Exmoor National Park Walks
A dramatic landscape comprising wide-open moors, peaceful woodlands, picturesque farms, and charming valleys, Exmoor National Park is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Featuring 692km² of wild and rugged terrain waiting to be explored, you will have no shortage of grand adventures on your next visit to this beautiful region that is steeped in history.
Established as a national park in 1954, Exmoor has a rich history of natural and human interaction that has shaped the landscape over thousands of years into what it is today. Throughout the region, you can spot the remnants of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Medieval settlements that provide a window into the importance of Exmoor to earlier populations. These sites, in addition to the breathtakingly scenic natural sites in the park, make the area perfect for outdoor adventures. So whether you come for the history or the views, you will be sure to enjoy your time spent in Exmoor National Park.
Explore 10 Epic Walks In Exmoor National Park
Featuring a wealth of different terrain types that range from lovely sandy beaches and rugged coastal cliffs to barren, and exposed stretches of open moorland, Exmoor National Park offers walkers countless opportunities to explore its picturesque landscape. While the undulating terrain throughout the region may seem a bit daunting at first glance, there are walking routes fit for all skills and ages, making Exmoor a beautiful place to explore no matter your experience level. If you are looking to plan an excursion in the region, check out this awesome list of walks in Exmoor that we’ve put together below:
- Valley of the Rocks and Lynton Walk: This is an exceptional trail along the North Devon coast that offers breathtaking views over the Bristol Channel. It isn’t too difficult either, making it the ideal way to explore the coastal areas of Exmoor with friends or family.
- Lee Abbey and Exmoor Coast Walk: A popular trail for anyone visiting Lynton, this route will lead you along the coast for some wonderful views across the water. After passing by an historic gothic-style building now used as a Christian retreat, you will climb uphill for even better views of the surrounding area that stretch out to South Wales on a clear day.
- Lynmouth to Brendon Walk: This is a challenging walk thanks to some fairly steep terrain, but the amazing atmosphere along the East Lyn River and beautiful views of the coast make it worthwhile. Your legs may burn a bit by the end of it, but at least you'll be able to spot some local wildlife while walking through the gorge!
- Lorna Doone Valley Trail: A lovely countryside walk in Exmoor National Park, the Lorna Doone Valley Trail will take you along the edge of Badgworthy Water and through peaceful woodland landscapes that will help you relax.
- Lynton, Watersmeet, and Valley of the Rocks Walk: This is a fun walk along the North Devon coast that will see you traverse some undulating terrain and pass through a beautifully scenic area known as the Valley of the Rocks. There is a bit of steep terrain here, but the views overlooking the Bristol Channel are stunning.
- Porlock Bay Walk: Another coastal walking route, the Porlock Bay Walk will take you along beaches and through various marshlands for exceptional views of the channel. Sprinkled with a few charming villages throughout the route, this is a wonderful way to experience the natural and manmade scenery of Exmoor.
- Tarr Steps and River Barle Walk: Walking this trail is an amazing experience that will let you reconnect with nature and visit a unique historical site. In addition to the peaceful riverside setting along the River Barle, you will be able to cross over a beautiful Medieval bridge.
- Combe Martin Circular Walk: Featuring some small sections of uphill walking, this route provides beautiful views along the coast, making it popular with a variety of walkers. Along the trail, you will also have the chance to explore the charming village of Combe Martin, which makes for a fun day outdoors.
- Selworthy and Selworthy Beacon Walk: Another uphill walking route along the North Devon coast, the Selworthy and Selworthy Beacon Walk will take you through some rugged terrain for exceptional views overlooking Exmoor National Park and the Bristol Channel.
- Horner Wood Circular Walk: While this route does feature some brief climbs and descents along its length, they are manageable for walkers of most skill levels. The peaceful woodland setting along this route makes for a relaxing afternoon out on the trails.
Scroll down to find even more stunning walks in Exmoor National Park.
When is the Best Time to Walk in Exmoor National Park?
The weather in Exmoor National Park is favourable year-round, with average summer temperatures (℃) in the high teens to low twenties and winter temperatures in the single digits. This means that any time of year is suitable for a fun walking adventure in the park. There are some exposed areas along the coast and in elevated positions on the moor that may experience more inclement weather, so if you want the most favourable conditions for your trip, try aiming for June-September.
Other Outdoor Activities in Exmoor National Park
Featuring favourable weather year-round and a good variety of landscapes throughout the park, Exmoor offers a number of different activities to get you exploring the outdoors. In addition to a bevy of picturesque walking routes, Exmoor National Park has exceptional cycling routes, so much so that they are featured in the Tour of Britain. Other activities that can be found here include camping, rock climbing, abseiling, archery, kayaking and canoeing.
Adventure Tours Near Exmoor National Park
Nailing down every aspect of a trip can sometimes be a tedious affair, so why not let professional outdoor enthusiasts handle the brunt of your planning so that you don’t have to? If you are wanting to experience the stunning landscapes that can be found in and around Exmoor National Park, you should definitely look into these spectacular adventure tours in South West England.
Frequently Asked Questions About Exmoor National Park
Is Exmoor in Devon or Somerset?
Exmoor National Park is actually split between the two counties, taking up part of north Devon and part of west Somerset.
How large is Exmoor?
Exmoor national park is 692km², making it the 12th largest national park in the UK.
Find other spectacular walking regions in the United Kingdom
Best Hikes in Exmoor National Park
Valley of the Rocks and Lynton Walk
Walking the Valley of the Rocks and Lynton Trail is a spectacular experience along the North Devon Coast that will produce some exceptional views overlooking the Bristol Channel for a minimal amount of required effort. While out on the trail, you will pass through the Valley of the Rocks and take in the stunning views of the rugged coastal landscape before looping around Hollerday Hill to pass through the charming town of Lynton. Whether you are on vacation or are local to the Lynton area, this is a fantastic walk to explore the picturesque landscape of the North Devon Coast.
Lee Abbey and Exmoor Coast Walk
The Lee Abbey and Exmoor Coast Walk is a fantastic walking route that is popular with visitors to the town of Lynton, thanks to the wonderfully scenic views overlooking the coast. While out on the trail, you will traverse the sloping landscape towards Lee Abbey - a Gothic building that serves as a Christian retreat - before climbing back up the steep hillside for a spectacular sightline across the Bristol Channel towards South Wales. While it is fairly easy, the steep terrain along the route will not be suitable for all walkers.
Lorna Doone Valley Trail
Walking the Lorna Doone Valley Trail is a fun and scenic experience that will expose you to some charming countryside views set in Exmoor National Park. While out walking the trail, you will pass through picturesque fields and serene forests, as you follow along the winding banks of Badgworthy Water. This is a lovely route that is perfectly suited for a relaxing weekend stroll.
Lynton, Watersmeet, and Valley oF the Rocks Walk
Walking the Lynton, Watersmeet, and Valley of the Rocks Trail is a fun, if challenging at times, walk that will take you through the coastal landscapes of Dartmoor National Park. While out on the trail, you will explore the undulating terrain along the East Lyn River before trekking through the town of Lynton to reach the Valley of the Rocks, all the while enjoying scenic views of the Bristol Channel. Sections of it may be steep and tough, but the spectacular views are well worth the effort.
Porlock Bay Walk
The Porlock Bay Walk is an intermediate length trail in Exmoor National Park that will take you along the shores of the Bristol Channel for some beautiful views. While out walking the trail, you will traverse sandy beaches along the edge of the water, as well areas of fresh and saltwater marshland, before making your way through a few charming villages. This is a fantastic route to explore the scenic coastal landscapes within Exmoor.
Tarr Steps and River Barle Walk
The Tarr Steps and River Barle Walk may only be a short adventure in Exmoor National Park, but it provides beautiful scenery and the chance to visit an interesting historical site. Located in the southern portion of the park, this trail will take you along the charming banks of the River Barle, where you will be able to cross over a Medieval era clapper bridge that was constructed with stones that weigh over 2 tons each. This is a great walk for anyone interested in local history and meandering along the scenic riverside.
Combe Martin Circular Walk
The Combe Martin Circular Walk is a great route in Exmoor National Park that is popular with a wide variety of walkers, thanks to the scenic views and tough but not overly challenging terrain. While out walking the trail, you will climb uphill through some relatively steep terrain for superb views along the coast and Bristol Channel before descending the picturesque hillside into the village of Combe Martin. This is a fantastic walk for getting a bit of exercise while experiencing some spectacular scenery.
Selworthy and Selworthy Beacon Walk
Walking the Selworthy and Selworthy Beacon Trail is a fun adventure that will expose you to a variety of rugged terrain types within Exmoor National Park, with the ultimate payoff being a rewarding view overlooking Porlock Bay. While out on the trail, you will pass through the quaint village of Selworthy and walk past charming thatched cottages before climbing up the steep hillside to the summit viewpoint atop Selworthy Beacon. There is definitely a fair bit of uphill walking along this route; however, the beautiful views across Exmoor and the Bristol Channel are well worth the trouble.
Horner Wood Circular Walk
The Horner Wood Circular Walk is a fun route in Exmoor National Park that will lead you through a beautiful stretch of woodland terrain for the chance to view local wildlife. While out walking the trail, you will make a descent through the serene forest to Horner prior before climbing uphill to traverse Crawter Hill. There are a few ups and downs along this route; however, it isn’t overly technical or challenging, making it suitable for a wide range of skill levels.
Dunkery Beacon Circular Walk
If you are looking to explore the rugged terrain in the heart of Exmoor National Park, then the Dunkery Beacon Circular Walk is a great option. While out on this trail, you will climb uphill across the moor to the summit of Dunkery Beacon, which offers an amazing sightline of the surrounding landscape. This route also offers a good chance of encountering some local wildlife, including the native Exmoor Pony that is semi-feral and roams the landscape here.
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