Without its villages, Exmoor would perhaps be a lonely spot to visit. Yes, the spectacular scenery would remain, but there's a certain charm attached to the villages that I would miss.
Exford, Winsford, Withypool - they're all unique.
But there is something that ties them together. It's their sense of community and that's usually focused around either the village pub or shop.
So many of these shops are closing. How can they compete with the services and ranges of the larger stores in the nearby towns?
In Exford there used to be two shops - selling newspapers and groceries - and a post office.
The owners of one of the shops tried to sell it as a going concern. When this failed it remained empty for a couple of years. It's recently re-opened, selling mainly clothing. I don't know if it will survive - it seems an isolated location for such expensive items.
The post office, it seems, ticks over. You never have to queue to be served, but to the locals I'm sure it's a lifeline. The other shop remains open and well-stocked, provided you don't want any choice. You could live off their range quite easily, but they don't offer much in the way of variety. You can't blame them - stock costs money and if you need detergent in a cleaning emergency, any will do.
I try to support these local businesses when I visit. Can you try and do the same?