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There are places to visit around Exmoor that can give you an insight into the history and wildlife of the Moor.
Allerford Museum, West Somerset
Allerford is a small, pretty village on the National Trust Holincote Estate which is in the Exmoor National Park.
There is so much to see in this lovely tiny museum for a small entrance fee. Backing onto the river and surrounded by hills, it is a thatched building and was the village school and school teachers house where one of the school rooms is set as it would have been in Victorian days. Children can dress up and use the slates at genuine long desks. There is also a collection of children's toys from the past.
The larger classroom is
very well presented with a huge array of household, farming and
personal items collected from local people and can take some time to
look round. You will also see some history of the Holincote Estate which is very interesting covering a large area of natural beauty, villages and paths. So many things you may remember. Outside the playground
is set out with playground games and has stilts and hoops as well a croquet. The volunteers are knowledgeable and happy to answer your questions.
Another room has special exhibitions with photos and artefacts and is a study with albums of hundreds of photos covering the local towns and villages and the people who lived in them.
.It is open most days between Easter and Autumn half term and is staffed by volunteers.
There is a Post Office/Store opposite.
There is a free car park opposite too, with toilets. It is on a level so suitable for people with mobility problems
If you like quiet, check during the school term time as schools come here for the school children to have a Victorian experience so can be busy. out of that time it is lovely and quiet
The Forge at Allerford
This forge has been used for a very long time to shoe the many horses that are owned on Exmoor, the last blacksmith keeping it going well into his 80's. It was originally used for horses and farm
implements but recently it's been run by some young blacksmiths who make bespoke iron work for Royal places as well as local . The open fire/bellows are used and
traditional anvil. You can see the work going on through the window or
door, sometimes there is an open day. They will happily tell you all
about their work and how it is done.
Adjoining the forge is a little shop with all sorts hand made items both practical and beautiful.
There is a car park and toilets
opposite (no charge) and it across the road by the museum, a packhorse
bridge and beautiful walks on the hills behind. It is accessible for
wheelchairs, tho perhaps not in the little shop because of size &
Porlock Doverhay Museum, West Somerset
Porlock village at the foot of the steepest hill in England has a small & charming museum in an unusual manor house, Doverhay Manor Museum. Set in a mediavel manor house with a small physic garden it is open Easter to the end of September. You will find new exhibitions each year about the locality as well as history and artifacts about a different side of the moor. Again the volunteers are very knowledgeable and happy to answer questions. Refer to the website for opening times and exhibitions.
There is a paid car park beside it where you can find toilets and another car park at the other end of the village which requires contributions.
Porlock Weir car park which is pay and display has the Exmoor Natural History Society building at the end of the car park with a small exhibition space, books of walks and natural/geological books and volunteers lead walks from there on certain days. The days, dates and nature of the walks are posted on the door and are run in the summer months.The leader will be able to answer many questions and it is a very social event.
Lynmouth Flood Exhibition -
Opposite Lynmouth Harbour is the Flood Memorial Hall. It is a permanent free exhibition that has a stunning scale model of the village before the flood, with pictures of the buildings which were destroyed and how you can identify their sites and visit if you wish. There are personal accounts written by people who had their lives affected by the disaster, lots of photos, and informaton about the idea that it may have been the result of cloud-seeding experiments by the military.
This was a national disaster and the tale of how the lifeboat was pulled across the moor at night from Minehead to Lynmouth is a story that stays with you.
Open from Easter to October (usually half term) There is parking of all sorts in Lynmouth with toilets at this site.
Lynton - The Lyn and Exmoor Museum
A small museum that has collections of agricultural and domestic tools from the village and Exmoor as well as maritime, railway, and natural history exhibits. Amazing pictures of the Lynmouth Flood, and a Victorian dolls' house. It is in Lynton's oldest surviving domestic dwelling. It has a Cottage kitchen with open stone fireplace containing the bread oven and kitchen paraphanalia of the period. It is opposite the Primary School in Lynton, there are pay and display car parks. The area is very hilly coming up from the car park so check if you have mobility problems.
To be continued:
Sawmills at Simonsbath
Dunster dolls museum
Watchet Museum and Watchet Boat Museum
West Somerset Railway