Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Southwest Dave's Southwest trip. [UK version]

    I thought I would awake this sleepy corner of RTA once more.

    Recently we took a little trip to one of our favourite spots in the UK, coastal Somerset and parts of Devon. This area is classed as the start of the Southwest region, although to get there from the south coast of England, we first have to head Northwest. So we have packed and chosen our choice of road trip vehicle from a possible four. [Well the wife has a handbag collection lol] We decide on the VW passat V6 syncro, smooth, powerful and 4WD, ideal for those hills we will encounter !

    July 6 2011.

    We leave home at 6am before the traffic builds at various points along the way, namely, Chichester, the M27 around Portsmouth, Southampton and on the A36 into Salisbury. [Home of the famous cathedral]. Once we are the other side of Salisbury it is open road and we soon stop on the A303 west at one of our favorite roadside Cafe vans. [If they are popular and busy with truckers, they are gonna be good.] We continue on the 303 until we take a short cut through Langport and cross over the M5 into Bridgewater. This is where the holiday begins for me, as we cross the M5 it is the last time we will see a motorway, or be near one, until the return journey home. It's country roads all the way now !!

    We arrive at the campground located at St Audries bay near to Watchet harbour at around 9.30am, covering 165 miles in 3.5 hours from when we left home. We always use the same place when in this area and have gained many friends over the years. It's a 'little slice of heaven,' hidden away in a secluded bay with only one lane in and out. So it's time to set up camp. Get the trailer level, pull it open, put in small joining bar and then pull open like a pram canopy, peg down and hey presto !

    somerset 2008 329.jpg somerset 2008 326.jpg somerset 2008 325.jpg DSCF0005.jpg

    Those eagle eyed amongst you will notice there is no tow bar on the vehicle. We actually leave our trailer tent here with the owners to store.

    After we set up it's time to head out for supplies in the town of Minehead.

    [Throughout the report, I will use some photos' from previous trips to depict where we went this time. At times I had no camera [because I have so many pics of certain areas, and at other times the library photo is better ! [Got to do the place justice].
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-24-2011 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Location reference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Selworthy Beacon.

    July 6 cont.......

    We enjoy the views of the Quantock hills and coast as we make our way along the country lanes to Minehead and after stocking up, we decide to take a drive out of town and up the steep twisty road to North hill to enjoy more coastal views from Selworthy beacon. These are just one of a few reasons why we come back time after time, it's a breath of fresh air !

    DSCF1891.jpg DSCF1893.jpg DSCF1904.jpg

    We return to the campground and light up the BBQ before wandering down to the 'Stable bar' to meet with old friends and have a beer . [Or two !]. On the way we are treated to a lovely sunset over the Bristol channel.

    somerset 2008 106.jpg DSCF1910.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Dunster,

    July 7th

    This morning is a little overcast and we spend some time wandering around the very scenic farmland on which the campsite is based. Originally it was an old Somerset working farm, sheltered by The 'rolling' Quantock hills and set atop a cliff overlooking the Bristol channel to the South coast of Wales with a [not sandy] secluded beach below. What is now the 'Stable bar' used to be the milking sheds from where they use to deliver milk to neighbouring villages. After a stroll high up on the hill and back down past the duck ponds we had lunch back at the tent before deciding what to do next.

    This afternoon we head for the old Yarn market town of Dunster, the gateway to Exmoor NP. With it's castle towering high on the hill above the wonderful old cottages, Inns, churches, gardens and Nunnery, plus the 15th century 'Gallox bridge' over the river, making this a popular attraction. Steeped in history the town is listed in the Domesday book and dated back as early as 1086. The 17th century Yarn market was an important centre for the local wool trade

    DSCF0028.jpg DSCF0051.jpg DSCF0072.jpg DSCF3063.jpg DSCF3059.jpg

    Time to head back for an evening meal and to the bar for some more beer, eerrr..., I mean to find some more familiar faces.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Enjoying the photos

    Dave,

    I'm enjoying the field reports and hope that one day soon, I'll be able to see some of these places in person. ("Soon" being rather a vague and undetermined period of time...)

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Thanks.

    Mark.

    Take away it's [very] unpredictable weather and high living costs and the UK really is a wonderful place for any visitor. Having travelled almost every part of the UK, I am always happy to offer tips to any visitors from overseas.

    Dave.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default The city of Wells.

    July 8

    This morning we get a call from friends who are weekend camping in Cheddar Gorge [famous for it's caves and another place we love to visit] so we decide to meet up in Wells. Wells is the smallest city in England and the only one in Somerset. Although it means a drive back over the M5 to get there, I am more than happy to do so and once again visit one of Englands finest buildings, Wells cathedral. It's a remarkble little City set in countryside at the southern end of the Mendip hills where they meet the Somerset levels.

    We meet with our friends for lunch and then take a walk around the City. First stop is at the Bishops palace, home to the Bishop's of Bath and Wells for over 800 years. Visitors can explore parts of the Bishops palace including the large gardens that contains the springs that gave the city it's name. Surrounded by a moat that contains 4 million gallons of water supplied from St Andrews spring, you can cross the bridge at the gatehouse that dates from 1341. If you here a bell ring, it will be one of the swans pulling on the cord to demand food !

    somerset 2008 347.jpg somerset 2008 349.jpg

    Next up we walk through the Arch and there it is, Wells cathedral in all it's glory. With the large grrass area at the front and no roads with heavy traffic nearby, it really is an imposing site when you step back and tak it all in.

    The west front with it's 300 statues set among the pillars was completed around 1250 and the cathedral clock is the second oldest in England and third oldest in the world. The appointed 'clock keeper' was responsible for winding the clock by hand and the last of these keepers retired in 2010 and was replaced with an electric motor, ending the 630 years of winding by hand. The clock has another 'face' inside the cathedral which is quite fascinating. The architecture inside is unbelievably wonderful as well, a true gem that in my opinion competes at the highest level of buildings in London and Paris that I have witnessed when all is considered.

    somerset 2008 357.jpg somerset 2008 366.jpg

    We await the knights of the clock to ring the bell with their hammers on the quarter hour to the sound of violins, trumpet and base in the background that is coming from the Wells cathedral music school. The school was founded in 909. We continue our wander under Vicars Arch to Vicars close, claimed to be the oldest and intact residential street in Europe.

    somerset 2008 363.jpg

    We say our goodbyes and make our way back to the campground, but first a quick stop in Glastonbury.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The English Countryside....

    OR

    The love of field and coppice,
    Of green and shaded lanes.
    Of ordered woods and gardens
    Is running in your veins.
    (from the 1st verse of Dorothea MacKellar's 'My Country'.)

    Been watching Escape to the Country, 2008 season, to see if any of the places you mention come up. Not recognised any of them so far. Great trip, love reading it. But why are your pictures so little?'

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    Thanks Lifey, nice poem by the way.

    The new tool bar lets you upload direct from the computer as an attachment. You can click on them for a slightly bigger version. I have been having some issues displaying them the 'old fashion way,' but that's another story.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Glastonbury.

    July 8th

    Glastonbury attracts visitors from all over Europe, [and beyond no doubt] mainly for it's Mythology and it's connections to Avalon, King Arthur and the Holy Grail, plus the Glastonbury festival as everyone refers to it from out of town. Those that live there regard it as the 'Pilton' festival, as that is where it takes place on a farm a few miles from town. The festival draws tens of thousands of people to the town as well as many famous artists who perform there. Shop keepers like to brag of who they have supplied their wares too !

    The remains of Glastonbury Abbey are claimed to be that of the oldest christian church in the world. It was the monk's of the Abbey who supposedly discovered King Arthur and Guinevere's remains in 1191, under a large Tablet enscribed ''Here lies buried the renowned King Arthur in the Isle of Avalon'. The monk's were reportedly desperate for funds at the time and 'Arthur' fever was sweeping the country, I will leave you to work that out.

    We wander around the shops looking at all the Crystal emporiums, the herbal and crystal remedies, book shops that are stocked with books to heal just about anything, for casting spells and stories of the Isle of Avalon, King Arthur and the Holy Grail. A lot of the shops are run by witches or Pixies [pointy ears included] and the scents from candles and joss sticks are quite over powering !! The town is overun with 'new age' travellers, Hippies from a bygone era, Druids and 'witches' roam the streets. They have been drawn here for it's links to 'Leylines' and high energy fields associated with the town. In case you think I have gone mad, no it's not something I believe in, but it's a great town for 'people watching' and the atmosphere is vibrant.

    High up on the hill is Glastonbury Tor and the remains of a church tower that has been linked with the Isle of Avalon where below is the 'Chalice well' that has reportedly been flowing for 65 million years and formed the land around it. After a cup of tea and a nice walk we make our way back to the tent along the A39.

    somerset 2008 333.jpg somerset 2008 340.jpg somerset 2008 338.jpg
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 07-30-2011 at 04:52 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Lakes, Villages and Moors.

    July 9th]

    Today we took a small circular tour through the Brendon hills to Wimbleball lake to Exebridge and back up through the Exe valley to Wheddon cross and to Exmoor over Dunkery beacon, the moors highest point.

    First we visit the local town of Watchet harbour to get some supplies for the day. Watchet has connections to the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who's famous poem 'The Ancient Mariner' was inspired by his visit to these parts. The famous verse; "The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free; " is written on one of the boat sheds. On the small promenade, a statue of the Ancient Mariner, complete with Albatross has been erected. Watchet also has a train station on the West Somerset railway line which is the longest heritage line in the country. As you walk along the prom you can here the whistle and 'chuff' of the train, before the steam engine comes into view on the hill above you.

    somerset 009.jpg

    We leave town and head south to Raleighs cross and to Wimbleball lake where we have a stroll around this tranquil place nestled on the edge of Exmoor. The blue waters against the back drop of rolling green hills while the fisherman sit patiently in their boat for a Trout to oblige makes a wonderful setting. We continue our journey south towards Exebridge before heading north through the lovely Exe valley and alongside the northern section of the river Exe. This road is an absolute beauty to drive with narrow twisty sections, dips and crests and long sweeping bends through wonderful scenery, it never fails to put a smile on my face !

    As we arrive at Wheddon cross we detour over the highest point on Exmoor, Dunkery beacon and stop to take in the wonderful views of the moors and sea views and have a walk before continuing down into the village of Luccombe. As we descend to the A39 we head to the wonderful village of Selworthy green. This is the epitomy of an English village with it's quaint thatched roofed cottages and wonderful church with expansive views over the countryside. The village green cottages belong to the Holnicote estate and are all painted yellow.

    It's time to make our way back to the campground for an evening meal and yet another visit to the bar !

    DSCF3041.jpg DSCF1729.jpg DSCF1731.jpg DSCF3072.jpg
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 07-30-2011 at 11:39 PM. Reason: trying to unravel the not-logged in mystery on the photos

Similar Threads

  1. Southwest Dave's Fall, 2009 Colorado Adventure
    By Southwest Dave in forum RoadTrip Costs and Research
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-22-2010, 01:12 PM
  2. Southwest USA trip
    By Jan in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-29-2009, 09:04 AM
  3. Southwest Trip - Asking for help
    By sinobrazilian in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-29-2008, 07:56 AM
  4. Southwest Trip
    By BPA in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-29-2006, 07:06 AM
  5. Southwest Trip
    By radiogareth in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-12-2006, 01:31 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES