A thoroughly British getaway

Last week my bestest friend Jane and I went away for a long weekend break to Dunster Beach in Somerset. We were very lucky to be staying in a beach chalet right on the beach owned by a friend of Jane’s. We couldn’t have stayed in a nicer place, it was absolutely delightful. It was tastefully decorated and very cosy.

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Our first excursion out of the chalet was a lovely riverside walk to Dunster Village and a visit to the castle. This medieval village dates back to bronze and iron age Britain and up to the 12th century came right up to the edge of the village but now it’s a mile away from the coastline. It was once a centre for the wool industry specialising in weaving and in 1601 a yarn market was established in the high street, it’s now a rather swish hotel.

 

 

 

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Next stop was the steep climb up to Dunster castle, now a 17th Century stately home owned by the National Trust. The site has been fortified since the late Anglo Saxon period and after the Norman conquest a timber castle was constructed by William de Mohun. Over the years the castle was rebuilt and improved upon until it was sold at the end of the 14th Century to the Luttrell family.

During the English civil war the family were on Cromwell’s side until Royalists attacked the castle in 1643, they subsequently surrendered and switched sides. The young Prince Charles, the future King Charles II, stayed there at times and the bedroom he slept in had a secret passageway behind the wall where the young prince could hide if Cromwell’s men came searching.

The gardens and grounds are beautiful with a fantastic display of flowers, luckily for us the gardener was selling off plants grown for the gardens and we bought a couple of agapanthus  that will hopefully grow into the lovely specimens they had throughout the gardens.

 

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The Luttrell legacy lives on in the village with the Luttrell Arms Hotel and bar, the gardens were used during the siege of the castle by Cromwell’s men.

We spent most evenings at the pub as they were hosting the Dunster live music festival, our favourite band was a Bristol based skiffle band called Slapface and the Hoagies. they were fantastic entertainment and we loved them.

 

 

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