walking somerset

Yearnor Mill B&B Porlock U.K.  Exmoor Walking Riding and Cycling
Yearnor Mill
walking somerset
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Going walking somerset is a rewarding experience. There are many, many different walks to choose from, but, for example, you could walk through the Ebbor Gorge, which is two and half miles north-west of Wells, east of the A371. During this experience of walking somerset, you will explore Ebbor, which is arguably the loveliest and most unspoilt ravine in the Mendips. The Gorge is smaller than its famous neighbour Cheddar Gorge, of which the Trust also owns a part, and it is less spectacular than the extraordinary caverns and grottoes of Wookey Hole to the north, but it will always appeal more than either to true lovers of landscape walking somerset. No road leads up the valley, only a path snaking up the narrow, secret gorge, which lies mysterious under a ceiling of luscious green branches. A mile’s scramble up the rocky cleft brings the persevering Somerset walker to the top of the lonely Mendip plateau by Higher Pitts farm, where all around break magnificent views of Somerset and the distant hills of Dorset. The very old and the very new mingle here: an enormous television mast now stands on Pen Hill among rings and tumuli of prehistoric rites and burials, dominating the view to the east. This area was thickly populated in the first eras of human civilization, and its inhabitants were particularly advanced. These days it is only accessed by those walking somerset. In Bridged Pot Shelter at the end of the Gorge was found a superb axe, of highly polished green stone, which is now in the Wells Museum, and other caverns have yielded remains of the early Stone Age huntsmen who once lived in them. In 1967, the 116 acres of woodland, including the Gorge itself, were leased to the Nature Conservancy and declared a national nature reserve, especially suited to walking somerset. To protect the interest of the woodland, all visitors are asked to keep to footpaths at all times.

Alternatively, walking somerset could lead you to a different scene altogether, with a walk at exmoor, at the Holnicote Estate, south east of Porlock. It is less wild than Dartmoor, but perhaps even more beautiful, and it has a unique atmosphere. Its loneliness is exhilarating rather than depressing, and its history is always alive in the cairns and barrows on its heights, and the weathered stone farmhouses and packhorse bridges in the folds of its valleys. Almost 7000 acres of it are preserved by the Trust from the cultivation which at one time threatened to destroy its character. First, just to the east of Porlock come Selworthy Beacon and Bossington Hill, jutting out into the Briston Channel, over four miles of cliff coastline looking one way over the crescent shingle beach of Porlock Bay, perfect for walking somerset, the other way towards Minehead and the fertile marshes round Dunster. Across the channel itself, ploughed by the white wakes of tramp steamers, can be seen St Donat’s and the Glamorgan coast. Above the village of Selworthy is Bury Castle, the remains of a large Iron Age hill fort. Both at Selworthy, and at Bossington, Allerford and Luccombe, most of the thatched cottages – porches covered in roses in the summer, gardens crowded with sweet William, hollyhocks and delphiniums – also belong to the Trust through the gift of the Acland family. walking somerset can also take you to the Holnicote Estate and Dunkery Hill to the south of Porlock, which can be properly called the heart of exmoor. Here lucky walkers will spot wild ponies grazing the moorland, and sometimes a red deer can be seen silhouetted against the horizon.

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