Exmoor National Park – and other places in Somerset/Devon

We recently had a week in a small, 2 person barn conversion inside the Exmoor National Park. It was our first visit and we were not disappointed. The first challenge was finding the accomodation, but for once the SatNav took us straight to it (a bit hairy in places, with the sides of the road touching both wing mirrors!). The view from the cottage was worth it..

The nearest village was Dulverton, the main commercial point in the south of the park…here’s the ‘Square’

and the bridge by the ‘Bridge Inn’.

DSC_0037Dulverton proved to be a great place to base ourselves. We took our dog – EVERYWHERE seemed to be dog friends – pubs, shops and restaurants. They were very clued up on the requirements of a Coeliac (me) for eating Gluten Free – always eager to adapt as much as possible.

There were free-roaming exmoor ponies as well as red deer – these were taken from the cottage one evening…

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There are lots of quirky places along the North Somerset Coast – Porlock Weir was a favourite

DSCN1539Although we had typical british summer weather (rain and sun in equal amounts) we did manage to climb to the top of Dunkery Beacon.. the view was spectacular (the beacon is a little over 1700 feet above sea level) but actually an easy walk from the car on the road – a round trip of about 1 and a half miles… The view across the Bristol Channel was spectacular you almost feel you could reach up and touch the clouds…

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We also visited Tarr Steps – a prehistoric Clapper-Style bridge – recently rebuilt after suffering flood damage..

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We also ventured over the border into Devon for a day and visited Ilfracombe and Combe Martin – both very interesting. In Ilfracombe they have the strangest (in my opinion) statue on the Harbour Wall (see Below)…

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The statue is called Verity and is a piece by the artist, Damien Hirst who lives in Ilfracombe and is on loan to the town for 20 years. From one side the statue is a pregnant nude woman holding aloft a sword. From the other, the skin is peeled back to show the skull etc. Certainly a discussion point.

It was a great week and there was still more to see. I hope this has given a flavour… thanks for reading.

More than 3 months since my last post? Where did THAT go?

I’m sure as I get older time passes more quickly. I wouldnt have believed that 3 months had passed since my last post on here. What a busy 3 months its been. A short update (there’ll be a longer post later as I catchup post my trip to Exmoor!).

Learning to ride a motorbike – well in hand now. I am about 50% of the way through the process of getting a full motorbike licence in the UK. I passed the first twp stages in February and March, bought a bike and have been clocking up the roadmiles to gain some experience. I’m now ready to move up from the training bike I bought and have a couple of lessons on a bigger bike before I take the two part full licence test (its surprising how quickly I have adapted to the tendency of car drivers to try and kill me when I am out and about).

The Gluten Free Shop – I’ve been doing some research but honestly, with the growth of the availability of Gluten Free products in the mainstream Supermarkets, plus the set up costs means that its unlikley I will open a shop as I had originally envisaged. Its not dead completely,  just looking for a niche!

Technology Consulting – A slow start, but things are developing nicely now with 2 or 3 small projects on the horizon.

Thanks for reading…

Oops almost forgot (prompted by my photo on the header page of my Blog). After an absence of 5 years (for a variety of reasons) I am finally getting back to doing the Lyke Wake Walk. I will be walking overnight Friday 19th/Saturday 20th June. I’ll try and keep anyone thats interested via Twitter (you can find me as @thedirger).