Days out on Exmoor in January

January promises to be action packed on Exmoor this year to take away those winter blues. On 4th January sees the opening of the South West Coastal Path Photo Exhibition, exhibiting the works of last year’s top competition winners. This exhibition showcases some truly stunning images of the South West Coast portrayed in a range of styles and impressions. Visitors will have the chance to bid for their favorite pieces in the silent auction, which will run alongside the exhibition. Located at Lynmouth Pavilion, EX35 6EQ, this event is free and open to everyone. With easy access to Exmoor National park there are fanatic walking opportunities to make this into a great day out for all the family.

On 6th January at 6pm there is a great opportunity to take part in a local historical tradition of wassailing ancient apple trees. This Parade through the village takes participants through local orchards led by the Wassail Queen, finishing with a Porlock Mummers Play. This is bought to you at the Porlock Visitor Centre, TA24 8QD, where the parade commences. This is a free event and everyone is welcome, no need to book.

On 14th January at 7pm Martyn Snell will be inspiring visitors at West Somerset Railway the longest railway heritage in England. Opened for Victorian holidaymakers back in 1862 between Taunton and Watchet, this impressive single-track was extended in 1874 to Minehead. Now visiting 10 stations, passing through the rolling hills of the Exmoor National Park, to the rugged cliffs and coast of the Bristol Channel with views of distant South-Wales. Martyn will showcase the colourful life of this fascinating steam railway. Brought to you at Lynmouth Pavilion EX35 6EQ, this is a free event and there is no need to book.

Don’t miss the Chamber Concert on 17th January at 2.30pm with Gina McCormick on the violin and Nigel Clayton on the piano. Boasting of Britain’s leading artists, with regular solo performances at London’s Wigmore Hall, the South Bank Centre and top venues across the country, Gina McCormack has performed several major British Music Festivals including City of London, Henley, Edinburgh, and Buxton. Nigel Clayton has won prizes in every category of piano performance during his successful career as a renowned pianist. Seats cost £15 and can be booked with Minehead & west Somerset Arts Society at http://www.mineheadartssociety.org.uk/programme.html

The 29th – 31st January celebrates the beginning of snowdrop season with a Snowdrop Weekend, kicking off with a 2 night residential Folk Dance workshop with music from the West Country Band Ray Goodswen. This includes a trip to the Exmoor’s hidden snowdrop valley. This snowdrop weekend package includes all dances, full board accommodation including transport to the Snowdrop Valley. Cost £170 per person and can be book at http://www.yarnmarkethotel.co.uk/folkdance_snowdrop.htm.

After a fun day out why not warm up and unwind by the fire at The Exmoor White Horse Inn, a traditional 16th Century coaching inn right in the heart of Exmoor national park with over 200 malt whiskies, a fine selection of real ales and a delicious selection of locally sourced dishes. The Exmoor White Horse Inn offers a truly warm and welcoming atmosphere to see you through the evening and accommodation is also available. Please note there is limited availability so it is advisable to book a table or one of the 28 unique and luxuriously charming hotel rooms in advance by contacting The Exmoor White Horse Inn at www.exmoor-whitehorse.co.uk/contact.

Written by Peter