This gal has not only been on a break from blogging on here, but also on an actual real life break in the form of a holiday away.

My parents took me and the dogs on a little UK staycation to the glorious Exmoor National Park, whereby a planned relaxing quiet holiday retreat turned into a bit of a mini adventure and exploring week.

Making the most of the fresh air and beautiful landscapes was incredibly welcomed — although perhaps not by old lady rat pig (aka. Amber the Jack Russell aged 14) who needed a few breaks, and lifts, and rest days.

We had the delights of staying at Periton Park, and we made the most of the location that was central but felt in the middle of nowhere after following a country track for 5 mins to the converted barn. The views from the front door, and the pool, made this a place we’d hope to return to

We did somehow manage to lure ourselves away and spend most of our time off site. We managed to visit and walk a lot of ground across Exmoor, so I want to share some of my favourites of our outings.

Literally all but one of these places I have visited before, so I do genuinely recommend them — they are good enough for the Purvis family to return to year after year.

I’ll stop with the rambling, lets get on with the list:

  1. Horner Woods:

Despite Mum’s attempt of a detour and almost getting us lost, we made it to Horner for a gorgeous riverside walk in the oak woodland of Horner Woods.

This is where Padfoot (our 10 month old sprocker spaniel), started to really become a water baby and embrace his true spaniel nature… aka. He did a lot of ‘splooshing‘ about

This walk gives you a lot of options into how long you want to make it, you can carry on to the coast, or do what we did and loop back by crossing the river with the bridge and coming back down the other side. Or if you don’t fancy a long walk, just turn back whenever you fancy, you won’t get bored of the views.

2. Valley of the Rocks

I have somehow never visited this spectacular and dramatic stretch of coastline before but the views were astonishing, despite the grey and gloomy weather.

We only explored for the hour of carparking we paid for, but I could’ve happily stayed all day.

3. Watersmeet

Sadly when we walked there had been a landslip, so our well deserved teas and cakes had to wait until we returned to Lynmouth (which was still incredibly enjoyable; lemon and elderflower cake might be my new fave with a cuppa).

Despite the landslip there were still accessible footpaths to explore and enjoy which made a lovely 2 hour walk

4. Dunster Castle

We have been here more times than we can count, but this is purely because Dunster Castle has the most beautiful National Trust grounds to walk around. You can literally spend HOURS exploring here.

We were unlucky with the weather because this place is truly radiant in the sunshine

5. Williton to Washford and back.

I can’t hyperlink this one quite so easily as this 18km hike walks through multiple towns and train stations along the West Somerset Railway Line.

I was less of a fan of this walk than I had expected to be because it was the most overgrown walk I had ever been on!

As much as I still enjoyed it, I would only ever (and advise you to do the same) do this walk again under the promise the stretch of the Macmillian way footpath we walked had been at least trimmed back a little.

I think the Mineral Line footpath was the only part that didn’t give me scratches and stings — It’s a good job Amber, our 14-year-old Jack Russell, took a rest day with Dad

I think perhaps my Instagram reel from this day might give you a bit more of an insight into how overgrown it was than these images do:

6. Bossington to North Hill to Selworthy, and back to Bossington

This 13km walk did not disappoint. The views, as soon as the cloud started to lift, was mystical.

The sublime-ness of watching cloud lift and disappear over the hills is a moment in nature I always love to witness.

Mum and I began the walk without Dad or the dogs, and met them for lunch at Periwinkle Tea Rooms (my all time favourite spot for afternoon tea) and they then joined us for the more direct and flat route back to Bossington.

Very happy we got to squeeze this walk in.

As you can probably tell, we loved making the most of the chance to adventure over our week away.

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to take a week off work, and enjoy the fresh air, and escape my little hometown. I’ve felt so much better for taking some time off and getting away, perhaps that’s why I now have energy to actually be writing a blog post for you guys again!

I have a few ideas for posts I want to do this month so this isn’t just a one off reappearance: I am back!

Thanks for reading. Let me know in the comments if you guys have any staycations planned!