Friday, June 11, 2010

Barle Valley Safaris

I have wanted to do one of these safaris for a long time so when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance. We had some European visitors at work and took them out to see the sights of Exmoor.

Barle Valley Safaris operate out of Dulverton car park, a town at the south edge of Exmoor. These safaris must be booked and if you are going to go on one I also advise not using a sat-nav. Using a sat-nav forces you to rely on postcodes and the postcode we found on the website took us to the owners house, and half an hour out of our way! Of course that is quite possibly human error and not the fault of the sat-nav, but really, finding Dulverton car park is not that hard.

Anyway. The safari lasts three hours and is well worth the £25 per person cost. Our driver was Duncan, one of the owners, and he was very informative, and very understanding and patient about our being an hour late! He took us up over the open moorland and down into the wooded valleys. We followed many narrow country lanes and went off-road as well. This was quite an experience for all of us, almost as good as a Disney thrill ride. We bumped over rocks, slid over mud and climed up and down some very steep hills on barely discernable tracks. The last part of our journey took us through the ford at Tarr Steps, and then back into Dulverton.

Along the way there were many stops and sometimes we got out of the landrover and sometims we didn't. I saw more deer than in all my many years of travelling through Exmoor. We saw typical Exmoor sheep with thier curly fleece and smiley faces, cows of all shades and varieties, and lots of wild Exmoor ponies. We even saw an Exmoor pony foal who was very curious and obligingly came right up to the landrover so we could photograph him.

If you want to see an Exmoor that not many other tourists get to experience then I can 100% recommend this to you. It was fabulous.