You'd have thought that Nicky would have had a gutful of travelling after a week at work that involved trips to London, Birmingham, Glasgow then Edinburgh, but no, she was up for a weekend away. Stuart had his first taste of West Somerset back in late July with the Minehead Festival. Nicky, being from Tavistock, knows Dartmoor very well, but had never been to Exmoor. This was about to change.
The weather was "English" - grey and misty. This blog entry is fairly "English" as we are discussing the weather!
First stop was Dunster Castle, where as Nicky explains on the video, we joined the National Trust. And that was just about all she got right. It is in the Doomsday book, owned by the Saxon Aelfric. A Norman castle went up in 1068 - Bill de Mohun was a big mate of Bill the Conqueror, who had done his stuff at Hastings two years earlier. It has been in the Luttrell family for over 600 years, the most dramatic era of which was around the Civil War. The castle changes hands several times, as the owner caved in to first the Royalist army, then Cromwell. But why am I writing this, you too can do a Google search!
It is rutting season, apprently, but you need to be able to see more than 10m to see the stag giving it large in the horns department. But we did see a lot of pheasants - literally 1000s of them. After Dulverton, we went to Tarr Steps before heading for Porlock for tea. Next was Minehead to meet up with the wonderful Penny, birthday boy Ian and Emma. P &I took us to their work in progress beach hut called SOALMA (see video for explanation) on Dunster beach, for a G&T and glorious views as the mist slowly burnt off. Having watched some of Nickos exploits in Australia last year, Penny and Ian have now made it to the dizzy heights of the blog themselves. Woooo Hooo!