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Holidays in Dunster

A medieval village in the heart of Exmoor

UK | South West | Somerset | Dunster
Yarn market in centre

Dunster is a picturesque village on the Somerset coast, a couple of miles southeast of Minehead. This medieval community lies within the Exmoor National Park and is home to a magnificent castle, Yarn Market and Tithe Barn. In the well kept village centre, there are 200 listed historical buildings, traditional tearooms, pubs and an interesting selection of independent shops.

Nestled along the edge of Exmoor, the pretty village of Dunster is home to Dunster Castle, which is prominently situated on a wooded hill and dates back to the Norman times. Explore its 13th century gatehouse, which still stands and was remodelled throughout 1968-72 by Antony Salvin on behalf of the Luttrell family, who lived here for 600 years until 1950.

The local area is steeped in history and the village itself still retains many ancient features, including its 25th century parish church, a working watermill, former nunnery and the picturesque packhorse bridge.

Quaint village centre

In the centre of the village is the famous Yarn Market and although its surroundings have been transformed for modern tourism, now boasting shops, tea rooms and hotels, the original building still stands. Once the hub for local trading, the octagonal market was erected in 1609 following an Act of Parliament governing the sale of the kerseymere cloth, known as "Dunsters".

For train enthusiasts the West Somerset Steam Railway is located on the outskirts of the village and runs between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, stopping at eight stations along the way. Easily accessible, at times a vintage bus will carry passengers between the village and station. Trains have been adapted for wheelchair users and for a small extra charge, dogs are welcome too.

“This medieval community lies within the Exmoor National Park and is home to a magnificent castle, Yarn Market and Tithe Barn.”

Dunster Beach is located within easy reach and features much of the old-world charm the village boasts of. A family-friendly beach with an array of brightly coloured huts, part of the immediate area is also a nature reserve.

This pretty little village is filled with an abundance of thatched cottages and is the perfect get-away for families, couples and those who will enjoy its rich history. Dunster is perhaps most famous for the yearly Dunster-By-Candlelight festival which takes place on the first Friday and Saturday in December, when the village is aglow with the light from hundreds of candles.

While you’re there

Dunster Estate

See the tallest tree in England on the Tall Tree Trail in Dunster's medieval estate.

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle is both an ancient castle and a comfortable country home.

Blue Anchor Bay

A long sandy beach in a quiet location, popular with walkers and great for fossil hunting.

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