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If you follow the road to Crowcombe through Over Stowey, in the summer months, you cross a cattle grid, then the road climbs uphill, winding gently through ancient forests…Coppices of burr oak on either side of the road  are interspersed with beech and indeterminate vegetation.  In places, the branches corkscrew and unfurl across the road and embrace overhead in a soothing green canopy. The road meanders lazily upward then suddenly bursts out onto open moorland.This is not Exmoor, but it feels like it. Gorse bushes, reeds, heather, low patches of nettle and banks of campion. Fritillary hover, dip to the brightest of flowers, to sip the nectar, then stop on lantana to spread their wings.  There is a remoteness, a ruggedness, a wildness and yet a deep tranquility on the sharp, clear air. Sheep, grazing on the moorland, wander across the road in front of you, and often lie on it, to catch the latent heat…wild ponies skitter across the road in a flurry of hooves and flaring nostrils.

Look out across the moor to your left and softly rounded, farmed land and ridges are visible beyond the woods, on which cattle graze and the odd red deer, escape bravely, tiptoeing hesitantly from the safety of the woods. Bear right and the coastal views simply take your breath away. Deeply incised wooded valleys drop directly into the sea, the cliffs are rugged, forbidding, streams drop sharply through deep green undergrowth…and there in the distance, across the Bristol Channel is the Welsh shoreline, barely visible in the dappled, dimpsy light…

Further around, in the Channel, closer to the coast, the islands of Steepholm and Flatholm thrust out of the waves, and stretch out, apparently lazily, in the waters, respectively. Then look left, and follow the coast until you reach the steep, rugged cliffs at Linton and Linmouth, and the thin stripe of sand that marks Minehead. Further around still, the rolling land that is Exmoor,stretches itself out beneath you as far as you can see. And if you are fortunate, you may catch a buzzard spiralling upward and gliding down on the late June air…

Reach the top, before plunging down the precipitous road to Crowcombe itself, with its overgrown emergency exit lane. Look up to the left and the leafy bridle and pathway meanders upward toward Crowcombe Gate and the trig point at Triscombe Stone. This is what it is to be in God’s own country…