightseeing.

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Thanks Laura, relieved to hear your own sightseeing will have a little more green in it soon!

  49. welshhillsagain April 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Funny because I think I know the west country pretty well but I have never been to Porlock. your photos are fab. Must go!

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      You should, even if it’s only a short drive along the coast road, as we did.

  50. Natalie April 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Really gorgeous pictures!!! I’m pretty sure I went to Exmoor in 1976 with my Mum. 🙂

    • Jessica April 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Natalie. It wouldn’t have been as hot as Sri Lanka. Have fun!

  51. Justine Wilkinson April 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Ooo, lovely photos! I do like Dunster very much; must make a return trip sooner rather than later, perhaps aboard the steam railway.

    • Jessica April 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      It’s a beautiful part of the country, for sure. Hope all is going well with the tea shop!

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