Experiences

We want you to Experience Exmoor in all its glory and get the most from your trip here.

We work with several companies that provide Experiences:

Experience Exmoor

Neil and Christel at Experience Exmoor are building a solid reputation for providing the best in Luxury offroad safaris on the moor. They operate under license with The National Trust and with Exmoor National Park giving them access to remote parts of the moor and coast. They are ‘out and about’ everyday so track the wildlife and greatly enhance your chances of seeing something unusual. Experience Exmoor

2013-02-25 11.36.37

 

Exmoor Adventures

If Dan French and his Team can’t get you adrenalin going then you need a doctor, or an undertaker! MTB riding Coasteering, Kayaking… Visit their website Exmoor Adventures

 

Sneaky Fox

Paul Black is The Exmoor Centres tame Bushcraft Instructor and works with us on providing free bushcraft and outdoor experiences for schools. Visit their website for more information. Sneaky Fox

2013-07-12 10.42.51

 

John Crush

John is an artist who can bring out your hidden arty side. John has a deep love of Exmoor and can help you capture its beauty in a variety of media from pastels to film! Contact John through his website at – http://johncrush.carbonmade.com/about

 

More to come when I have a minute….

Bushcraft

SneakyFox Outdoors ran our first Primary Schools Bushcraft Day of 2013 last week with Ilfracombe Primary School. You can read lead instructor Paul Blacks report on the SneakyFox website here – http://sneakyfoxoutdoors.co.uk/about-us.html

StMary Lyncombe Exmoor Trust have secured funding through Heart of Exmoor ( http://www.heartofexmoor.org.uk/ )and Ilfracombe Rotary to put these free schools days on this summer. If you are interested in your school joining future free events at The Exmoor Centre please get in touch.

2013-07-12 10.15.12 2013-07-12 10.42.51

Dark Sky

As there was nobody booked in at the centre this weekend we took the opportunity to nip out ourselves. With very little moonlight this weekend the night skies were amazing. Here are a few photographs showing the Milky Way and The Plough in all their glory, these were taken without a remote shutter release and on a wobbly tripod so they aren’t professional standard but they do give you an idea of what you can expect to see at The Exmoor Centre on a clear night.

 

Cooling off in the river

Bogtastic!

A few photos from the excellent Bogtastic Event on Exmoor last week. Bogtastic is a family event run by Exmoor National Park to give families the opportunity to explore the Exmoor Mires project and learn more about the diverse ecology of these remote moorland ecosystems.

Experts were on hand to explain the history of peat cutting, drying and its use as a fuel by moorland farmsteads as well as identifying the fascinating flora and fauna found in and around the hundreds of deep bogs that pepper Exmoor’s high ground .

Summer Adventures

We have some summer dates available at our remote Exmoor Bunkhouse. Gather up some friends and get yourselves booked in for some summer fun in the wilds of Exmoor. We offer basic self catering bunkhouse accommodation and the rest is up to you. Walk the wilds of the moor, get mucky on a mountainbike, build a camp, stargaze, explore Exmoor’s rivers and streams, seek out mysterious standing stones high on the moor, the possibilities are endless.

Anyone can come and we offer really good deals for school/youth groups.

Postcard2

16th/17th March

The bunkhouse is now available on the weekend of 16th/17th March! Get in touch by email at Stay@ this website quickly if you want a weekend in the wilds of Exmoor.

Winter is coming to an end, the first signs of spring are around, its a great time to visit.

early dec 2010 007

Bushcraft Trial Day

We held our first Bushcraft day with Experience Exmoor and Jeff Adams this week.

A bitterly cold day certainly encouraged the guests to pay attention learning how to quickly and effectively start a fire. The day was planned as a taster day to introduce people to outdoor skills such as firelighting, shelter building and tool making.

Experience Exmoor are developing a programme of events and experiences for people to join in with this summer. Follow them on Twitter for information @ExpExmoor

The St Mary Lyncombe Exmoor Trust are planning some Free Bushcraft days this summer for school groups to be held at The Exmoor Centre. If you want your school to be involved get in touch

 

 

Lots more photos here at Experience Exmoor’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.530377050318070.109142.385987301423713&type=1

Rigging some cover

We have been having fun at The Exmoor Centre this morning rigging up a parachute to create some covered space.

Tomorrow we are hosting an event for Experience Exmoor, we are hoping to provide some Bushcraft days at The Exmoor Centre this year and tomorrows event is a test day to get some photographs and feedback for publicty purposes.

With Exmoors unpredictable climate we put out a plea on Twitter for a Parachute and our friend Melanie Hudson came up trumps via some of her contacts with the beautiful sky-blue parachute you see in the pictures.

Neil from Experience Exmoor and I set out first thing this morning to rig up the parachute. After much Laurel and Hardy style antics trying to get ropes over branches we managed to  create something resembling a parachute creating a great covered space in the process. The ‘chute gives a welcome splash of colour in the drab winter landscape and we can’t wait to get the Bushcraft Guinea-pigs out there tomorrow for an exciting day.

Publicity 2013

leaflets

We are attending a few publicity events this year, a first for us, so we thought we had better get our act together and knock up some leaflets.

As ever with us we had a budget of next to nothing so we designed the leaflets ourselves and emailed a pdf to our old friends at Arthur H Stockwell Book Publishers with a plea for help. They were as helpful as ever and Richard Stockwell had the leaflets in the post to us that day, brilliant service and laughably cheap, thanks Richard :-)

If you have a book that you’d like to publish speak to Richard on 01271 862557 or email via their website ahstockwell.co.uk

We will be posting up a list of places you can come and meet us soon…

 

Snow in the wilds of Exmoor

A few photos from Friday mornings expedition out to the Exmoor Centre.

I was out there to check the place over and to meet Fiona from Combe Martin Guides who will hopefully be spending their summer camp with us, don’t worry girls it will be warmer in August. It’ll probably be wetter but definitely warmer.

 

Next weekend

early dec 2010 053

It seems the winter chill is almost upon us and the Exmoor Centre is available next weekend. If you fancy some chilly outdoor adventures in the wilds of Exmoor or just want a weekend away from the world of technology now is the time.

The bunkhouse can sleep 14, its toasty warm with a roaring woodburner and if you are lucky enough to get some snow the sledging is excellent!

Anyone can book the centre, our purpose as a charity is to provide cheap accommodation for young people to explore the wilds of Exmoor. Many of our visitors are small family groups, everyone is welcome.

What will your kids be doing next weekend? Staring at an X-Box or staring at a campfire and the stars in the heart of the Exmoor Dark Skies Reserve?

early dec 2010 049

Voices of Hoaroak Valley

Many voices over many years have echoed through the Hoar Oak Valley on Exmoor.

 Here is a chance to add yours!

Thanks to a Heritage Lottery All Our Stories Grant two local charities based in the Hoar Oak Valley on Exmoor  will be collecting, sharing and celebrating peoples’ memories and stories of the Hoar Oak Valley.   The Friends of Hoar Oak Cottagewww.hoaroakcottage.org and the St Mary Lyncombe Trust which runs the Exmoor Centre http://exmoorcentre.co.uk are asking for your help.

  • You may have memories and stories about, or be descended from, one of the many shepherd families who have lived and worked at the remote and secluded Hoar Oak Cottage since the 1800s.
  • You might be one of the many people, young and not so young, who have enjoyed staying at or helping to build and run the Exmoor Centre since the 1960s.
  • You may be one of the many people who simply love the area and have memories and stories about your times spent walking in the Hoar Oak Valley.

 ——-

To find out more and how to get involved please contact us:

Post:                Voices of Hoar Oak Valley Project, 9 Rock Avenue,  Lynton,  North Devon,  EX356DL

Email:               info@hoaroakcottage.org           or        will@exmoorcentre.co.uk

Website:           http://www.hoaroakcottage.org/Our2013HeritageLotteryProject

 

Facebook Page

We have created a new Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ExmoorCentre 

It seems this will make us easier to find on Facebook than using the old ‘Group’ format. We have added some of the photographs from the old Group and will add more as and when we have time. Feel free to upload your own photos from your stay at The Exmoor Centre. We won’t use your photos for any other use without your permission.

:-)

Heading over the moor to The Exmoor Centre in winter

Heading over the moor to The Exmoor Centre in winter

Hardest winter for 100years

The internet is alive with claims that this winter will be the hardest for a 100years, woohoo we say! More sledging and snowy fun!

The bunkhouse is booked up now until the new year but if you contact us now you may be lucky enough to find yourself out there in the snow. Get the woodburner roaring and head out for some fun.

Sledging is a favourite but there is much more you can do, this months Bushcraft Magazine (http://www.bushcraftmagazine.com/) has a great article on creating things with Ice and is well worth grabbing a copy for inspiration if you are planning on a trip out on cold days.

One of our favourite Artists Andy Goldsworthy is a great inspiration for days out (http://www.goldsworthy.cc.gla.ac.uk/image/?id=ag_02391) he has done some amazing work using whatever he finds lying around and Ice is a medium he has done some of his most impressive work with.

We are keeping to last years prices of only £9/head per night for the winter season so book yourself in quick!

Ice on the windows at The Exmoor Centre

Making snowmen at The Exmoor Centre with our friendly ‘Wolf’ Baracus.

Land Rovers

At The Exmoor Centre we are Land Rover fans, our modified Land Rover 110 is the lifeline that keeps the centre going, without it managing such a remote building would be all but impossible. Last weekend we were overjoyed to welcome the boys from Land Rover Monthly magazine who spent the weekend at the bunkhouse to do a photoshoot for some forthcoming vehicle articles.

On Saturday they took photographs of a beautiful Range Rover Classic and not one but two rare 6×6 Defenders.

On sunday we had a treat with two 1957 Series One Land Rovers, these rolled off the production line within months of each other and at a glance are very similar. When you start to look and engage your rivet counting anorak wearing Land-Rover nutter head they are different in almost every aspect.

Here is a photo to whet your appetite until the LRM issue comes out after Christmas…

Publicity for 2013

 

As a small charity owned Bunkhouse we operate on a minimal budget to keep costs down for our users. It is our main aim to make staying in the wilds of Exmoor available to as many young people as possible. One thing we don’t have is a publicity budget so we are looking at alternatives to traditional advertising for next year.

We have written articles for magazines and papers in the past for publicity. If you are an editor who feels your readership would be interested in either staying at our bunkhouse or hearing of the story of how we came about and what we have done fore the past 45 years then please get in touch. You are also welcome to use any photographs on this website as page fillers if you give our website a credit and let us know.

We would love to hear from anyone who can help us get as many people visiting us as possible next year.

Will  Bowden

 

 

Getting ready for winter

I got a report that the temperature was down to -2degC across the moor a few days ago which set alarm bells ringing. We usually get our first serious frost at the beginning of November at The Exmoor Centre but its early this year, we have the potential for frosty mornings for seven months of the year!

When the woodburning stove is raging the bunkhouse is toasty and warm no matter what the weather but left unheated the temperature drops and being in a deep combe high on the moor some days the temperature struggles to get above freezing.

Our main winter problem is the water system; it soon freezes solid potentially causing damage to the delicate gas water heater and the shower mixer, both of which were damaged last year. A couple of years ago we altered the water system a bit to allow it to be drained down quickly, all we need do now is turn a couple of valves and open the taps. Refilling is also straight-forward meaning we can fairly easily turn the system on and off. The exception is the shower which cannot be drained without several hours work so we tend to leave it off during the winter unless groups are staying for several days.

Snow is our other problem, it covers our solar panel meaning the batteries soon run down. If you are at the bunkhouse during a snowstorm remember to clear the panel as soon as the snow stops falling.

Chopping wood is a relentless task in the winter, we try to get a good stock of wood together through our ongoing woodland management around the property and the local farmers are good enough to allow us to collect wood from hedging etc, we even raid builders skips on a regular basis for free firewood. Most visitors are good enough to leave plenty of wood ready for the next visitors to get a fire going without too much work.

For all the extra work winter brings it really is the best time to be at The Exmoor Centre and we have a hard-core of regulars who come to Mountain Bike and Hike the hills throughout the winter. Pack you winter waterproofs and book yourself in, you might get lucky and get snowed in!

  View from the bunkhouse on a snowy morning

 

Future events

Yesterday we had a meeting with Neil and Christel from Experience Exmoor to thrash out some ideas about events for 2013. We are hoping to put together a series of daytime and night-time wild-Exmoor experiences making the most of our facilities at The Exmoor Centre and Neil and Christel’s business ‘Experience Exmoor‘.

Daytime events may include Bushcraft days with the emphasis being on creating something unique using natures resources that you can take home as a momento rather than the usual ‘Survival’ focus of Bushcraft days.

Night-time Experiences will make the very best use of Exmoor Dark Skies exploring one of the remotest Valleys of Exmoor to soak up not only the nightlife of the Beasts of the moor but also the wonders of the whole Universe.

Stay tuned for more news and please get in touch if this has whet your appetite and we will  keep you update directly and you may even get the chance to be a guinea-pig on our trial days and nights!

There are some great photos of Neil and Christel’s last trip to see us here