The Famous Five on Exmoor
It was May bank holiday and the Famous Five; Elliot, Ben, Dan, Carrie and Jessie the dog set out on an adventure to discover the wonders of Exmoor .....
Down below them is a fast flowing river, the broad shallows spanned by a series of massive flat boulders (the largest is 10ft long and weighs two tons) lying across equally massive stone piers. The edifice looks as if it should be guarded by a troll to match its scale - it is 180ft, including the surface stones on the west side.
This strange structure is known as Tarr Steps and has been the victim of legends attributing it to giants and the devil - you immediately imagine they are of an age with Stonehenge and Avebury, but the likelihood is that they are a medieval construction to allow drovers to get across the river without their sheep getting soggy, like the clapper bridges of Dartmoor.
Like most young people the Famous Five are fascinated by water ...
And they soon discover a rope swing enabling them to swing far out over the river...
It's great fun but it isn't long before the inevitable happens!
There is a path alongside the river with many natural wonders to discover...
Fungi, lichens and moss covers the fallen tree trunks while a multitude of wild spring flowers bloom alongside the torrent.
The sides of the valley get steeper and the woods close in. The path is easy to follow, allowing us all to relax among the shadows and birdsong, admiring the dramatic beauty of the landscape.
There are so many amazing things to discover - like this beautifully coloured iridescent beetle that looked just like a jewel!
There are red deer, badgers and foxes in the woods but nothing could prepare them for the next discovery ...
... that money actually grows on trees!
They found an ancient tree trunk studded with hundreds of old coins - treasure at last!Scrumping is probably not allowed but, nevertheless our intrepid five found a few bent windfalls!
Anxious to get home, in order to hammer their ancient coins flat, they hurried back on the path alongside the river until ...
... they came upon an old farmhouse serving refreshments.
While the grown-ups enjoyed their afternoon tea they watched a little bird helping himself to the left overs on the next table and decided that their bank holiday adventure on Exmoor was far more exciting than a day at an expensive theme park - and hadn't cost them a penny. In fact they had each ended up a penny better off - even though it was a rather old and battered and bent!
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