Snow did not stop our traditional Christmas Eve walk, although it nearly finished us all off! We ventured as far as Simonsbath, a tiny little village in the middle of Exmoor, but easily reachable on fairly main roads, all of which were clear of snow. There is little in the village but it does boast a pub, tea rooms and a hotel. Lovely on a nice summer day.
Our first obstacle on arriving was the road to the car park, shown above - a pretty country lane with picturesque cottages, but not to be travelled on unless in a 4x4. We parked at the side of the main road and walked it. In the car park is a very helpful map, showing our planned route (we had the Jarrod Walks Book with it in). The map also showed us our planned short cut down the main road back into Simonsbath. Hooray for the short cut! Read on to find out why.
We followed a footpath labelled Prayway Head up a very steep hill and through the woods. Beautiful trees still laden with snow and nice crisp white stuff underfoot that no one else had trod. The dog went wild. Then on down to a stream and up into a field full of more virgin snow. And up, and up, and up. By the time we were half way up my legs were killing me. Walking through deep snow that no one else has been in is really hard!
It was very beautiful though. We stopped for frequent rests. We took lots of photos, which will be published on the Betazoids blog sometime later tonight. At the very top of the field we turned left into an area the guidebook said was tussocky and boggy. It certainly was that. And the snow got even deeper. Lots of us fell over. Daughter no.2 declared it 'The best Christmas Eve walk ever,' Daughter no.3 got cold and wanted to come home.
When we got back to road we all cheered! An easy walk down hill to the car. I can thoroughly recommend this walk to anyone who is really fit, although I imagine walking it when there is no snow would be a lot easier. For those not inclined to walk, come to Simonsbath in the summer and try out the tea rooms or the pub.