A - Z Blogging Challenge - U

With its natural beauty, you might be surprised to learn of Exmoor's industrial past.

In the 19th century mines were dug under the hills of Exmoor and if you know where to look, you can see traces of them today.

Many of the sites are on private property, but this photo was taken from a public footpath. The mine is indicated by the long stretch of dark green running across the field.

In other locations you will spot the stone buildings that housed the machinery. And perhaps best of all is the old Mineral Line itself. The minerals were taken from the mines to Watchet - see S - where they were loaded into ships, heading up the Bristol Channel.

The sheer drop - from the mines on the hills, to the sea - necessitated in the construction of a railway. Though long gone, the incline is still there and there is a permissible path along most of the route.

Last year I was lucky enough to join a group of enthusiasts and walked the area, looking at the mines that one can't normally see. Because they're on private land and only accessed very rarely, the 'health and safety' brigade haven't fenced them off and it's possible to get very close. Commonsense prevented anyone from being daft. It was a fascinating day!