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Walking holidays in Exmoor

Sweeps of open moorland, heather-clad hills, and panoramic sea views characterise Exmoor National Park – a breathtaking landscape cherished for its ponies, velvet dark skies, and seemingly endless selection of walking and hiking trails.

Yellow gorse-clad hills and purple carpets of heather add a splash of colour to summer walks along Somerset and North Devon’s coastal paths, while wooded combes tumble down into secluded white sand bays – some that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. And in the autumn, the whole place is bathed in golden-bronze tones. 

On top of its good looks, Exmoor is a haven for some of Britain’s rarest wildlife. Be on the lookout for buzzards flying overhead, plus Exmoor ponies and red deer roaming free across the moors. And as a certified International Dark Sky Reserve, you can add stellar stargazing opportunities to the list of reasons to we love Exmoor walking holidays.  

Spend time in Somerset and North Devon

Reaching a whopping 603 miles long, the South West Coast Path covers Cornwall, North Devon, and West Somerset. The section that runs along the coast of Exmoor is sure to satisfy those that love seafront panoramas and pretty fishing villages. Pop into Porlock Weir for a harbourside stroll, visit Bossington Beach – one of Somerset’s best stretches of shingle coastline – or head up to Selworthy Beacon for brilliant views of the Bristol Channel.
Equally attention-worthy is the gentle riverside walk to Watersmeet that skirts along a dramatic river gorge flanked by ancient woodland before rounding off in a National Trust tearoom.  

Rewarding walks

The good thing about our walks around Exmoor is that somewhere along the way, you’ll wind up in one of southwest England’s handsome farm-fringed villages that go big on old world charm.

The coastal route from Culbone unfurls along some of the highest sea cliffs in Britain. It follows in the footsteps of English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and ends in the seaside hamlet of Lynmouth. Don’t miss a ride on the Victorian-era Cliff Railway. The highest and steepest water-powered funicular in the world, it climbs 500ft up the rock face to Lynton, Lynmouth’s sister village.

And then there’s the scenic rewards of a hike over Grabbist Hill to visit medieval Dunster – a valley-nestled village crowned with an impressive red sandstone castle. Once there, treat yourself to a well-earned brew and a slice of cake in one of the tea shops, or enjoy a pint of authentic Somerset cider courtesy of a country pub. 

Enjoy nature’s nightly show 

Nature provides free entertainment in Exmoor. On a clear night, head up to Dunkery Beacon and you’ll have a front row seat to a show of stars and constellations that’s put Exmoor National Park on the International Dark Sky Reserve list.  

Conquer the Quantock Hills 

Though it’s Exmoor National Park that gets all the attention, the Quantock Hills are equally visit-worthy. Flower-filled moors, oak-lined paths and wide-open plains have earned the Quantocks an Area of Outstanding Beauty award. An ascent up Will’s Neck – the highest point – is a must for far-reaching views that can stretch all the way into South Wales.