Minehead is at the edge of the Exmoor and direct at the Bristol Channel and almost every route to get there run through the Exmoor. The Exmoor is at least today no longer a big swampland more a treeless heath land with a huge forest in the middle which once was a royal hunting ground. But it can get scary nevertheless when all is befogged which happens often and sometimes very sudden. And should in the fog the here living red dear appear it can give you the horrors.
As far as I know so far all participants in the UK Open managed to cross the Exmoor without getting into trouble though here live fairies and pixies, beasts and even the devil makes trouble.
The times the devil was often in Exmoor seem to be long ago. But he is responsible for several of the most popular highlights of the region which attract today all the hikers who enjoy the region.
As one hears the devil was - as many of us are - a sun lover and built the Tarr Steps - a bridge made of huge stone slaps over the River Barle for sun bathing. That was not easy for the locals who were punished by the devil when they tried to cross the bridge - at least unless their priest managed to counter attack a verbal attack of the devil The devil was impressed and allowed the locals to use the bridge when he was not in Exmoor.
To transport the stone slaps the devil used his apron and you still can find the petrified apron strings near the bridge.
As well responsible was the devil for a huge pit called till today the pinch bowl. He built it because he got very thirsty building the Tarr Steps and drunk from it. And it is quite clear of course what he did with all the spoil from the pit - he built Dunkery Beacon with it - the highest peak in Exmoor.
It is known as well that the devil was befriended with a friendly giant who lived in Dunster. And from time to time the two met to compete in throwing stones - or can anybody exclaim the Whit Stones which were thrown from Hurlstone Point near Minehead?
Today only darts are thrown in Minehead though to be sure the one or other darts player will have asked himself whether the devil had a hand in the pie when he couldn't find his doubles. It can't be excluded he still from time to time visits the Exmoor.
Tomorrow in the Butlin's Resort this year's UK Open will begin. In the sunshine today the landscape didn't look scary at all - to travel here only took even longer then usually as some maintenance was done at the very narrow road. It is so narrow that even without road works two buses just can pass one another.
And I can tell you that Belgian Mario Vandenbogarde arrived safely, at least I did see his car. But I can't tell you whether he met the devil or not.