A mediaeval village nestled on the edge of Exmoor, Dunster is like taking a step back in time. It is well worth a visit, featuring many attractions that include a castle, watermill, packhorse bridge, a steam train and many other fantastic things to see and do.
Here are a few reasons to visit Dunster village to help you plan your stay.
Now a National Trust property, Dunster Castle and its grounds used to be the family home of the Luttrel family for over 600 years. It is now historically significant and well worth a visit. You can explore the castle and stroll around the beautiful grounds. It was built during the Norman conquest by William de Mohun as a motte and bailey timber castle. It became a family residence in 1404 when the Luttrell family acquired it. It is a magnificent and dominating structure with plenty of stories to tell.
Dunster Railway Station
Dunster railway station is a stop on the longest heritage railway still thriving in England. There are 10 stunning stations over a 20-mile track through the glorious Quantock countryside. The steam trains run regularly and offer a magical journey field with nostalgia for the perfect day out. The gentle pace and the noise as the train click-clacks gently through the countryside are perfect for all ages.
Dunster Yarn Market
An unusual octagonal structure set on the High Street, Dunster Yarn Market dates back to the Jacobean era and has a diameter of over 9 m. Made of timber sitting on a low stone wall, the inside floor of the market is cobbled, the roof is slate, and there is a central wooden lantern. You will also see above the market an original weathervane which is dated 1647.
Not far from the Village centre is Dunster Beach. It is mainly pebbled and a great place to take a walk with the children or dogs. There is an on-site beach shop and plenty of parking and toilets. It is also a great place to see the local wildlife and do a bit of bird spotting.
Dunster Museum and Doll Collection
A stroll down the High Street will reveal many quaint shops and the hidden gem that is the Dunster museum and doll collection. What’s a residential home, the owner Mrs Molly Hardwick started her collection of dolls in 1957. When she died in 1970, she left the property to the Memorial Hall committee because she wanted it to be a museum. There are over 1300 dolls in the collection, and local volunteers maintain displays throughout the year.
Dunster National Park Centre
Located next to the Dunster Steep car park is Exmoor National Park Centre, it holds an interactive exhibit with lots of information about Exmoor and the unique habitats that can be found there. In the exhibition room, you can watch a film in high-definition about Exmoor National Park, and a video microscope gives you a close-up and personal experience of the habitats. There are also some shops and tourist information guides to help you get the most out of your stay.