Tarr Steps, Somerset

Tarr Steps is one of the best known places within Exmoor National Park, visited annually by thousands of people who come to see the ancient clapper bridge that spans the River Barle, and to spend a little time amidst the natural beauty of this wooded Somerset valley and nature reserve.

The bridge itself, the actual Tarr Steps, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, though there doesn't seem to be any firm evidence as to exactly how ancient it is - some say Bronze Age, some say medieval; legend has it was built by the devil who used it for sunbathing. Believe what you will... The construction of the bridge is quite incredible because it's actually humongous slabs of stone laid on piles of smaller stones - no cement whatsoever. Clever, especially when you consider that the bridge is 55 metres long and each slab weighs up to 2 tons - how did they do that?? Of course, this isn't the original bridge - that's been washed away in floods over the years, but it looks exactly as it first did.

So, go see. Have a paddle, unpack your picnic, or head back up to the Tarr Farm Inn near the car park and have a cream tea. There are circular waymarked trails including a short one of just over a mile and a longer one that takes you to Dulverton 4 miles away. Another nice thing to do here is wander up to Winsford Hill where you might just see Exmoor ponies grazing. 

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