Saturday, 16 April 2016

Away With The Fairies

Yesterday P had a day off work, so we packed our raincoats and walking boots and headed for a rather special place that I've wanted to visit for years, a place of mystery and magic. Come with me and I'll show you ...

Goblin Combe in North Somerset is a deep fissure cut millions of years ago into the limestone by rushing water as ancient ice melted. Left behind is a steep-sided gorge with a path running along the bottom. 

It's eerily quiet here, apart from birdsong. No one else is around.

Tread carefully. It feels as if we're being watched.

All around us there seem to be faces ...

Shhh ... fairies live here.

A folktale tells the story of a little girl who got lost while  gathering primroses here, falling though a rock into fairyland before being let home with some gold as a gift.

We are quiet, and talk in hushed voices. Around us ancient yew trees twist out of the rock,  

contorting into strange shapes.

Tiny mosses and lichens cover almost every surface.

Fallen trees are left where they fell, and the earth takes them back.

Huge boulders lie either side of the path.

This is an ethereal place, wild and enthralling. 

Above us the precipice looms, bearing down on us as we wend our way.

Once in a while a set of steps lead up and out of sight towards the top of the cliffs.

Loose scree cascades down the sides of the valley either side of us.

Above our heads we hear first and then see a raven, who flies away cacklng coarsely.

Tiny scented violets dot the floor of the gorge, drawing the eye down from the crags above.

Then something happens. Clouds clear and the sun comes out, and light streams down through the trees, brightening the valley floor as if a light has been switched on. Relaxing, we talk louder and walk more assuredly.

We smile as we catch the shimmer of bluebells under the trees.

Last year's beech leaves litter the ground 

and moss-coated boulders suddenly glow emerald green, lit by the sun.

 Cracked limestone walls above our heads are thrown into sharp relief ...

 ... and the roots of gnarled yews seek purchase, forcing their way into the fissures in the rock.

Sudden, deafening noise shakes the air around us as a passenger plane roars overheard, scarily low, and we remember that Bristol airport is not far away, bringing us back to the here and now.

 Throughout Goblin Combe its geology is explained in these brilliant interpretation boards,

as well as its landscape and history, 

and its rich and varied wildlife.

We only found one of these stunning carved wooden panels, but there was so much detail in it. 

I wished I'd brought my own crayons and paper.


Goblin Combe has moonwort ferns, stinking hellebores, dormice, yews and butterflies on its high grasslands.

It is a beautiful, fascinating place and we will come back here, maybe to climb those steps and see the butterflies.

Thank you for coming with me for a memorable afternoon x


  1. We loved Goblin Combe when we lived in Somerset, and often took the girls there, it is lovely in the sunshine, but magical in the mist. Just shown hubby your post, we both thank you for reminding us of lovely days past, it is also lovely in the winter months.

    1. Thank you Marlene - I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's a place we've been meaning to go to for years, and now we've been I look forward to seeing it at different times of the year.
      Cathy x

  2. Even the name is a bit mystical! Love it!

  3. What a beautiful walk, I love woods and trees, what a lovely tale x

  4. Absolute magical -I can see why you wanted to visit x

  5. Just magical! Onto my list it goes and we'll be sure to remember those crayons. xx

  6. I have never heard of Goblin Combe, it certainly looks a magical place to visit. I love the carved wooden panels. xx

  7. What a nice pictures of the trees ... I love trees and especially walking the in forests ..
    have a nice sunday

  8. What a fascinating place to visit, I'm glad you both enjoyed it xx

  9. Hello - I did love reading this. What an enchanting place Goblin Combe sounds - just the sort of place I'd like to visit. The trees look fascinating and so do the lichens and mosses. It's obviously a good place for wildlife, too.

  10. What a beautiful magical place! You can actually imagine goblins and fairie folk around :) The bluebells are so gorgeous, this is definitely my favourite time of year! THanks for sharing such beautiful pictures have a lovely weekend :) x

  11. Thanks for that lovely walk Cathy, what a fascinating place. I loved those moss covered boulders and the lichens. x

  12. Ooh, that is a magical place! The hairs on the back of my neck stood up just looking at the pictures! Thanks for sharing your walk, I loved it! xx

  13. Very goblin-haunted! I felt the atmosphere of the place.


Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I don't always get time to reply, but I look forward to and love to read your comments - they really do make my day x