EXMOOR in winter can be quite challenging - we decided to have a short break in the lovely Simonsbath Inn, just after New Year and it was wonderful.
On the evening that we arrived we had enough time to venture out before it got dark, however the weather really closed in with driving rain and strong winds. As the night descended it was both exhilarating and challenging. We were well clothed and knew where we were, roughly, so made it back to the warmth of the Inn ready for a pick me up.
The next day we did the same walk in full and this time the weather was sparkling. It took in rough pastures and moorland, with many walls, copses and landscape features.
|Derelict layed hedges|
Along the valley there is a iron age hill fort - the low sun really caught the contours well.
Ponies are a feature of this ancient landscape - they seem to have a real wildness to their character.
In the valley the river carves a winding path - a beautiful arched bridge provides one of the few local crossings. We drove over this bridge on the third day of our stay, but the weather was too awful to get out of the car!
Having negotiated our way around the local hunt along a very narrow, single track lane, we were able to park up and walk to the famous Tarr Steps. The previous few days rains had pushed the river levels up - a log had worked its way down river and banged into the bridge. One or two of the huge stones had shifted.
An excellent interpretation board (of you like that sort of thing) explained the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon.
Wonderful and amazing - will definitely go back and sip some more local ale.