Sunday, 15 September 2019

Minehead, Somerset.

An Edwardian gentleman's home that is now an hotel arrived by email. It really appealed to us, so although I was unsure as to what Minehead itself would be like, the offer was accepted. I knew that there was a holiday camp in the area which admittedly coloured my imagination with thoughts of fruit machines, candy-floss, hotdogs, and funfairs. However, I was completely wrong. Minehead offers traditional seaside holidays, but it is also on the edge of Exmoor with its beautiful moorlands, spectacular scenery, and freely roaming ponies. 
The principal station for the West Somerset Steam Railway is in Minehead which today still retains the longest steam rail system remaining in this country. In 1925 the Maharaja of Jodhpur visited Minehead following an invitation from the Luttrell family of
Dunster Castle.  Although they hosted several matches for him on their polo lawns, they hadn't realised that he would turn up with his entire 'crack' polo team together with 62 polo ponies. These all arrived on a train that had to be specially adapted in order to accommodate them.

"Hey! What's going on down there"?
Along the main sea front, Old Minehead has lots of charm, with its quaint cottages and harbour.
The South West Coastal Path starts at Minehead harbour, and these pavement shells are there to guide you on your travels. The path is 630 miles long, being the longest National Trail in this country, and if you walk it, you will eventually end up in Poole, Dorset.
The cottages all nestle up against the heavily wooded steep cliffs.
This one amused us, as it appears to need a ladder to gain access to the garden!
There are several little pathways leading up and across the cliffs which have some very large, but interesting Edwardian properties that are scattered amongst the trees.
Before climbing back up the cliffs for our evening meal, the tented complex seen across the bay reveals the holiday camp, which actually appears to be quite an interesting structure.

41 comments:

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    1. We certainly drove across the Quantocks on the way.

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    2. I think you must have driven around them. They are wonderful - all oak and fast-running streams.

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  2. Oh, I love Minehead and such stunning photos! I didn't know about the visiting Maharajah! When we lived in Taunton, Minehead was a regular weekend outing with Watchet and Blue Anchor along the way. We'd sometimes get on the steam train at Bishop's Lydeard, just outside Taunton, to Minehead. Happy days! Best, Jane x

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    1. I am pleased that this rekindled memories for you Jane - Minehead is definitely somewhere that I would happily return to again.

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  3. A lovely visit, and incredibly detailed beautiful photos.

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    1. Thank you Barbara - glad that you enjoyed the photos.

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  4. A very pretty place with colourful flowers and seaside cottages. The view over Exmoor took my breath away! No doubt you enjoyed walking some of the South West Coastal Path.
    Betty

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    1. It was lovely to be on Exmoor, the sun was bright, the day hot, and the ponies were not at all bothered when we ventured near.

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  5. Love these photos of Minehead - and the dog in the window is precious!
    I was there several times as a child, usually on coach trips which included Lynton and Lynmouth. Exmoor is beautiful - almost as lovely as Dartmoor!
    The hotel looks magnificent and I would definitely pick that over the holiday camp! I didn't even know the 'holiday camps' of my childhood still existed in the UK - still Butlins and Pontins?

    Have walked part way (short distances) on the Southwest Path - all along the Devon coast. Such a beautiful way to enjoy the coastal scenery.

    As for bringing one's horses in such a large number, can't imagine how the stable hands managed at the castle. . . . poor things!

    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Next post Lynton and Lynmouth. Loved the hotel it oozed Edwardian character inside, and we really enjoyed the whole ambience of the place. If they send me another offer then we shall return. Yes, the camp is a Butlins, it is amazing that they are still around. I think my view of them was highly coloured by mother as a child - she thought they were awful!!

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  6. What a gorgeous place to visit. Your photos are beautiful! I love the hill garden. I can't imagine the effort it would be to plant and care for that.

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    1. What about the washing too!!! - I noticed that she had a drying whirligig just to the left of the ladder. Hope all is well with you Catherine.

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  7. So beautiful! I'd love to visit there. Such a cute picture of the German Shepherd. Happy Sunday, Rosemary.

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    1. He was really inquisitive dog looking down on everyone, and I liked the way that the roof thatch framed him too.

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  8. A perfect place to stay and I’m sure you were tempted by the coastal path. Love the photos especially the one of the moors with purple heather. Stunning. B x

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    1. Sadly the heather was not at its very best, it was already starting to go over.

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  9. Beautiful views- and such a cute doggie!

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    1. The dog was very interested in everything that was going on, but mainly I think he had his eye on two other dogs walking along the promenade.

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  10. Hello Rosemary, While admiring Minehead's dramatic scenery, I kept wondering where the mine was. It turns out that the name comes from the Welsh word for mountain, at least according to Wikipedia.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - to my knowledge there are no mines or ever have been in Minehead. However, Somerset and Devon have traditionally had plenty of small mines in the past - mostly for extracting lead, tungsten, manganese, zinc, and even gold.
      The influence of the Welsh language would be because as the crow flies it is only 12 miles away across The Bristol Channel.

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  11. It's an area I know really well as I used to lead walks for HF Holidays at Holnicote House near Selworthy when I was a walks leader for them between 1991 and 2005. I'm glad you had such good weather for your stay as I think that Exmoor is the prettiest of all our National Parks.

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    1. The colours on Exmoor were lovely - caught them in time as the heather was just beginning to go over. That sounds as if you had a nice job with HF Holidays.

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  12. Dearest Rosemary,
    Minehead proves to be a very special location with so much to see and visit.
    LOVE your photo with the dog, looking out of the open window, as if he/she is talking...
    And the other photos are lovely too.
    How unique for having free roaming ponies!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - Exmoor Ponies are a unique breed that have evolved over thousands of years to live on the open moorland with the minimum intervention from man.
      Yes, that dog made us smile, he was filled with curiosity and eager to see just what was happening below him.

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  13. Minehead looks delightful. The lady with the ladder must be a really keen gardener. The washing should dry well up there but it looks a bit difficult to take up and down. Lovely photos.

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    1. I hope that she is young - scrambling up there with a load of washing would be very difficult.

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  14. We visited Minehead a few years ago but only had time for a short walk on the beach. We spent most of our day in Dunster and Dunster Castle. I really loved Dunster. It's really pretty.

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    1. I have seen the signpost for Minehead many times but never stayed or visited before. I too love Dunster - such a quaint interesting medieval town with the great castle.

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  15. Such lovely photos that clearly show the beauty of Minehead and the surroundings, I'm sure you must have enjoyed your stay very much.

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    1. It was a lovely break, but then we headed off to Devon for the rest of our stay.

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  16. It's a brilliant place. Where I started the Devon and Cornwall Coastal Path as it was then... though I cheated after the first week and skipped to the best bits as I was pushed for time. A lovely coastline and great inland district as well. Nice house.

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    1. I should imagine that to walk the whole of the SW coastal path it must take at least two weeks even for a good efficient walker.

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  17. What a lovely visit, Rosemary! You seem to be attracted by the cottages with gardens situated on the steep sloping land including cliffs. I think I remember you introduced such houses with gardens on this blog. The ladder to the upper garden made me smile. I’m returning to blogging feeling nice in gradual cooling, liberated from the tropical summer with oppressive humidity. Wish you a wonderful week.

    Yoko

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    1. Hello Yoko - it is lovely to see you back again and thank you for visiting. Continual oppressive humidity is very debilitating so I can imagine how pleased you feel to have cooler weather again. Here we seem to be enjoying what we call an "Indian Summer" it is really very pleasant - lots of blue skies, fluffy clouds, sunshine, but not too hot.

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  18. Gorgeous photos Rosemary. I couldn't trust my dogs at a window like that! How on earth would you get the washing up to that rotary drier?

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    1. I guess that it must be someone with a young fit spouse but if someone had been around I would definitely have asked them!!

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