Following on from yesterday’s post about our family week away at Wheddon Cross, I thought that today I would share a little more about what we managed to get up to last week…
Having settled into The Travellers Rest once we’d arrived on the Friday afternoon we headed up onto the moors to have a look at Dunkery Beacon. At least, that was the plan, but wet weather and lots of low cloud / mist meant that visibility was rather poor. Still, we did manage to get some idea of the promise that the area held!
Saturday morning saw drizzly rain, but we’d decided to head to the coast – and hence lower ground – on the basis that the weather may well be drier and more holiday-friendly than up on the moors. Having picked Saunton Sands we made our way, via my hometown of Barnstaple (and a trip to Tesco), and set up camp near the dunes on the beach.
As the day went on the weather got better and, even though it wasn’t bright sunlight, we were still lovely and warm. The kids had a fantastic time in the sea and the puppy seemed to enjoy her first encounter with the sea too – though leaping up onto the backs on the two youngest kids as they lay in the surf every time a wave came too near her feet! The rescue helicopter was overhead regularly throughout the day – presumably going through training exercises.
Unfortunately, despite the lack of direct sunlight I had managed to succumb to sun stroke necessitating hitting the sack early on Saturday evening.
As a result Sunday morning (and the wet weather that came with it) found me crashed on the sofa catching up on my occasional Sunday morning guilty pleasure – the Hollyoaks omnibus whilst the kids played on their respective gadgets and my wife headed to Tiverton for some supplies.
Later in the day the weather brightened and we took a scenic drive up over Dunkery Beacon and down into Porlock, where we enjoyed a leisurely walk along the pebble beach – another first for the four-legged member of the family.
Monday started dryish, so we headed off to visit Tarr Steps. Having parked we walked down the long pathway to the actual steps, crossed over and took a walk along the west side of the river for a while.
Returning to the Steps we watched, along with a growing band of spectators, as our puppy tried to join in with a larger dog as it’s owner threw stones into the river for it to retrieve. The water was a little deep and fast for our canine, but she gave it a good go and had great fun leaping up at the other dog each time it came back to shore!
Later on a red sky during the evening back at base promised a good day for the following day. Tuesday morning, however, was very wet! We’d arranged to meet number one son (keen to drive his new car down to show off) at my parents’ home and spend some time with our nieces too. We did manage to get a short walk in during a break in the rain but overall it was rather a wet day. Nonetheless, it was good to catch up with the various relatives (not convinced any of them are particularly fond of dogs though as our delightful puppy failed to elicit the usual reactions that she gets most places she goes – oh well!).
Wednesday was MTB day at Winsford for me (which I’ll cover in the coming days). Our daughter really enjoyed a lovely long trek on the moors on a pony from the Exmoor Pony Centre whilst my wife took the two boys and the puppy for a wander on the moors on foot. This was followed later on by a trip to Minehead for a well-earned fish and chips from the Alcombe Fish Bar.
On Thursday we revisited Dunkery Beacon (in dry and clear weather!) to exercise the puppy before heading down to Dunster to explore the small historic town.
A gentle walk up the main street to the castle in shirt-sleeves weather was lovely. Less so was the sudden and unexpected downpour that saw us beating a hasty retreat to the car and heading to Minehead and a decidedly kid-friendly lunch from McDonald’s!
After lunch, during which the weather had returned to hot and sunny, we made our way back along the coast for a visit to Dunster beach where puppy features made the seemingly exciting and tasty discovery of a quite large fish spine(!), the youngest played with his newest vehicular acquisitions (a Subaru and a VW camper van from a Minehead gift shop) and the remaining members of the family managed to achieve some pretty impressive kite flying. Great afternoon had by all.
And that was that, really. Friday morning was filled with packing up and cleaning before hitting the road back to the Forest of Dean and our own beds. A great break away from home and thoroughly enjoyed by all!