Wednesday, 8 February 2017

I know what you did last Summer - Watchet and Cleeve Abbey

As I had blogger's block for most of last year, I thought I would fill you in with a few posts looking back at what we got up to last Summer.  

We had a week long break in Somerset at the beginning of July 2016. 

As per usual, the weather was changeable to say the least, as any holiday in the UK tends to feature shorts and t shirts, wellies and everything in between.  

We stayed in a detached holiday cottage, adjacent to the owners house, and originally their double garage which had been converted to house an elderly relative, it was well thought out and comfortable.

We awoke on our first morning and the weather was good, cold but good.

Picnic packed, we set out for the nearest beach, Kilve.

Turns out that Kilve beach is just a little bit rocky,

Yeah, OK, a lot rocky!

With fossils though!

Thank goodness we brought woollies, it was fresh

That's Hinckley Point nuclear reactor in the background

Nearby Watchet was a little disappointing.  Such an obviously historical old seaside port, now very jaded and forgotton.  We discovered the statue of the Ancient Mariner (complete with albatross) referring to the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which was written here.

and Yankee Jack, a nineteenth century local sailor who sailed aboard boats involved in the American civil war, hence the nickname

The shops in Watchet are sad and tired, it was all a little depressing.  It's the sort of place I would have loved as a child, but I suppose these days children want different things. Such a shame as it could be a thriving little town.

  The harbour appears to be busy though, which is good

After a disastrous tea and cake (we were served coffees after waiting 20 minutes for tea to arrive in a very quiet tea room) we set off up the road to Cleeve Abbey, an unplanned diversion.

What a pleasant surprise! 
 The sun was out, and as we crossed the road from the car park we were confronted by a stream with plenty of wildlife.

 We stood and watched this little family dabbling for their lunch for quite a while...

 ....before walking through the gatehouse into this lovely place, 

a late 12th century Cistercian abbey founded by the Earl of Lincoln on land given by King Ethelred the Unready 


The correct Latin name for Cleeve is Vallis Florida
15th century angel ceiling in the refectory

Medieval paintings

13th century tiled pavement

Dormitory windows

They hold weddings at Cleeve and this archway entrance is a favourite spot for photographs.

It turned out to be a stunningly hot day, we were slightly overdressed but had brought a change of footwear, Still, there's nothing like sitting in the grounds of an old abbey in the sun, with an ice cream from the shop and the grass between your toes.

Hello holidays!


  1. Nothing but reading about summer holidays on a cold February. It might have been a tad cold, but I guess that's to be expected in the UK. A (very) rocky beach might not be the thing for sunbathing, but it's great for photos, as proved by yours! Cleeve Abbey is gorgeous: just the kind of place I'd like to visit. xxx

    1. Thank you Ann, the beach looked better than it felt, that's for sure! xxx

  2. I was disappointed to read about Watchet as I had two holidays there as a child in the early seventies. I remember lots of rock pools and a wind break! (some things never change)
    Cleve Abbey looks fascinating.

    1. Seaside in the UK was at its peak in the 70's I think, I remember Scarborough fondly, it's not the same now.

  3. Summer holidays! What a lovely read after such a miserable and cold day I've spent in the shed sorting stock!
    Cleve Abbey looks absolutely gorgeous. xxx

    1. Glad to have helped brighten your day, Vix. Can't wait to see more of your Indian photos xxx

  4. Lovely to see you photos from last summer. Cleeve is an absolute gem - but so many people seem to drive straight past and head for Dunster/Minehead. We've had loads of holidays in that part of the world.. isn't it gorgeous! Jx

    1. It is so beautiful down there Jan, we will be back at some point, I'm sure xxx


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