We were a bit despondent about the forecast, which turned from glorious sunshine to rain last week. But actually, it’s turned out to be not half as bad as we’d imagined. This morning’s walk around part of the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate (not half a mile from the camp site) was beautifully sunny and memorable for the incredible farming activity going on (do these farmers ever rest?!) and the variety of wildlife. The photo shows one of my favourite rolling fields, looking towards Minehead.
Will the going be good for the first Point to Point of the season?! For those who aren’t sure what a Point to Point is, it’s an amateur horse race, much more relaxed than a big race meeting, where the public can get really close to the action and maybe have a flutter, in what is a wonderfully sociable day out. We are lucky enough to have a fantastic course here at Holnicote. The horses are trying to qualify for bigger races and there’s always a real mix of talent; some will go on to be champions (but which?!) and this makes the betting all the more interesting, backing an outsider might net you some serious cash if you’re brave enough to put some cash on it. Either way, it’s a fun experience and takes place this Sunday, 3 May, from 1 or 2pm (you’re advised to get there early to get a parking spot with a good view). Take a picnic or make use of the refreshments and beer tent. If you can’t get to this one, there’s another Point to Point here on Saturday 9 May..!
Looking further ahead, Sunday 24 May is the date of our annual Duck Race. Held here at Sparkhayes Campsite, it’s a much-loved family event that is held to raise funds for the village Carnival. There’s the chance to name your duck and watch it race in a whole series of races along our carefully built course in the stream, with the hope of winning a small cash prize. Goodness, I’ve just realized that it means more gambling… oops!
On Thursday 28 May, head to the Bottom Ship at pictureseque Porlock Weir for an evening of traditional sea shanties, a fitting location for such revelry and a pretty walk from the campsite (though you’d certainly need a torch on the way back).
And if you’re still feeling competitive despite the chance to lose your money at two Point to Points and then the Duck Race, come along to Exmoor’s World Champion Crabbing Competition, again at our pretty harbor, on Sunday 30 May. All ages are welcome (which is lucky, since I’m itching to have a go), bring your own bucket, line and bait (all available in Porlock and at the Weir) for the chance to win the coveted trophy, which was handmade by Bristol Blue Glass - whose studio at Porlock Weir is well worth a visit.
Phew, you’ll need to relax in the peaceful surroundings of Sparkhayes after all that excitement.
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!