Dunster Travel Guide

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Yarn Market, Dunstar

Yarn Market, Dunstar

Martin Ludford

The quaint town of Dunster is one of the best maintained medieval towns in Britain. Its thatched cottages woven with roses, impeccably preserved gardens, and imposing historical buildings make you feel as if in a fairy tale. Tea shops, pubs, hotels, and guest houses conveniently dot the area. Food and accommodations are moderately priced and of very high quality. It is an entirely great place to take a family vacation due to its magical atmosphere and kid-friendly attractions. You're kids are unlikely to get bored here for even a second. 

Things To Do

The Dunster Castle, including its gardens, is a landmark of the village. It has been there since the times of the Normens and has withstood two seiges. The views from the castle of the Bristol Channel and Exmoor are peaceful to behold, as is its sheltered subtropical terrace with the National Collection of Strawberry Trees. This medieval, hilltop castle was given to the National Trust by the Luttrell family, who owned the place for around 600 years.

Other well-known sites to visit include St. George's Church, a priory and parish built in 1097 that the early English constructed over with a church of Victorian detail, Gallox Bridge, a 15th Century stone packhorse bridge with two arcs other the River Avill, and the Yarn Market. The eight-sided, medieval Yarn Market was where weaver's used to do their work and sell their wares. Wool trading in Dunster was a major part of the economy for hundreds of years.

Food

The food of Dunster is mostly rich, filling, home-cooking. Desserts and pastries are always fresh out of the oven and waiting to be eaten by hungry tourists. For a nice break in the afternoon, go to the Chapel House Tea Rooms. They serve up cakes and simple lunches in a historic chapel for a reasonable price. The tea selection is good, too. For pub grub and a nice ale, check out the Luttrell Arms Hotel and Restaurant. In winter, they even have cozy, log fires.

For luxury, the Dunster Castle Restaurant uses all local products including Somerset Pork, Exmoor Lamb, and Red Ruby Devon Beef. It also has a cellar bar with local ales and a variety of wines.

Where To Stay

The best places to stay are the ones closest to historical sites. The Dunster Castle Hotel lies at the base of the hill where Dunster Castle is located, you can walk to the castle. It has luxury rooms with all the modern conveniences and a fancy restaurant. The Stag's Head Inn is the oldest inn of Dunster, and the Yarn Market Hotel is perfect for families and pet owners.

Contributors

October 29, 2004 new by davidx

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