Last week I blogged about our early adventures in The Van With No Name. The latest of these adventures was a few days in Porlock over Easter.
I promised to blog more on the subject, with photos, and now here I am, only a few days later and barely a week since the event, fulfilling that promise. It must be some kind of record!
Porlock is a great place to camp.
The campsite we stay at, Sparkhayes, is right in the village. It is only a small village, so there isn’t really a huge amount to do, but that is part of the charm: not much to do and all day to do it in. This results in a nice leisurely pace – at least it does when you’re with the group of friends that we go with.
I have to confess that my wife and I aren’t particularly good at the leisurely pace, but I think we could get the hang of it.
No-one gets up early, especially now we mostly have nice, warm, comfy camper vans.
When we do finally get up there is much brewing of tea.
People drift back and forth to the toilet block for ablutions and showers.
Then there’s more tea.
Some people make lavish breakfasts, some of us finally manage to head off to the cafe for a fry-up (the Whortleberry Tearoom is our breakfast stop of choice – very friendly and excellent quality).
Eventually somebody suggests making a move, but then someone else puts the kettle on again.
Finally, sometime after noon, we eventually manage to leave the campsite.
Some head off to Minehead or Lynton, either in their van or by bus, but we preferred to stay in Porlock.
A short walk of about a mile takes you to the Sparkhayes salt marshes and the seafront.
The salt marshes are fascinating. At some time they were drained and trees grew up. They then flooded with seawater again, killing the trees and leaving their desiccated, skeletal remains standing starkly against what was, on this occasion, a beautiful blue spring sky.
The coastal walk is either along or parallel to a barren-looking pebble beach.
This is a place for hikers and dog walkers, not lounging, sizzling sun-worshippers – although I suspect in summer they make an appearance too.
Walking in one direction for another mile or so brings you to the picturesque Porlock Weir, and the Bottom Ship, where a pint of beer and some cheesy chips is almost obligatory.
About the same distance in the opposite direction takes you to Bossington and Kitnors Tea Room, where tea and scones take the place of beer and chips.
What more do you need on a sunny afternoon.
In the evening some hardy campers stay around the campsite cooking and chatting, but most of us head off to the pub.
The rear door to the Royal Oak is literally just a few yards from the campsite.
And just a little further, at the top end of the village, is the Top Ship, sister pub to the Bottom Ship at the Weir.
Food and beer is consumed. This is why the mornings start so late.
Yes, I think I could get used to that pace of life.