Merlins Magic and Barrow Bullets

We went on a trip to Wookey Hole and the Somerset medieval city of Wells. Wookey Hole is a set of caves in the Mendip hills near Wells. The caves are formed by the river Axe (the word Axe is Celtic for water) which runs under the limestone hills and out into the Bristol Channel. A tour of the caves kept the kids entertained for a half hour and for anyone interested Wookey Hole is advertising a job vacancy via the Heart radio station for a new Witch who must have “hexfactor” (wonder what the interview process is?).

The medieval city of Wells is named after the springs that bubble up out of the Mendips. Running down the high street is a small stream of water.


We went to the Kings Head pub for lunch, in the main street, a ploughman’s lunch for me and chips for the kids. On the beer front there were a few good ones on tap, I was very tempted to go with the Thatchers Heritage cider or Potholer from Cheddar Ales but chose a beer I had not seen before – Merlin’s Magic by the local, Langport brewery of Moors. The barmaid explained that this was a vegetarian beer and was cloudy. Apparently this beer has no Findings which are used to reduce the cloudiness of beer. The barmaid said that the ingredients in Findings include fish guts and hence a cloudy vegetarian beer. The beer is itself was very rich, fruity, dark and unsurprisingly cloudy.  A good beer but the richness would probably mean that one or two would be enough, although not too strong at 4.3%.  The Kings Head pub was a very pleasant venue with a wide selection of beers and I particularly liked one of the phrases written on a beam “I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered” (I am sure many readers know who said this).

The cathedral in the city of Wells is worth a visit. This is the diocese for the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the cathedral dates back to the 12/13th century. There is plenty of history to see, from moat outside, the medieval architecture, graves and tombs and the clock.


That evening went to Barrow tanks for hour or two of fishing at dusk. A great location, a beautiful still night, with plenty of fish rising, a few missed takes but managed 1 trout of about 1½ lb on a small black buzzer.  The trout in the tanks are also called locally Barrow Bullets.