Stogumber and the Surrounding Area
Stogumber and Vellow lie at the foot of the Quantocks and Brendon Hills in the Vale of Stogumber. Exmoor National Park begins a little over a mile to the West and less than a mile to the East, the graceful Quantock Hills rise impressively from the woods and rolling pasture around the Doniford stream, where otters cruise and kingfishers dart. The ancient village of Bicknoller is just 1 mile from the cottage with its beautiful thatched cottages nestling in a sunny combe on the Quantock's slopes.
Superb Walking Country
In every direction ancient paths and byways snake up and into the hills, where often your only company are the tumbling streams and the buzzards crying overhead. The Quantocks offer so many possibilities for walking, riding and mountain biking with a myriad of bridleways and trails criss-crossing the 50 square miles of airy, heather covered heights, with barely a road in sight.
Explore the deep combes where crystal streams cool the ancient oakwoods and red deer and wild ponies watch you from the hillsides. The unspoilt landscape of this area provides a home for many rare upland and woodland species of birds, animals and plants.
Hills That Inspire Great Poets
From Orchard Cottage, walk west up the lane and you’re soon in the Brendon Hills. After just 500 yards you meet the Coleridge Way, the trail linking The Quantocks and Exmoor. Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in the Quantocks close to his friend William Wordsworth, and it's known they walked these paths composing some of their most famous verse.
After just over a mile you enter Exmoor National Park at the pretty village of Monksilver with hundreds of miles of paths and byways before you to explore, linking many beautiful, unspoilt villages.
Stogumber (1mile), a charming village with beautiful, historic buildings, is a short walk up the lane or over the nearest hill. The magnificent Norman church, with it’s William Morris style ceiling, is the focal point of the square, and in 1585 was chosen by Sir Francis Drake for his marriage to Lady Elizabeth Sydenham. It's surrounded by fine period dwellings, a great village pub, excellent general stores and post office. Stogumber has picturesque village streets with colour-washed and thatched cottages, some of the prettiest in the West Country.
Stogumber Station is a short walk from the edge of the village. This perfectly restored little station is served by steam locomotives operated by the West Somerset Railway. The famous steam line from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead offers a regular service throughout the year and is another way to enjoy great views of this wonderful landscape.
Just a Short Drive
Within a few minutes drive, the Somerset coastline offers an opportunity to search for Jurassic fossils on Kilve beach, visit the ancient port of Watchet or medieval Dunster with its magnificent castle. Porlock, Lynton and Lynmouth, Selworthy, Cleeve Abbey, Dunkery Beacon, Dulverton, the ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps, and Coleridge’s Cottage at Nether Stowey, are also close.
The North Devon Coast with its wonderful golden sand beaches of Woolacombe and Croyde are a surfer’s paradise, only one hour by car. The superb 600 mile South West Coast Path starts at the nearby coast resort of Minehead.
Train image from West Somerset Railway