Exmoor Ponies and Medieval Villages || Exploring Dunster, Somerset

We didn’t have a plan, I just told him I wanted to see the Exmoor Ponies. You see, I have grown up in Devon my whole life, but I have very little experience of Exmoor. When I was young, I thought it was just a big hilly place that you could see in the far distance. My only association with Exmoor is when it is cold, and people would say how it had snowed on Exmoor. They’d say, if you squinted really hard, you could see the snow-covered hills.

Now I am older and want to explore more of my home, I have realised it’s an absolute crime to have dismissed Exmoor for so long. One of two national parks in Devon (the other being Dartmoor, in the South), it is abundant with beautiful walks, coastal towns and picture-perfect villages, not to mention wildlife. The Exmoor Ponies, are of course the stars here, wildly roaming across the whole park.

We started our Exmoor adventure on the hunt for ponies, driving around the moors and crossing the border into Somerset.  We reached the highest point, Dunkery Beacon, but it was far too cold for a jaunt along the highest point in Somerset though. After a quick look at the map, we saw Dunster wans’t too far away, a beautiful medieval village complete with a fairytale castle.

Dunster Castle is free to enter for National Trust members, but if you are not a member you can still visit for a fee. We had a little wonder around the gardens, walked to the beautiful water mill and followed up with a walk through the postcard-worthy village. We arrived late afternoon so, as most people had gone home for the day, it was blissfully peaceful. I am eager to return in the Spring when I imagine the village comes alive with fresh flowers and glorious sunshine.

We took the scenic route home, spotting more ponies and the most gorgeous view over Lynmouth. It’s days like these when Devon spoils me with its beauty, that I feel so incredibly lucky to be living where I do.

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