Dunster, one of the best preserved medieval villages in britain, has that tough of magic – a hilltop castle overlooking the town, an ancient octangular “Yarn Market” where weavers once plied their trade, a long, very wide high street flanked by buildings from the 17th,18th and 19th centuries. Many of these are picture book cottages, traditionally thatched, with roses around the door and colourful, well tended gardens. There is also an impressive 15th century parish church and a still working water mill whose stream flows down to a picturesque packhorse bridge and ford, and of course, Dunster has its fair share of tea shoppes, guest houses, pubs and hotels.
Gateway to Exmoor
Dunster is at the gateway to Exmoor National Park and all of its wonderful flora and fauna such as Exmoor ponies, herds of red deer and even nesting Peregrin falcons. The village high street takes you out of the south end of the village towards Tiverton via the beautiful “Valley” road following the river all the way. Places such as Snowdrop valley, Exford and Dulverton are a must see for visitors to the area.
Medieval Dunster is a superb base for exploring the dramtic North Somerset coastline, the pretty villages that pepper the moors with their old, thatched cottages and even older pubs and inns, and of course, the dramatic Exmoor of Lorna Doone legend.
Exploring the area
Every year, on the first friday and saturday of december,Medieval Dunster village turns its back on modernity and lights its streets with candles from one end to the other in a tradition which although only started in 1987, has been taken up by villagers and visitors alike and is an annual highlight.
To mark the beginning of the festival the street lights are replaced by candle Lanterns in a lighting procession that starts on Dunster Steep and continues through the village until all the lanterns in the streets have been lit.
The procession is accompanied by colourful stiltwalkers in fantastic costumes who put up the lanterns and their are street artists,
chestnut vendors and other such folk in attendance throughout the festival.
Our hotel is at the foot of Dunster Castle itself