United Kingdom
West Somerset District

Here you’ll find travel reports about West Somerset District. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

11 travelers at this place:

  • Day77

    Dunster Castle

    July 17 in the United Kingdom

    This National Trust property was once a castle, and has been lived in by the one family and their descendants for the last 600 years. It was remodeled and added onto in the Victorian era, making it into an elegant country home.

    The garden is terraced and planted with beautiful flowering trees, shrubs, and other plants, and overlooks the Bristol Channel and the Southern Wales coast.

  • Day32

    Cleeve Abbey

    September 1 in the United Kingdom

    Literally 150 yds from where we were staying was one of the best intact examples of monastic buildings in England.

    Founed in 1198 with 12 Cistercian monks it was always a tier 2 Abbey and just plugged along for 350 years.
    The official name of the abbey was Vallis Florida, (Latin: 'Flowering Valley') but throughout its history it was generally known as Cleeve after the nearby village. Isn’t it always the same.
    In addition to various landholdings with produced rent they held the Right of Wreck, which meant they could claim shipwrecks washed up on the shore of their lands. What a bonus.

    Eventually got the chop with the Dissolution and the church was pulled down with the rest of the buildings used as a farm for 400 years or so. This actually saved it in many ways. Eventually our friends from Dunster Castle gave it to the state in lieu of death duties in 1951 and English Heritage ended up with it in 1988.

    Unusual for English Heritage as there are roves and rooms and something to walk through.

    We had the place to ourselves. The British are not early starters we have decided, especially on a Staurday.
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  • Day30

    Dunster Castle Mill

    August 30 in the United Kingdom

    What would a castle be without a mill.

    In fact a double overshot mill.

    Dunster of course has one (pretty silly post otherwise) and it was been restored to all it’s glory and mills flour for sale.

    Very interesting place although I have to admit that we dodged a bullet and avoided the extremely enthusiastic guide who kept telling us their was a tour soon.

  • Day77

    Entertaining at Dunster Castle

    July 17 in the United Kingdom

    Imagine being a guest at this table! One time the host asked for the curry to be prepared very spicy, except for his. He thought it was pretty funny when everyone else except himself was gasping.

    The Cleopatra and Anthony wall hanging is made of leather, and is part of a set that tells their story. They were in the dining room, but are now displayed in a central room at the top of the stairs.

    After dinner the ladies went to the drawing room (derived from the word "withdraw") for sherry and gentile conversation, and the men to the smoking room or the billiards room, probably for other conversations!
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  • Day77

    Dunster Castle, First Floor

    July 17 in the United Kingdom

    In England, first floor is what we call second floor. This is where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located. When the castle was remodeled in the Victorian era, they put in modern conveniences like flush toilets.

  • Day31

    Dunster Castle

    August 31 in the United Kingdom

    We did leave Hestercombe House on the off chance that the roads would be better.

    Lost that bet.

    8 miles of lane, 3 horses, one white van and we didn’t have to back up once.

    Who is the patron saint of back lanes?

    Duster Castle was worth the drive.

    There has been a Castle is on the site since Saxon times, then the Normans, then the rest.

    During the English Civil War the castle declared for Parliament and got besieged by Royalists then declared for the King and got besieged by Parliamentarians.

    The second time they surrendered and the outer defensive walls were pulled down.
    Luckily for us just before the boys stated on the rest orders came to stop so there is quite a bit left over. Quite a bit.

    It had the usual 18th century makeover and quite a few changes inside and out. Even got a modern kitchen in the 1950s.

    Following the death of Alexander Luttrell in 1944, the family was unable to afford the death duties on his estate. The castle and surrounding lands an dvillages were sold off to a property firm, the family continuing to live in the castle as tenants. The Luttrells bought back the castle in 1954, but in 1976 Colonel Walter Luttrell gave Dunster Castle and most of its contents to the National Trust. It is a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument. (Wikipedia).

    This could all have been avoided if Alexander had handed the estate to his son John earlier but it appears he believed in “paying his way” so stiffed him with the taxes.

    We are now thinking of doing something similar with our extensive estates.

    You walk a million miles up and down but well worth it.
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  • Day31

    White ? Hotel

    August 31 in the United Kingdom

    We are of course staying at the White Something.
    In this case the White Horse.
    About a zillion years old the front door opens straight out on the road and the stairs up to the rooms should be in a lighthouse.

    Very nice, full of accents from everywhere. Have no idea how the barmaid manages the orders.

    We were reading the menu on the wall and were obviously standing at the Friday night drink seat of two hundred year old locals.
    They just pulled out the chairs around us and sat down. They needed a drink. Were gone in seven minutes.
    Love it.
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  • Day11

    Honesty Stalls

    May 1 in the United Kingdom

    A series of unregulated bespoke stalls / shops selling local produce to passing members of the public. Buyers pay a guide price or what they feel the produce is worth.

    Products have included milk, eggs, wild mushrooms, fruit and vegetables grown on the farms along the road.

You might also know this place by the following names:

West Somerset District

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