Minehead, Porlock Weir & Dunster Castle

To date, all our trips have just been for one night, in case we’d forgotten something. So, thinking that we’re beginning to get the hang of this (probably wrongly), we decided to try a ‘two-nighter’ stay. We hunted round for somewhere that we could stay in the van that was open. At this time of year, the most important thing is to stay warm so we needed to have an electric hook up, so we can run the heating (without using up all the gas). That rules out most ‘wild camping’ options. Also, our van seems to get stuck in mud quite easily, so grassy pitches are out until the weather is warmer. Then we had to find somewhere that is open. We’ve been surprised that so many campsites seem to close up for the winter months. It reduces the options dramatically. And Sara wanted to be somewhere near the sea again. So we chose Minehead, as it’s not too far, and the CAMC site (which has flat gravel pitches, and electric etc.) was the best option (got to get our money’s worth having joined this club). We booked to stay two nights (total £37.60).

We’ve got the van quite well packed now. So all we have to add is milk, some food and beer. (Sara is still sticking to ‘dry January). We set off on Friday at about lunchtime. It’s only about 2 hours from Worcester so we got there in good time. On advice from the warden we walked around the site before choosing a pitch. It’s not a huge site, so it didn’t take long. Once the electric (and heating) was on, we walked down the round to the sea front.

We walked to the seafront in Minehead. We’ve actually been here before – to look at a house for sale on the front. We thought at the time that it was in danger of flooding if the sea came over the wall. The house was still for sale – so presumably others have had the same thought…

We stopped at the pub and had a drink. Bowie tried to get at another dog in the pub knocking over a chair and Sara’s drink in the process. We walked back to the site. The van was deliciously toasty. The heating in the van is really great. We just need to work out how to control it properly so that we get a good temperature at night.

Sara cooked tuna, with potatoes, mangetout, broccoli & tomatoes. She amazes me all the time with her planning and execution of meals both at home and when we are away. Then we watched Heat with De Niro & Pacino.

In the morning we walked back down to Minehead and turned right along the front. We walked along the beach. (The tide had disappeared into the distance). We tried to get into Butlins to have a look round but they don’t allow dogs. So we went to the Beach Hotel for coffee & cake. Then, back to the site for showers etc. Sara had a sleep and I read the paper.

In the evening we walked up to the Britannia Pub which was just up the road from the site. We met a load of ex-Londoners who had relocated to Minehead with a mutual love of dogs. So ours fitted right in. Then we walked back to the van and Sara cooked another masterpiece, this time with duck.


The next morning we tried turning left out of the site. The Londoners had suggested a good place to walk the dog towards Porlock. We walked for a mile or two but the weather was getting worse so we returned to the site. We packed up, dropped the keys of and then drove to Porlock Weir. Again, we’d been here before so it was nice to come back and take another look. The rain made it look a bit sad and depressing so we didn’t stay long. We then drove to Dunster Castle. We’d seen this from the road on our last visit and so this was an opportunity to actually take a look around – and we had rejoined the National Trust especially so we wouldn’t have to pay the entry fee. As it turned out, the castle itself is closed until February, so we left the dog in the van and had a wander round the grounds. The rain held off until we’d got back in the van. Then it tipped down, so we drove home.