Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Enquiries have picked up hugely over the past week. Keep them coming and book yourselves in for a stay in Exmoors Dark Skies reserve. Don't forget we are a charity owned bunkhouse and run specifically to meet our Trusts objective of enabling as many young people as possible to explore the wilds of Exmoor. email us on Stay@ExmoorCentre.co.uk

Sunday, 19 February 2012


A few photographs from this weekends Working Weekend. We had a great bunch of people along this time and got a fair bit done. We will be doing it again in the near future so keep an eye on this blog or follow me on Twitter @willbowden for updates.

Sausages cooking for lunch

Henry and Jaqui repairing benches

Supervising I think this is called...or skiving, not sure which.

Trying to get warm again, Saturday was very wet and cold out there but Sunday was excellent weather

Chairman of Trustees John Gale putting in a hard days work, even at 86!
Tig and Strop the Patterdale Terriers helping with the digging.
Weeding the BBQ area
hearty lunches are an important feature of Exmoor Centre Working Weekends!
Lee and Thomas working on the generator shelter.
BBQ area finishes and much smarter, we just need a few dry days to get the tables re-stained now.

 John Gale working hard again assited by daughter Liz with supervision by Tizzy.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Busy Weekend

This weekend ahead (18/19Feb) is the first Trustees Working Weekend of the year out at The Exmoor Centre. These occasions are very informal and act as an Open Day so anyone drop by to see whats out at The Centre and have a cuppa by the river. 

We have a list of jobs to complete over the weekend, these range from plumbing jobs to weeding.We also need to build a new enclosure for our now rarely used generator to free up some space in the drying area at the rear of the building.

One of the jobs I am hoping to get done is to build some bird boxes and maybe an Owl box. We have acquired a lot of salvaged timber to make these and downloaded some plans. Long-term we want to install cameras into the bird boxes for visitors to the centre to be able to log into with their laptops.

Come and join us if you at a loose end this weekend, we are at SS736 458 a few miles south of Lynton. Walk to the Centre from Hillsford Bridge, Stock Common or Dry Bridge Car Park on the B3223. Cheriton is the nearest tarmac to be dropped off but there is very limited parking there. You cannot drive to the centre but we will be running a shuttle out at 10am and back at 4pm from Hillsford Bridge by Land Rover.
Campfire area to be cleaned up

Fences to be checked over.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Hoaroak Cottage

A few miles up the valley from The Exmoor Centre bunkhouse lies a lonely deserted farmhouse called Hoaroak Cottage. The Exmoor Centre management team of Will and Jonny Bowden are descendants of the Johnstone family who lived in the cottage from 1886 until 1904 and are actively involved with researching the cottages history through The Friends of Hoaroak.

For more information about this fascinating building and the people who lived there please visit - http://www.hoaroakcottage.org/The%20Cottage%20and%20Surroundings

The Friends of Hoaroak and The Exmoor Centre hope to be able to offer guided walks out to the cottage later in the year so please get in touch to register your interest and we will keep you informed.

The Rising Sun Gentlemens Walking Club visiting Hoaroak Cottage.

A morning stroll

First of this years snowdrops

I took a stroll out to The Exmoor Centre this morning to collect a few tools I'd left behind last week. I took a few photographs to show you all what its like out there today. It was perfect Exmoor weather to be out there, bitterly cold with the ground frozen solid. There is still a fair bit of snow above about 250m, certainly enough to be sledging of the north facing slopes. With this cold weather set in for a while and the centre available for the next few weekends now is a great time to come here and explore the wilds of the moor, before heading back to the centre to fire up the wood burner and watch the spectacularly clear night skies we are enjoying at the moment.

Email us at stay@exmoorcentre.co.uk for details and availability

Heading out over the ridge towards the Exmoor Centre

The Bunkhouse this morning, frosty and some snow left. The solar panel is thankfully clear so we are generating free electrickery!

Bit chilly for a dip in the river this morning.

Snow on the picnic tables

Arty frozen puddle shot

Plenty of snow left for sledging

Frozen puddles and the view to the east from the ridge