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Experience the Peaceful Allure of Exmoor's Dunster

submitted on 6 October 2023 by

A Quaint Village Steeped in History

If you've ever found yourself with a hankering for a delightful escape from the drudgery of modern-day life, look no further than the charming and idyllic village of Dunster. Nestled within the bosom of Exmoor National Park, this medieval wonderland transports you back in time, without the pesky need for a flux capacitor. Oozing historical significance like a well-cooked steak, reveal in the sights, scents, and stories that the ancient walls have to tell.

The Mighty Dunster Castle: The Jewel of the Village Crown

As you amble down the cobblestoned High Street, you'll soon find yourself face to face with the imposing and majestic Dunster Castle. This picturesque fortress is not only a feast for the eyes but also a veritable smorgasbord of British history. As you explore the well-preserved rooms and lavish gardens, you can almost hear the whispers of the ghosts of Luttrells past, regaling you with tales of their home and perhaps suggesting the best spots for a scrumptious cream tea. The cherry on top of this historical cake is that the National Trust, in their infinite wisdom, has made the castle fully accessible to visitors. So drop your inhibitions like a hot crumpet and immerse yourself in the magnificence of the Victorian era.

Embrace the Majesty of the Dunster Yarn Market

As impressive as the castle may be, the true heart and soul of the village lie in the Dunster Yarn Market. This octagonal masterpiece, erected in 1609, is a testament to the industrious nature of Dunster's inhabitants and the importance of the woollen trade. Though the market might not be as bustling as it was in its heyday, it still stands proud as a symbol of the village's resilience and determination. And let's be honest - who hasn't secretly dreamt of witnessing a historical yarn market in all its glory? I know I have. Don't judge me.

Cloistered Delights: The Monastic Remains of Dunster

Continuing our journey down Dunster's memory lane, we stumble upon the ruins of the medieval Dunster Priory. Founded in 1100 AD, the Priory was once a hive of activity, housing a group of Benedictine monks who devoted themselves to the worship of St. George. And while the tumultuous tides of the Reformation may have swept many of these monastic settlements away, the spirit of the monks' piety and dedication lingers on in the serene atmosphere and the exquisite architectural remnants. If you're anything like me, you'll want to take a moment to sit, meditate, and contemplate the mysteries of life among the ruins. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself humming the theme from "The Sound of Music" as you wander through the remains of the monks' hallowed halls.

Enter the Enchanted World of Dunster's Secret Gardens

No visit to Dunster would be complete without a leisurely stroll through the village's secret gardens. And I'm not talking about the kind of secret garden that requires a decoder ring and a treasure map to find. Rather, these are lush havens of greenery and floral splendour that are tucked away behind the historic homes and buildings. As you meander through the winding paths and take in the fragrant scents of lavender and roses, you'll feel as though you've stepped into a fairy tale. I half-expected to see Thumbelina frolicking among the flowers, or perhaps catch a glimpse of Mr. Tumnus himself. Alas, neither made an appearance, but the enchantment of the gardens was no less potent for their absence.

Winding down with a Pint at the Local Pub

After a full day of exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Dunster, there's nothing quite like kicking back with a pint at one of the village's delightful pubs. Whether you opt for the Stag's Head Inn or the Luttrell Arms, you're sure to be greeted by friendly locals, a cozy atmosphere, and a well-stocked bar. As you sip on your ale and listen to the crackling of the fire, you'll find yourself transported to a simpler time, when people gathered in the warmth of a pub to share stories and laughter. It's the perfect way to end a day spent delving into the alluring history and beauty of Exmoor's Dunster.
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