Hello from a busy Sparkhayes camp site! It’s been a fantastic month here in Porlock and we’ve been flat out with our summer duties. The highlight of August, for me, was deciding that I ought to experience Sparkhayes from the other side of the desk, so to speak, and so I took some friends camping. What a wonderful idea it turned out to be! The children had a ball; some of them had never been camping before and were thrilled and excited about their sudden gift of freedom. They needed very few toys or games and entertained each other well, in addition to making friends with the other campers. A couple who were camping across the field from us were excellent musicians and the children really enjoyed their special dedications. They decided to return the favour with a song of their own and sang, with affection, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, which was especially poignant as the stars began to appear as they sang. Then it was off to bed for them (and so heart-warming to see them curl up together, exhausted but happy) and time for us mummies to relax with a glass of something sparkly and count the shooting stars – we had timed our visit to coincide perfectly with a meteor shower. Exmoor’s dark skies are truly breath-taking and we had the most perfect view of the heavens from Sparkhayes. We all slept well and couldn’t fault the facilities. Everyone was very keen to repeat the experience; it was an all-round thumbs up from our group.
We’re now looking squarely at the August bank holiday weekend and bracing ourselves for one of the busiest weekends of the year..! If you’re in the village and fancy something physical, the two-mile Fun Run on Bank Holiday Monday will surely tempt you?! It starts in the recreation ground and takes runners around Hawkcombe and down Doverhay, around the houses to the far end of Sparkhayes lane and back up, past the camp site, to return to the rec. If that sounds far too easy (ahem) then aim instead for the Smuggler’s Run at noon on Saturday 12 September. Teams of brave ‘smugglers’ try to evade and outwit the excise men while carrying barrels across Porlock Marsh, from the Top Ship in Porlock to the Bottom Ship at Porlock Weir. This is a fun spectacle for participants and onlookers and fancy dress is optional.
During the August bank holiday weekend there is also the fantastic Watchet Music Festival to visit. With headliners the Boom Town Rats, the line up is pretty impressive and includes West Country favourites The Wurzels. Day or weekend tickets are still available at the time of writing but if you’re interested, head sharply over to We Got Tickets. This year, the fancy dress theme on Sunday is Alice in Wonderland and I can’t resist a little quote: “But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
The little team here at Sparkhayes have keen interests in / knowledge of Porlock, Exmoor, steam railways, British pubs, sports and adventure, family activities, relaxing and making happy memories. Use us!