Exmoor snowdrops bring promise of spring
PUBLISHED: 13:38 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:38 10 January 2014
The magnificent abundance of snowdrops which light up a sheltered corner of Exmoor each year are a very welcome sight. These delicate white flowers bring with them the promise of spring as they display their blooms in the fresh February air. Rumoured to have been brought over to Exmoor by Benedictine Monks from nearby Dunster, this floral extravaganza attracts visitors from all over the country.
Get your wellies on and enjoy the 30 – 40 minute scenic and well signed walk from the West Somerset village of Wheddon Cross down to the snowdrop loop in the Avill Valley. Alternatively pick up a Park & Ride bus from the village which runs regularly throughout the day between 1 – 23 February. This year the buses are being run by local Minehead company AtWest. On Mondays the company are able to transport wheelchairs and small mobility scooters down into the valley.
Event organiser Nic Wigley explains, “We are running these buses as a trial this year and, because seats need to be removed to fit the wheelchair in, we are asking visitors with wheelchairs to book a time slot. Anyone with mobility challenges who is not able to visit on a Monday can also visit during the last week when the buses are not running. They can request a Vehicle Mobility Pass which will allow them to drive down into the valley in their own vehicle. We are keen to make the valley accessible to all.”
Once again the West Somerset Railway (www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk) will be running its popular combined steam train and coach connection to see the spring flowers. Leaving from Bishops Lydeard Station to Dunster by steam train, passengers will hop on board a coach for a picturesque Exmoor journey to Snowdrop Valley.
Welcome hot drinks are available in the village at Snowdrop Café in Moorland Hall, which will be manned by local volunteers, and the village Inn and tearooms will also offer light refreshments.