Do, do, do, do, do you remember? It was the year 2009. It was the year that Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the USA. It was the year that saw the hitherto longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century (over 6⅔ minutes over parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean). It was the year that Helen Rundall arranged a very nice CLOG Away-Break to Minehead - a visit we all thoroughly enjoyed.
Some of us scaled Dunkery Beacon which, at 519 m, is the highest point on Exmoor, and in Somerset. From here we had a great all-round view of the Exmoor landscape.
A fine coastal walk from Lynmouth was an unforgettable must-do part of our Minehead experience.
We had some memorable and active days, nice easy walking and good company ... and the sun also shone benignly on us. We were based in the centre of Minehead with good access to the start of our walks. We took things gently, never exceeding much above 15 miles on any one day. The following are only some aspects of our activities. Since the emphasis was on the walking (and some sightseeing) and not photography, please make allowances for the technical and artistic imperfections!
Arrival. Early birds already had a chance to nose around the small seaside resort of Minehead with its many restaurants and interesting shops. A visit to Minehead would certainly not be complete without a ride on Britain's longest preserved steam railway. So this I promptly did to Watchet and back, followed by a short walk behind our hostel to Minehead's pretty Higher Town.
See more on our arrival in Minehead.
Saturday - Dunkery Beacon (519 m) & Porlock. Three of us did a nice gentle walk up to the highest point in Exmoor and then on to Porlock. Picturesque scenery and villages bathed in sunshine provided a splendid backcloth to our walk. Definitely not to be missed! See more on our Exmoor walk.
Sunday - Lynton & Lynmouth to Porlock. Another sunny day. Helen R. led a party along the coast path from Lynmouth to Culbone, and two of us - Dolores and I - first climbed up to Lynton and then completed the coastal stretch from Lynmouth to Porlock. See more on our coastal walk.
Monday - Dunster & Sightseeing. Helen R. led a half-day walk from Minehead to Dunster with its Castle and Mediaeval Village. The weather was closing in, so in the afternoon, I soaked in the scenery of the coast and the Quantocks by travelling the full length of the steam railway. See more on our walk to Dunster and sightseeing.
Tuesday - "Rugged Path" and Selworthy. Magnificent coastal scenery, wooded paths and English Country Gardens, all bathed in a fair amount of sunshine, provided a fitting finale to my sojourn in Minehead.
See more on the "Rugged Path" and Selworthy.
Many thanks to Helen R., Yvonne and Helen D. and to all those who organised the walks and to all who helped to make this CLOG away weekend a success. Excellent! Waxing metaphorical, we could say that our memories were bathed indelibly in the warm early May sunshine.