Beautiful Exmoor

Somerset Walking Weekend

Left work sharpish at 5.30 , quick stop at the flat to chuck a few clothes and toiletries into a bag and then hit the road.

First stop this weekend is Wookey Hole Hotel (£35, 1nght), about 10kms from Cheddar Gorge, for a good night’s sleep. Enjoyable journey, great sunset, slow going past Stonehenge as I’d forgotten it was summer solstice eve, but it’s great to be back on the road again and I have a smile on my face and a sense of freedom.

Early start in the morning and begin hiking up Cheddar Gorge after a bit of wandering around to find the starting point – damn it’s a steep start and I’m quickly out of breath heading up through some woods. All the panting and sweating is worth it on reaching the top as I’m greeted with a wonderful view down over Cheddar and far beyond!

 

Stonehenge on summer solstice eve Hard steep climb through woods @ Cheddar Gorge Stunning view at Cheddar Gorge

 

Even at this relatively early stage of the day the sun feels hot so I’m glad to have stocked up on water prior to setting off. There’s plenty of goats grazing as I wander a path along the hillside and catch sight of some rabbits before heading steeply down some steps and to the road to cross for another steep climb up the other side of the gorge – getting a good workout this morn!

 

Goats grazing atop Cheddar Gorge View from Cheddar Gorge across Cheddar Reservoir and beyond Simply Gorgeous Tea Room, Cheddar

 

Unfortunately the viewpoint tower is locked up so it’s down the steps of Jacob’s Ladder and I’m ravenous so I stop in a lovely little cafe – Simply Gorgeous Tea Room – for a veggie brekkie and a couple of rashers of bacon, delish!

 

Wlking along the coast from Kilve, Somerset Flowering meadow on Kilve & Lilstock walk, Somerset ST Andrews deconsecrated church, Lilstock, Somerset

 

Kilve is under an hour away, towards the Somerset coast, just outside Exmoor National Park. The 7 mile circular walk heads off along the coastal clifftops before heading inland towards Lilstock where St Andrew’s church is a tiny little building dating from the 1300s and was deconsecrated in 1980.

 

Narrow lanes around Lilstock, Somerset Looking back towards the coast near Lilstock, Somerset Butterfly in a field near Lilstock, SOmerset

 

I only get slightly lost whilst wandering the narrow lanes in Lilstock before heading up through a couple of fields, the views back towards the coast are fantastic. After Cheddar Gorge in the morning this is an exhausting wander in the afternoon heat and I’m very happy to get to the end with a stop at Chantry Tea Gardens for a well earned ice cream and thirst quenching ginger beer!

 

IMG_4512 IMG_4520 Excellent ginger beer

 

After checking into a B&B, The Rest And Be Thankful Inn (£50, 1nght) in Wheddon Cross – the highest village on Exmoor – I head up onto the moor for a wander and to take in the beautiful surroundings.

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After a cracking cooked brekkie it’s off to Porlock to walk a little of the South West Coast Path. The weather is again fantastic so I can add a bit of sunburn to the sunburn picked up yesterday!

 

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Despite spending nearly 2hrs at the side of the road near Stonehenge after the engine light started flashing and the car started to lose power a nice bloke from the RAC sorted it and I got home about 48hrs after leaving, having covered nearly 500 miles by car and 20 miles hiking – a great weekend!

 

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