ABOUT THE LOCAL AREA

'Spirit of Place' Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre


Treading in the footsteps of time through the historic villages of Bossington and Allerford, you will surely discover the 15th century open hall manor house, West Lynch Farm, our Home and Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre.  Peaceful, tranquil, and stunningly beautiful countryside, silent and still, far from the crazy pace of life, our Centre embodies calmness and a natural way of life.  We train our birds horses and other animals along behavioural reinforcement techniques, using holistic management and listening to the animals - they tell us all we can learn, and lots more besides.  We encourage our animals to release stress and to relax into harmony with their surroundings.  We hope our visitors enjoy this quiet energy, and encourage the traveller to stay awhile, to rest and relax in a garden of gentleness joined by the birds and the bees and the wonder of nature all around.


We have selected below a number of places in the local area across Exmoor National Park, where you can enjoy the history and have adventure in this amazing landscape.



PORLOCK MARSH


Porlock Marsh is situated close to the farm, providing many different walks on level ground - a unique landscape where the sea has breached the ridge of shingle, providing an area of saltmarsh particularly important for wildlife.  We provide a pocket guide to the marsh at our B&B to help you find your way around, and identify the plants and birds you will see on your walks.  For more information please find a .pdf of the Porlock Marsh Vision Project here.  We stock the Porlock Marsh leaflet with a map of the area for you to enjoy without getting lost.

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DUNSTER CASTLE

DUNSTER CASTLE - An ancient castle and comfortable country home with dramatic views and lovely gardens

Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history.

The castle that you see today became a lavish country home during the 19th century for the Luttrell family, who lived here for 600 years.

The castle boasts spectacular views toward the Bristol channel, the Quantock hills and up to the moors of Exmoor.


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THE MOORLAND MOUSIE TRUST - Since it's inception in 1998, the Moorland Mousie Trust has helped hundreds of ponies, and pony owners.  The Exmoor Pony is one of our British native breeds, and sadly it is also a rare breed. The Exmoor Pony Centre provides a permanent, specialist base for the work of The Moorland Mousie Trust. 

MOORLAND MOUSIE copy


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west somerset rlwy


WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY - Our Railway, a true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway, is full of fascination whether you are looking for a nostalgic ride back in time through lovely countryside or to study the railway and industrial heritage which our line preserves.

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porlock

PORLOCK VILLAGE - Nestling at the foot of Porlock Hill at the western end of the Vale, Porlock is bounded  to the south by the rolling hills of Exmoor and to the north by its shingle ridge with breathtaking views over the Bristol Channel.  The village offers a delightful selection of shops, tea rooms, pubs and eating places for all to enjoy, with delightful accommodation within the village itself and surrounding Vale countryside.  Wonderful for dog owners and country-lovers.  Get away from it all, take a relaxing eco-break, and rejuvenate your life in this wonderful Vale environment.

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Exmoor Ponies - wherever you walk or travel on Exmoor you will see Exmoor Ponies.  There are a number of different herds across the moors, and all are  used to visitors but should not be fed or handled.  Please keep your dogs under control.  

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Red Deer - Most of the deer on Exmoor are Red Deer - these are the largest of the British deer, and are the same species as those found in Scotland.  During the rutting season, when the males are establishing their herds, they can be dangerous, so should not be approached in October, but at other times of the year both males and females are generally placid and timid, and are often best seen from a safari vehicle or horseback.  Roe deer and fallow deer can also be seen in a few locations, but these are much more secretive than red deer.

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Exmoor Safaris - There are a number of safari companies operating across the moor, which can be very informative, and providing better success for photography and wildlife watching than if you are on your own.  The operators know the movements and locations of the animals at different times of day and season.  Try Barle Valley Safaris, Red Stag Safaris  or Exmoor Safari.  

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Exmoor Outdoor Adventures Exmoor Adventures provides a range of award winning outdoor activities including CoasteeringKayakingMountain BikingRock Climbing, AbseilingCanoeingRaft BuildingArcheryStand-up Paddle BoardingTree Climbing, Orienteering and Team Building activities across North Devon, West Somerset, Exmoor and the Quantock Hills.


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Pony Trekking - There are a number of riding establishments across Exmoor that provide slow and gentle pony trekking for families and children.  Close to us you can book with Burrowhayes Farm, and Exmoor Horse Riding at Caffyns Farm.  If you wish for a smaller more private ride and can ride reasonably confidently, and are aged 12yrs and over, then you can book with us at Exmoor Riding, which we run alongside Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre.

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Exmoor Arts Trail - Exmoor is a beautiful landscape thriving with the Arts. Exmoor Arts Trail aspires to bring artists, artisans, galleries, cafes, businesses and more together, with a goal of showcasing the Arts in a simple, easy to read map. Whether it’s a quiet cafe with an spectacular view, or a gallery filled with outstanding artwork, the map will cater to your needs. Exmoor Arts Trail offers the opportunity to plan your day trips out around exploring intriguing and gorgeous landscapes whilst visiting several areas with artwork on show.

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Porlock Bay Oysters - Right on our doorstep we are growing the finest Pacific Oysters for you to enjoy.  Porlock Bay Oysters really are the best, with the top A classification from the Food Standards Agency - the only site in England and Wales to have this classification for Pacific Oysters.  A community funded project providing work opportunity for up to 5 employees.  Look out for Porlock Bay Oysters in local restaurants - our suggestion The Culbone. 

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Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve - Exmoor was the first area in Europe to be designated a Dark Sky Reserve.  We have amazing star gazing from just outside our farm, so if you would like to hire a telescope whilst you are staying with us please ask at the time of booking.  Telescopes to hire

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CATHY AND ROD,  EXMOOR OWL & HAWK CENTRE,  WEST LYNCH FARM,   MINEHEAD,   SOMERSET,   UK - TA24 8HJ        
TEL: 01643 862816   
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