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WITHYPOOL to TARR STEPS
Withypool is a tiny hamlet in a remote part of Exmoor, The Royal Oak pub is reputed to have been used by R. D. Blackmore when writing Lorna Doon but for me the village has another attraction, its petrol station! For many years it was the last station in Britian selling petrol by the gallon. Even when it was illegal they persisted and local support kept prosecution at bay. Finally, in 2002 the government, in one of its "big brother moods", tried to force the station to convert to litres. The owner closed rather than give in, and we are the worse off for it, another bit of English quirky charm has gone. Well, not quite, because the station is still there and the attendants chair is still in his hut as if he has gone to lunch and will be back any minute.
Tarr Steps is a beautiful spot very popular for family picnics. Children & dogs run around in wild abandon chasing sticks in the river getting muddy and wet knowing nobody will care, its what you are supposed to do,
Withypool Hill has a the remains of a small stone age circle, it has always puzzled me why there are so few remains of ancient Britain in this area.
(GPS length 7.24 miles). Pub at the end and there is a cafe at Tarr Steps.
How to get there: A lot of the roads around Withypool are very narrow, the best way is via the B3223 from Exford or Dulverton. Turn towards Withypool at the spire Cross cross roads at SS8883 3356. Ignore the first two road on your right then fork right at a T junction SS8766 3258. Enter village pass Royal Oak pub on right, cross river and park in car park on right soon after.