On the northern edge of Exmoor you can find a picturesque village, a long-stretched beach, medieval Dunster castle along with a variety of other things to explore. Suitable for all the family, Dunster boasts everything you would desire for a fully loaded day out. Some might think that Dunster has been locked in a time warp since the decline of the woolen industry in the eighteenth century, but that is where you would be mistaken…
Just 17.5 miles drive from Apple Tree Hotel, Dunster village is a must see for all. Built within the Saxon times, the name Dunster derives from dun (ridge of hills) and torre (a fortified tower) and was the beating heart of the local wool trade. With over two hundred listed buildings, this quaint village was owned by the Luttrell family for over 600 years until The National Trust took over. Many of these listed buildings have been transformed into dainty shops and tea rooms to preserve the local history.
The Yarn Market
Constructed by the Luttrell family in 1609, the octagonal Yarn Market was built as the centre point for the thriving cloth trade. It is in a prominent position within the village was used to shelter traders from the natural elements and their wares. Surrounding by picturesque 17th century cottages, the Yarn Market is a grade 1 listed building and a favorite for all budding photographers that come to visit.
The mystical and red sandstone fortress sits high and proud on a wooded tor dominating the views of Dunster. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Bristol Channel, the Quantock Hills and Exmoor. There is little remaining of the original Norman structure as the bulk of it was destroyed in the Civil War. The 13th century gatehouse is all that remains of the wall surrounding the medieval castle. The Dunster Castle has been home to the Luttrell family since 1376, but operated by the National Trust to maintain its beautiful structure.
Dunster Working watermill
On the River Avil, Dunster Working Watermill was built in 1680. The grade II listed building has been fully restored. Powered by overshot wheels, the watermill continues to produce stoneground whole meal flour from organic wheat. Visit the mill shop where you can purchase packed porridge oats, jumbo oats and their very own mixed muesli. Within the grounds is the Dunster museum, where you can capture the historical essence of Dunster and view the largest doll collection in the country.
Extending westward to Minehead and eastwards to Blue Anchor, Dunster beach has a combination of sand and shingle. With a private car park, Dunster beach is a stone’s throw away from Dunster village, with shops, and a putting green to keep all the family entertained whilst inhaling the sea air.
The West Somerset Steam railway
Just a 20-minute walk from Dunster village, the West Somerset Steam Railway will take you back in time with its steam locomotive, coaches and wagons. Whether you are seeking nostalgia or are intrigued by the industrial heritage, the West Somerset Steam Railway will provide a unique and picturesque journey from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard and back.
The perfectly preserved Dunster village and its historic surroundings, are the perfect place to visit for all the family to enjoy.
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