Great weather in Somerset today, painting Minehead at it’s best. On a couple of earlier visits it’s lived down to it’s status as a pleasant but nondescript seaside resort, comparable to a Cleethorpes or Ayr, but it shone today.
In the sun, the shapes and colours of Exmoor meeting the sea came through, and the walks to nearby Dunster were very picturesque. Even the steam railway, not a favourite thing of mine, looked superb.
Dunster itself has some terrific views from the National Trust castle at the top of the hill, but even better was the ancient High Street, a match for Alfriston or Steyning, with a gem of an ancient inn – the Luttrell Arms, being a very cosy place for an afternoon Otter (NBSS 3.5).
Minehead has a workmanlike High Street, with some very busy cafes and restaurants today, but it’s two Beer Guide pubs were the stars. The outlying Kildare Lodge is a beautiful small hotel with Arts & Craft styling, and again provided a great advert for Otter, a beer I find inconsistent outside of it’s homeland.
The Old Ship Aground is a Minehead stalwart, a superb seafront local selling plenty of a slightly chilled but fruity Boondoggle (NBSS 3) in, again, a very comfortable and unpretentious house.
Minehead isn’t overpubbed, and the Spoons was frankly too rammed to fairly assess it, but these solid locals, combined with some good cafes and chippies made it felt like an ideal short break. And we didn’t even make it to Butlins.