Stepping into the historical Dunster village feels like travelling back in time, from medieval knights at the castle to the Victorian splendour of the steam railway. Set within beautiful Exmoor National Park, the village is the perfect base for mini break or longer. As a result it has been very easy to pull together these five places and activities not to miss. Indeed, there are in fact many more!
Dunster – a spellbinding medieval delight
Make the most of the historical high street. In West Street, for instance, you’ll find:
● Chatelaine with quirky antiques
● Made in Dunster with beautiful handmade gifts
● The Castle Coffee House for great cakes
Carry on past the much-photographed Nunnery to the high street with its ancient Yarn Market. This is home to a fascinating history and therefore plenty to discover. Located in the centre of the village, here you can walk to Conygar tower. Alternatively, you can mooch around the lovely independent shops, or stop for refreshments in one of the local cafes. Moreover, for lunch, try the bar at the Luttrell Arms. Alternatively, for a special dinner we recommend the award-winning Reeves Restaurant.
Romp through the ages at Dunster Castle
Romp through interesting and gory ages of English history in this ancient castle. Today’s building combines medieval and Victorian construction. There are, for example, unique leather wall hangings, an amazing carved staircase and spooky stories. If you’re interested in how Victorian staff lived and worked in a house of this scale, take the Attics and Basements tour. Outside, there’s year-round activities for families, pretty gardens to explore, and a working water mill.
Chalets and ice creams at Dunster beach
This is the seaside as it once was. Enjoy the pebble and sand beach lined by cherished beach huts. There are far-reaching views, with the beachfront stretching down towards Minehead and Blue Anchor. As a result, it’s the perfect start (or end) to a lovely coastal walk. However, if you’d prefer, it’s just a great place to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the seaside – with an ice-cream of course.
The beaten and unbeaten tracks of Minehead
There’s a change of pace in Minehead. This is a vibrant town with, for instance, a lovely long sandy beach, a promenade offering a range of attractions, and an interesting harbour. For walkers, the SW Coastal Path starts in Minehead by the huge sculpture of a pair of hands holding a map. It’s a great place for local pubs, many of which are dog friendly. We recommend The Old Ship Aground at the end of the harbour. For tea and cake, try The Apple Tree Tea Rooms and the Creamery. For those dreaming of thatched cottages, find your way to St Michael’s Church and walk down the Church Steps. Let this beautiful and often-ignored part of the town transport you back in time.
Lose yourself in steam on the West Somerset Railway
Go on a steam adventure, and let the kids imagine they are on Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express. The route stops on the way to Bishops Lydeard through beautiful countryside, past unspoilt towns and an expansive coastline, making it an exciting day trip for all ages. The railway runs every day May to September and regularly from February to November.
Where to rest your head?
With so much to see and do, you need a quality base to which you can retreat at the end of your busy days! We’ve got you covered with the delightful Oval cottage, one of our four lovingly restored holiday homes. This 14th century residence will certainly make you feel like you’re holidaying in the authentic local charm of Dunster village. Self-catering, dog-friendly, a lovely courtyard garden, yet with all the modern conveniences in which to indulge – this is a quality getaway indeed!
Find out so many other reasons that make Dunster village and Exmoor Character Cottages such great getaways!