To give you a quick run down, at the beginning of last week my ankle gave out on some uneven pavement and I fell over and smashed up my knee so I’ve been hobbling around recently. Of course before I went, I thought it wouldn’t bode well for the camping trip I had planned with Mum. Admittedly we did have to abandon the long hikes but we still had some slow paced and gentle adventures. So instead: Our weekend away involved a lot tea room and national trust visits.
So here is a whistlestop tour of what we got up to. I have also included travel time and pricing information and website links just in case you are interested and fancy a visit.
We arrived on Friday evening at our favourite campsite in Minehead on North Hill, and were supervised by the woof who made her self comfy in her perch spot in the boot whilst we were putting up the tent.
Once we were all moved in we tried to chase the sunset at the top of north hill but bit it was a bit too cloudy to see anything special, so we had a short dog walk and went back to the tent to finish the evening off with a glass (well small plastic cup) of well deserved pimms
Saturday morning was thankfully an early rise so that we could get lots of things done in the day. We started off by travelling to the furthest point that day: Lynmouth which was about a 40 minute, very scenic, drive. Don’t forget your change for parking if you do go, we paid £3.30 for 3 hours which was the perfect amount of time.
From Lynmouth we caught the Cliff Railway up to Lynton which is the world’s steepest water powered railway. It only cost £3.90 for a return adult. The dog was very inquisitive about the railway as you can see from the video:
At the top we had a little brunch snack, where I had the best toasted tea cake, and a little wander at the top and… mum enjoyed bullying the dog
Next we travelled to Bossington which is one of my fave places in Exmoor for the simple reason of its very nostalgic for me. I have many childhood memories of walks with my Grandparents round here and playing in the stream, on this ocassion it was only the dog who went in this time. This was about a half an hour drive from Lynmouth but if you are coming from Minehead its only 20 mins.
After we stopped for lunch in the lovely ‘Kitnors’ tea garden opposite the car park (which is a national trust one so great for if your like us and have a national trust membership as it makes it free to park!)
Unfortunately after enjoying some lunch and doing a spot of reading there the wind picked up blowing all the parasols around and then the rain came…. so we hid in the car to finish our chapters!
From there we went to Selworthy which like Bossington is another memorable place (and again has free parking for NT members).
You can actually do a walk between the two which from memory only an hours walk but as I was injured the walk wasn’t on the cards for us, we instead drove which took roughly 10 mins (from Minehead its a 15 min drive or you can walk from the campsite we were staying at which is around a 1 hr 30 min walk). While we were there we had a little nosey round the garden, in the national trust shop, and of course stopped in the ‘Selworthy tea rooms’ for a cuppa and a slice of cake – I highly recommend the chocolate cake!
We then decided that it was time for a walk so we went back up to north hill. To shorten the distance for my broken body Mum kicked me out of the car at the memorial site at the bottom of the footpath with the dog and parked the car in the free car park while I waited for her to walk back and join me
It was only a short half an hour walk (and only took that long because of my little pathetic hobble) where we walked up to the beacon and along the top public bridleway footpath back down to the North Hill car park
Then we went back to the campsite and ordered a takeaway pizza which we were very lucky with as Dad joined us after spending his usual Saturday at Williton train station. Unsurprisingly to those who know my Dad, he went home and took the dog with him after as he is not a camping fan- we were surprised he stayed as long as he did!
Sunday morning we made a quick job of packing up the tent and parked the car with all the stuff down in Minehead. We then had a short walk to the train station to catch the West Somerset Railway train to Dunster which was £6 adult return.
From Dunster station we walked about 20 mins to the castle which I actually didn’t remember much about considering the amount of times I went as a child. If you don’t fancy the train there is parking there which is free to NT members as is admission to the castle (if you aren’t a member I think it’s about £15 entry)
We started in the gardens which were beautiful but it was very hilly as they are scattered all over the hill (funnily enough). I’ve deffo gained some big garden dreams now for when I have my own place with a garden (in many many years from now obvs- but a girl can dream)
To rest my ankle we then stopped off in, you guessed it, another tea room: ‘Water Mill tea room’
It’s pressumably called the water mill because it has this right by it:
Then we continued on round Dunster castle. We were there for probably around 2-3 hours in total
Afterwards we grabbed some lunch at ‘Dunster Cafe: Victorian tearooms’ where I had the best beans on toast I’ve ever had! It was soooo good! Looking at this photo just makes me want to have it again!
We then rushed back off the beaten track to catch the next train back to Minehead which my ankle did not appreciate… I would deffo recommend taking the road and giving yourself more time if you are injured like me. Thankfully we made it on time making it worth it!
From Minehead we drove 30 mins to Nether Stowey where we went round Coleridge cottage (again NT so free entry and parking for us).
The English student nerd deffo came out in me and I very much enjoyed that the fact that the pub across the road was named after his most famous poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
If you are a lover of poetry or Coleridge or Romanticism or literature, this place is so cool and well worth the visit. The staff there were dressed time period appropriately which added to the atmosphere
All in all, despite being injured it was a lovely weekend away camping. I may have over done the walking a bit and probably should’ve cut out the walk from the train station to the castle but I really wanted to get the train!
Let me know if you have been to any of these places or are planning to. If you have any questions about info I have missed out please drop me a message in the comments and I’ll be happy to help. I’d deffo recommend getting a NT card if you do go, they are a godsend.