Exmoor - Moor to Sea
Exmoor is an area of open moorland covering the northern coast of Devon and West Somerset. Although its exact boundaries are relatively hard to pin down, the area termed as Exmoor stretches from Hangman Hill near Combe Martin in the west to Minehead in the east. Dulverton effectively marks its southern boundary.
Facts and Figures
The area was granted National Park status in 1954 and covers an area of 267 square miles (692 sq. km.) of which 29% lies within the county of Devon and 71% in Somerset. Its highest point is at Dunkery Beacon, standing some 1,703 feet (519m) above sea level. Its four main settlements are Porlock, Dulverton, Lynton and Lynmouth. Taken together these towns contain about 40% of the whole population of Exmoor. Other settlements of note are Withypool, Exford and Simonsbath. The large market town of South Molton in Devon is often said to be the 'Gateway to Exmoor' and is an excellent base for provisions or from which to explore the area.
Highlights of Exmoor
There are many places to visit on Exmoor and each visitor will get something different from their trip. Here are just a few of our ideas:
- Valley of the Rocks
- Dunkery Beacon
- Dunster - Yarn Market and Castle
- Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
- Tarr Steps
- Heddon's Mouth
Once again everyone will have their favourite walk on Exmoor, some wish to have a gentle mile long stroll not too far from their vehicle others may wish to utilise the number of excellent footpaths on the moor such as the Two Moors Way or the Coleridge Way.
There are a number of excellent guidebooks to the area, two of the best being Exmoor - Rangers Favourite Walks and also Exmoor - The Official National Park Guide. We have selected our favourite walks, each in our opinion allow you to feel the real flavour of Exmoor:
- Tarr Steps and Hawkridge
- The Valley of the Rocks and the Lee Valley
- Hunter's Inn Parracombe to Heddon's Mouth
- Doone Country
- Cow Castle & the River Barle
There are a wide range of activities available on Exmoor, with the main ones being walking, horse riding on over 400 miles of bridleways and cycling. Other activities include mountain biking, orienteering, climbing, abseiling, canoeing, sea kayaking, fishing, coasteering, sailing, sailboarding and a host of other watersports. Eastern Exmoor has a number of woods such as Horner Woods, a Site of Special Scientific Interest or SSSI, to explore, picnic in or simply relax in.
There are three main Information Centres to help you get the very best out of your visit to Exmoor. They are:
Dulverton National Park Centre (Southern Exmoor)
7 - 9 Fore Street, Dulverton, West Somerset, TA22 9EX
- Tel: 01398 323 841
- E-mail: NPCDulverton@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
Dunster National Park Centre (Eastern Exmoor)
Dunster Steep, Dunster, Minehead, West Somerset. TA24 6SE
- Tel: 01643 821 835
- Email: NPCDunster@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
Lynmouth National Park Centre (Western Exmoor)
Lyndale Car Park, Lynmouth, Lynton, Devon. EX35 6EX
- Tel: 01598 752 509
- Email: NPCLynmouth@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk
All Centres are now open daily from 10.00 to 17.00.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns:
There's plenty more to explore in this area, too! Find more attractions and things to do nearby: