Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Somerset break Part 1

We were lucky enough to be able to have a week away at the end of October in one of our favourite locations. We stayed at The Langbury at Blue Anchor (you might remember that we stayed in the B&B in March but this time we stayed in the self-catering Garden Lodge. We stayed here last October and loved it so much we booked a repeat visit this year (we have already booked again for next year too)! 

We drove down to Somerset through heavy rain so it didn't look a promising start weather wise.  We arrived at Dunster Beach to grey skies but by the time we drove around to Blue Anchor the sun had come out. We had our usual lovely welcome from Nigel and Paula at The Langbury (Paula's lemon drizzle cake is the best) and then we settled into the Lodge before walking down to the beach.

Dunster Beach looking across to Blue Anchor and beyond

Blue Anchor looking back towards Minehead

Fishing is a popular occupation here in late afternoon/early evening

Blue Anchor beach looking east

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day so we headed to Kilve to undertake a circular walk. Kilve is one of our all-time favourite places for walking, an idyllic spot. We started our walk by walking up onto the cliff path and along the top where you can look down on the amazing beach with its shale pavements.

You can see the remains of an oil retort built when it was discovered that the shale found in the cliffs was rich in oil

View from the start of the cliff path looking east

I love the caption on this bench (it certainly is a wonderful world here)

Looking west to Minehead in the distance (you can see the strata that is embedded with fossils)

A great beach for rock pooling and finding fossils

We love walking along this cliff path towards Quantocks Head

A bit windswept but very happy to be back in one of my favourite places

We then turned inland towards the village of East Quantoxhead.

Looking inland with the Quantock Hills in the background

Looking back towards the coast

I love the rich red soil found in this part of the country

The village of East Quantoxhead, a picturesque little village

and onwards across the fields to Kilve village

Having left the village of East Quantoxhead we walked through the fields to Kilve Village where we enjoyed a welcome drink in the Hood Arms before walking back along Sea Lane to The Chantry. The Chantry was founded in 1329 when a brotherhood of five monks were employed there but fell into a ruin long before the dissolution of the monasteries although the building stayed in use for many years, possibly by smugglers, until a fire in 1848 caused by an attempt to destroy evidence of contraband brandy. It now houses a delightful outdoor tearoom where we enjoyed some lovely cheese and pickle sandwiches.

Lovely roses climbing up the old walls of The Chantry

This is now a Grade II listed building and a scheduled ancient monument listed on the Heritage at Risk register

We enjoyed watching the birds flitting in and out of gaps in the old stonework

This was a most enjoyable walk that we found in a book loaned to us by Paula and Nigel. 

On Monday we drove to Horner for a walk in the woods. A lovely area, however the path is not the easiest, the surface is very stony and uneven so you really have to watch where you are placing your feet to avoid twisting your ankles.  The Autumn colours were spectacular though as we gradually climbed up beside Horner Water as it tumbled down over its rock bed.

We enjoyed spotting dippers and grey wagtails hopping from rock to rock in the river although they didn't stay still long enough for me to get a photo of them. I enjoyed the walk despite the unevenness of the path, my DH less so! 

Tuesday dawned dull and misty. I went for an early morning walk on the beach where North Hill in Minehead was only just visible through the murk. 

DH had surfaced by the time I returned and by the time we had finished our breakfast it was raining hard so we decided riding the steam train on the West Somerset railway was the best option. Blue Anchor Station is only a stone's throw from where we were staying so we didn't get too wet making our way there. We travelled up the line as far as Williton where we hopped off and crossed the line to catch the down train to Minehead.

By the time we reached Minehead the rain had lessened so after lunch we had time for a walk on the beach before catching the train back.

On our return journey I decided to hop off the train at Blue Anchor, because of the weather lots of people had had the same idea and the train was noisy and crowded. DH was happy to travel onwards to Bishops Lydeard and back while I had a quick walk along the beach and then enjoyed a welcome mug of coffee in the Driftwood before returning to the Garden Lodge to spend the rest of the afternoon crocheting on my Autumn corner to corner throw.

The top of North Hill obscured by the cloud

The lovely Driftwood, they serve excellent coffee

Loving the colours on my Autumn throw

Once DH had returned we drove to Washford where we enjoyed a superb meal in the White Horse, we would definitely be returning here later in the week.

Part two of our Somerset break will be following shortly.


  1. We live not far from Kilve and your wonderful photos illustrate why we love it here so much.

  2. We stayed in a cottage in a village behind Walditch twenty years ago, you pictures have reminded me that we should revisit this area again. Sarah x