I think I may have overdone the amount of photos from my recent foray on Exmoor, but here goes anyway. . .
Above is a picture of Dulverton, a small town on the edge of Exmoor. It's a friendly place where people say 'Good morning' to you and the shopkeepers are helpful and don't seem to mind man and his best friend, dripping in the doorway.
I feel really fortunate to be able to take these little trips away and I wonder sometimes if anyone reading my ramblings, might think that my life is one big holiday. It isn't of course, I work hard too, but I don't think anyone would want to read about that.
Having said that, yesterday afternoon was fun at work. We had a storytime and craft session for the village children.
I read 'Room on the Broom' and we made paper plate Halloween masks. I know how to have fun.....
Back to Exmoor.
Wonderful walking on the wooded slopes above Dulverton.
In the early evening the sun was bright and low in the sky. Up on the moor it cast an amber glow over the landscape.
I love the strange, contorted shapes of the trees.
Then all at once the sun was gone. It was eerie. As the light went, the stags started to make the mournful sounds of the rut.
Next day and I promised a walk and a meal in the pub afterwards. . . .
So we start the walk at Porlock Weir, having checked out the pub to make sure we could take Rowan in with us. The Ship Inn, right next to the beach.
We're going to follow the coast path to Culbone, it's only about 5 miles there and back, so don't panic.
Mind you, it's very 'up and down'.
You can wait in the pub if you like.
It's a well walked, woodland path , you can't see the sea but you can hear the waves crashing on the pebbles.
Venus de Culbone?
I don't think we can get lost but Rowan isn't too sure.
You should have guessed , I have an ulterior motive for this trek, besides the pleasure of your company of course, it is the tiny Norman church of St. Bueno at Culbone.
It's the smallest church in the country and is only 35 feet long and 12 feet wide.
There's definitely magic here, it's all around.
The church is in a deep combe, next to a stream which gurgles and rushes 400 feet, down to the sea.
No roads, only the coastal path and a track to a farm.
Inside there were fresh flowers, the gas lights were, well, different and there was a lovely welcoming atmosphere.
I think services are held pretty regularly, but I have no idea where the congregation comes from!
Outside, I found these windows , all completely different.
This one has two window lights, made from one block of sandstone. The magician who fashioned it also made an animal face for our delectation.
Interesting ironwork on the door.
I was going to suggest we sit in the churchyard to drink our flask of tea, but it's a bit chilly so let's go inside, I'm sure no-one will mind.
I don't want to move but, come on , back up the hill.
On the way back we can catch glimpses of the sea, the cloud has lifted a little.
Now, I don't know how to break this news to you. . .
The pub has stopped serving food, we must have lingered too long in paradise.
However I happen to know that just along the road, in Porlock there are the Whortleberry Tea Rooms. Follow me. . . .They have a nice sheltered patio with bonios and water for the dogs.
Here's what we're having, one of these between two, ok?
I feel a bit embarrassed , but after all we've earned it.
- Cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches (No crusts here!)
- Ham and Whortleberry ( local name for bilberries) chutney sandwiches
- Plain scone and Fruit scone with clotted cream and Whortleberry jam
- Refrigerator cake
- Lemon drizzle cake
- Stem ginger cake
- Rich fruit cake
- Huge pot of tea
Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Time to head home now, our last stop was to peep at the view from above Porlock.
Then a glimpse of part of the Doone Valley.
What do you think, shall we try that walk next time?