Village life: Porlock
PUBLISHED: 14:35 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:35 30 April 2018
This month Andrea visits the village that’s a haven for walkers
Porlock is a pretty, traditional Exmoor village, surrounded on three sides by rolling hills and wooded coombes, and to the North by the Bristol Channel.
It is a walkers’ paradise, conveniently situated for some beautiful hikes and trails. Porlock is on the Coleridge Way, a 51-mile walk from Nether Stowey in the Quantocks to Lynmouth. It is also just two miles from the quaint 15th century harbour, Porlock Weir, with its shingled ridge, and less than a mile from Porlock Marsh, an inland salt marsh. From April, there are monthly guided walks with a Heritage Walk Leader to explore the area.
But you don’t have to leave the village. Wander around the streets and you’ll find a picturesque mixture of thatched, painted brick and stone cottages. It has retained much of its medieval charm, including the Grade I listed Church of St Dubricius, dating from the 13th century, plus the Dovery Manor, a small 15th century manor house. It now houses a museum of local history and has a physic garden. The museum opens officially for the summer season from May to September.
The museum is at the top of the bustling High Street, full of a great selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. There’s a family butchers, a delicatessen and cheesemonger, a traditional hardware store and a smattering of clothes shops and art galleries as well as a Post Office combined with an outdoor clothing company: you can buy walking boots and book of stamps in one go.
There was plenty of choice for refreshments. We stopped for a coffee and delicious selection of pastries at the Home Cook Café and couldn’t leave without a visit to Miles Tea & Coffee, an award- winning family business selling locally-blended tea and coffee.
To discover more about this pretty village, the Porlock Visitor Centre in the High Street, next to the community-run library, is the perfect first stop. The assistants couldn’t have been more helpful and I left with a Porlock Welcome Pack normally reserved for new residents to the village. It was full of useful information and a substantial listing of events, clubs and societies.
Just to give a taste of what’s on offer to the community (of approximately 1,400 residents), the village hall hosts monthly meetings of the Porlock Ladies, a ballroom dancing club, a badminton club and a fitness class. The impressive Recreation Ground has lots of facilities including tennis courts, football and cricket pitches, a bowling green and a children’s play area, next door to Porlock First School.
This gem of a village really does have it all.
Did you know...?
Porlock was a contender for Channel 4’s Village of the Year 2018, hosted by Penelope Keith.