Halsbeer Farm is located on the edge of The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). As such it is a tranquil, beautiful place to visit. The Blackdowns comprise part of Devon and part of Somerset. It is an unspoilt, little visited gem with great opportunities for walking, cycling, horse-riding and exploring by car.
The AONB website is a useful resource to help plan your trip with suggested walking and cycling routes and links to What's On in the local area.
Highlights of the Blackdown Hills:
If you are into history you might like to visit one of the many Iron Age hill forts to be found in these parts. We love walking at Hembury Hill Fort on the way to Honiton. It is particularly good in bluebell season and the foxgloves can be impressive there too.
Culmstock Beacon is also a great place to walk; watchmen would have waited in the stone-built hut for a fire signal from another beacon in the chain before lighting theirs. There has been a beacon on the site since at least the time of the Spanish Armada.
Nearby Blackborough Common, now mostly wooded, still shows evidence of the whetstone mining industry. Park by the churchyard in Blackborough where you will find an information board about it before heading up to see if you can find the remains of Garnsey Tower and fabulous views towards Culmstock and its beacon.
The Wellington Monument is another interesting place to walk. It's great to see up close, especially if you've passed it in the car on the M5. The nearby village of Hemyock has a castle that is sometimes open to the public.
If you like Second World War history you may be interested in the airfields that are dotted about the Blackdowns, including RAF Culmhead, RAF Dunkeswell and RAF Upottery. There are heritage centres at the latter two.