With two rushing rivers – Hoar Oak Water and the East Lyn River – merging in a series of spectacular cascades and rapids it is hardly surprising that Watersmeet is one of Exmoor’s most popular visitor’s attractions. Its deep, wooded valley is doubly protected for not only does it lie within the heart of the National Park 340 acres were gifted to the National Trust. Watersmeet House, now a café but originally built as a romantic fishing lodge, and with car parking nearby makes a good place to begin and end a walk.
As the time has sped by so fast I thought I would review the year, if only to remind myself what I’ve been doing the past twelve months.
February: A visit to Snowdonia staying at a friend’s isolated chapel house on the side of the mountains. The weather was quite kind to us considering the time of year so we were able to do a lot of walking. To our dismay, our favourite spot that we had christened ‘The Enchanted Forest’ because of its lichen encrusted trees and great mossy hummocks had been clear felled and all signs of it destroyed. This may sound like wanton vandalism but the trees had been planted for timber production regardless of the impact they had on the scenery. Now years later, there is a move to restore the mountains back to their original state which is, I’m sure, admirable and an ecologically sound thing to do. The trouble is that we loved this silent, brooding woodland that no-one, it seemed, apart from us ever visited and now it is gone. And with it has gone our desire to return but, who knows, perhaps we shall one day.
May: Despite the rain that seems to have fallen incessantly since April, we had a fine, dry day for the most important day in my social calendar of 2012 which was also an important one for the Queen too. The Pageant of the Horse was held in the grounds of Windsor Castle and celebrated the Queen’s sixty year reign through her association with and love of horses. Horses, riders and other performers representing every country from around the world that the Queen has visited gave us a show that both we and she will never forget. It was a quite remarkable and memorable experience; apart from the showmanship and being so close to the Queen and Prince Philip, we had a private ‘Haka’ from the Cook Islanders when they noticed us still seated after the bulk of other visitors had left. Very exciting!
To read any of the posts mentioned above, just click on the links in green. July to December will appear soon.
On our third day in Snowdonia we awoke again to brilliant sunshine. Despite the hard frost that had turned every surface a sparkling white it did not seem especially cold for there was no wind. A walk to the ‘enchanted’ forest beckoned, a great favourite of ours for it is a magical place with its mossy hummocks, hidden waterfalls and lichen encrusted conifers. It is a place of total silence apart from the sound of water and ravens croaking overhead.
To see more of the enchanted forest in all its former glory, click on the link here.