When we decided to come to Minehead I did a lot of looking at google maps to see if there were any biking trails and good walks. Staying on the coast of course you have the south west coastal path which runs for hundreds of miles.
Over the years I have done bits and pieces of it here and there. It’s so nice hiking by the sea, the sound, the smells and of course the views are fantastic. When the path turns inland you get the contrast of open fields and woods etc.
Yesterday I did a Seven mile hike, leaving the campsite and heading for the seafront and then turning right and walking along the seafront past the harbour and to the start of the coast path. You pass a loverly sculpture of some hands holding a map so you know you’re going the right way.
You also pass some old cottages which have stood there for years and years and have been battered by winter storms, high tides etc but are still standing after all these years. They don’t build them like this now that’s for sure. In between two of the cottages is a small little cottage which looks like it’s a pit building which it may have been at one stage but is now a small cottage.
My hike started off nice and level beside the sea and then soon reached a point where I was going up through the woods, and when I say up it was up and up some more. My legs were burning, my heart was thumping but I felt good. Must admit my hips and legs are a bit sore this morning after the just over seven miles and and just over 900 ft of climbing yesterday.
Another thing on my to do list while here was to hike to Dunster and hike up to the Conygar tower on the hill in Dunster. This was just over five miles and only just over 500ft of elevation but the sun was out and it was a beautiful day.
The Conygar tower was built in the 17th century, it’s a circular three story folly tower of red sandstone. Stands 18 metres tall and there is no evidence of it ever having a roof or floors.
The tower looked great in the sunlight and also made some great photos with the shadows and sunlight. I was up there all alone with this tower and nature, apart from the birds singing. You will see from the photos I like to take arty farty photos also.
After dragging myself away and walking down into Dunster which is a loverly old village with just a few shops, cafes and of course a couple of pubs. The roads are narrow and at one point you have to navigate your way around a structure called the Yarn market. This building was built in 1609 when Dunster was a cloth trading place. The building is octagonal and when stood inside you can just imaging all the traders that would have traded in the building over all those years.
A bike ride was also done this week to Watchet. About 16 miles and 800ft elevation. Again going along the coast as much as possible and then the back roads. And a couple of days later another bike ride up to Bossington hill and back down through the woods on the bridle paths. This ride also included a stop at St Michaels church, no not because I have gone all religious or that it’s named after me, not the saint bit. Just because I wanted to get a photo of the old steps that lead up to it through the cottages. It was built in the 15th century.
Now it was Nikki’s turn to come out with me, she’s not a biker or hiker. She has been away because of MiMi being back in hospital so Nikki has been staying at her flat and visiting her. She came back and I said we were having a day out.
Again I had been looking at google maps and discovered a beach I wanted to visit. Nikki was up for it so we headed out in the car to East Quantoxhead beach. You park in a little sleepy village, no pub in this one just a few old cottages, church and farm buildings and as it’s a proper old village a duck pond. You park on a bit of wasteland and there is a honesty box for your carpark money £1.50 for all day. I love things like that and hope it doesn’t get abused by peaple that think life is a free ride. The money goes towards maintaining the church.
While I was putting my boots on Nikki went and paid and then I heard her voice over the stone wall..I need another £3.50 Bloody hell I thought the church had fallen down and needed a complete rebuild so the parking fees had gone up. No on the other side of the wall was a little wooden structure with apples and bottles of apple and ginger drink, homemade by someone in the village so she had to have some. I think she thought it was wine.
It’s about a twenty minute to the beach from the carpark across the fields and then you get to the beach. It’s not a sandy beach but a beach with the most amazing rock formations and it’s also known to have a lot of fossils. Well there were two extra fossils today looking for others.
The little red dot at the end of that rock face is Nikki searching for fossils. And yes we did find some, not huge big fantastic ones but we did find some. I was just blown away with the rock formations with so many different kinds from the ones in the picture above to smooth rock and even some that looked like block paving. So many different kinds in such a small area.
After we left the beach we called into Watchet so Nikki could see it and I even treated her to lunch in the pub. All in all a great day out.