Lyrical Landscapes – Britain Magazine (Visit Britain Publication) – 2022
“Born 250 years ago, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of many writers to be awed and inspired by the wild beauty of Exmoor, and fellow romantics will be too.” – By Natasha Foges.
“The national park of Exmoor, which carpets 267 square miles of Devon and Somerset, is a microcosm of England’s most iconic landscapes: heather-clad moors; undulating green hills dotted with sheep; tumbling rivers in deep wooded valleys; and dramatic cliffs plunging to the shoreline. It’s thrilling to travel between these varied terrains via the winding lanes that criss-cross Exmoor, which reveal stunning views at every turn. And it’s not all about the landscape: enfolded within the hills are historic towns and villages with houses hewn out of the local stone, and centuries of traditions and stories to discover.
Many visitors’ first stop is the medieval village of Dunster, pretty as a picture with its cobbled streets, thatched cottages and fairytale castle perched high on the hill above. This Saxon castle was the home of the aristocratic Luttrell family from 1376, who transformed it into a lavish country home in the Victorian era. Dotted with family mementos, the castle has a warm, lived-in feel that gives you the lingering sense that the Luttrells have only just left the room. Among many treasures, the jewel of the collection is a set of rare 17th-century leather wall hangings telling the love story of Antony and Cleopatra.
Exmoor’s wild beauty has drawn many romantic souls here over the years, most famously the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), who was born 250 years ago this year. Coleridge was fond of walking from his cottage in Nether Stowey across the moors to the sea, often accompanied by his friend and fellow poet, William Wordsworth. The Romantic poetry movement, rooted in reverence for the natural world and the notion that nature can set the imagination free, was born on these long countryside strolls.
The Coleridge Way allows modern-day romantics to follow in the poet’s footsteps. Signposts marked with a quill lead the way to the bustling village of Porlock and, further down, Porlock Weir, an ancient port that’s now a quaint hamlet, sheltered beneath towering cliffs.”
READ THE ARTICLE IN FULL HERE: Lyrical Landscapes