Lorna Doone farm

So it was the middle of the three full days that I spent in Exmoor and my schedule looked pretty full. The plan had been to get up bright and early to look for the seven trees not far from where I was staying in Porlock. They seemed to be known locally as the seven sisters, but I could only find a handful of photographs and nothing about their exact location. One photographer had written enough for me to pin them down between two villages and after searching on Google maps for over an hour one evening, I thought I had tracked them down.

It turns out I was right, but the thick morning fog that had plagued me the previous day was at work once again and although I sat on a little ridge by the side of the lane for the best part of an hour, it remained as a dull and soggy blanket over the landscape. I wasn’t due in Uphill until around lunch time as my homework suggested the light would be ideal by then. I had intended to pootle around for two or three hours, finding things along the way, but at this rate I would be lucky if I could see them! I set out anyway and returned to Porlock before heading south. My guess was that there was an incredible view to be seen along the way, but I never did see it during my entire stay.

I recall turning left at some point. The lane narrowed and twisted down to the bottom of a valley. Then it rose up again and I remember driving across the other side, along an almost impossibly narrow track. I love driving in country lanes, but there were times when I wondered if I had actually strayed off the public highway and was trying to negotiate a farm track instead. What had started as a little adventure was becoming a very real worry as there seemed to be almost no passing places and I had no idea what I would do if I encountered another vehicle.

Eventually I passed through a tiny little village with a river which I crossed over a lovely old bridge… and then I stopped. I had seen this location while I was doing my research. I had desperately wanted to visit, but I couldn’t find the name of the place and it was eventually crossed off the list. Yet here it was and I had stumbled upon it by sheer accident. There was even a place to park by the village green.

I walked back with every intention of photographing the ford, but my standard lens was nowhere near wide enough. This was clearly a job for my ultra wide zoom and it was the first time it had been used away from home. I changed lenses on a nearby grassy bank and walked back to the water’s edge. Bending down I could see a few autumn leaves and I made sure to get them in the field of view. They may look as if they were placed, but they weren’t and I was very lucky to have photographed them at all. Within a couple of minutes of taking the image featured here, a large tractor drove through the ford and washed everything away.

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