Wednesday, 28 October 2015

BLUE ANCHOR BAY AND DUNSTER



Blue Anchor Bay, named for the colour of mud residue on the anchors of boats moored there, is a quiet seaside spot occupied by a holiday park enjoying lovely coastal views and sunsets.  The bay has an interesting geology courtesy of its rocks and cliffs which include layers of alabaster.  The cliffs come in two tones from different geological ages: the red Triassic cliffs and the grey Jurassic cliffs.  Fossils can be found in the latter, mainly remains of fish such as small bones.   The bay is on the West Somerset Steam Railway, and railway buffs will also find a Railway Museum housed in the station’s former waiting room.  The museum opens in the summer, and tells the story of the Great Western Railway.  In the village of Blue Anchor is Home Farm, a small working farm open to visitors.

It is possible to walk from Blue Anchor Bay to Dunster Beach, a shingle and sand beach which is also served by the Steam Railway.  One mile inland is the charming village of Dunster with its castle, owned by the National Trust.  There has been a castle at this spot since at least Norman times, and during the Civil War it was a focus of tussles between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians, who held it until 1650.  Among the main attractions today are the 17th century oak staircase and the terraced gardens with plant life including rhododendrons and magnolias.  Part of the original village walls are still visible, along with two gateways, and there is a 12th-century church, priory and gardens, as well as a 17th-century watermill, an old tithe barn and a monks’ dovecote.   

Map of the area. 

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Dunster Castle. Photo by marcntomsmum0, via Wikimedia Commons

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