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The view from Porlock Common, Exmoor, Somerset
The view from Porlock Common, Exmoor, Somerset

Things To Do In Exmoor

Legendary British rocker, Dave Davies (The Kinks), who uses the peace of Exmoor as the perfect antidote to a loud, rock-n-roll lifestyle, said "Exmoor and Dartmoor are sacred, magical places. You find a truer side of yourself there."

Escape to Exmoor and Find Yourself

If you want somewhere spectacular for your next holiday, Exmoor has it all. From its stunning coastline to wild moors, charming villages and vibrant market towns, it all comes together to give the perfect place where you can unwind, relax and have fun.


Discovery Days

Walking in Exmoor
Exmoor - A walker's paradise


Exmoor is an excellent holiday destination for people who love nothing more than pulling on their walking boots and discovering new territory. There are miles of footpaths to explore whether you are more of a fair weather stroll-along-the-river walker, or a hard-core "what's a bit of rain?" hiker who relishes a challenge. Walking trails in Exmoor National Park include circular walks around Exford, Lynton and Wheddon Cross. There are longer routes through Bye Common and Winsford, or through Horner and Selworthy Woods, and footpaths designed to lead you to some of Exmoor's fascinating archaeological history such as those through Simonsbath and Badgworthy. There are also beautiful views from the South West Coast Path and Coleridge Way, the latter of which will take you through the landscape that inspired one of Britain's greatest romantic poets.

Exmoor Safari

Jump in a 4x4 and see the famous Exmoor ponies and red deer in their natural habitat on an Exmoor safari. There are several companies that take visitors on guided tours of this amazing landscape, sharing with you their passion for the various birds, plants and animals you will see. Tours typically last around three hours and are an excellent way of learning more about this ancient landscape and the wildlife that lives there. If you are there in October, you might be lucky enough to see red stags rutting as they fight for their pick of the hinds.

Exmoor ponies
Ponies on Exmoor


If the moors are wild and untamed, then Tiverton is genteel and refined. The lovely town sits at the junction of the Exe and Lowman Rivers, and there has been a thriving population there since Anglo Saxon times. Today, it is a beautiful place to visit with great restaurants, pubs and cafes, shops and museums. Sunny days can be spent exploring the grounds at Knightshayes Court, or walking or cycling beside the Grand Western Canal. It is one of the few places left in the UK where you can travel along the canal on a horse-drawn barge. Visit the Devon Railway Centre or discover the area's history at Tiverton Castle or The Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life.

Lynton and Lynmouth

Exmoor National Park is a well-rounded holiday destination, offering beautiful beaches as well as mystical moorland. Lynton's cliffs overlook Lynmouth Harbour and across the Bristol Channel to South Wales, and there are some spectacular walks in the area including the Valley of Rocks walk where you will be kept company by the local community of wild goats, around Wringcliff Bay, and from Lynmouth to the waterfalls at Watersmeet. A ride on the water-powered funicular between Lynmouth and Lynton is not for the faint-hearted, but the views are worth it and it is far easier than walking all that way uphill!

Lynton & Lyndmouth
Discover Lynton & Lyndmouth

The area was a favourite resort during Victorian times and you can see its heritage in the decorative buildings which house a variety of shops, cafes and pubs. It is a fantastic place to stay or visit while you are in the area. If you have the time or the weather is unkind, the independent cinema run by local volunteers is a treat.

Rainy Days

Things to do on a rainy day in Exmoor
Having fun in the rain!

The changeable weather is all part of the appeal of Exmoor, with the countryside and waterfalls looking even more romantic after a cleansing shower of rain. It is best to avoid the moors in poor weather, so why not enjoy one of these fantastic wet weather activities instead.

Spa Day at The Mount Somerset

Soak your cares away on a wonderfully relaxing day at The Mount Somerset. Staff at the country house hotel are experts at making their guests feel pampered and cared for. In addition to a menu of luxurious treatments, the spa has a sauna, steam room, foot spa and hydrotherapy room. It is absolute bliss!


Dunster Castle
Dunster Castle

Let Dunster weave its medieval magic around you. The town has more than 200 listed buildings, so it is just like stepping back in time. Discover beautiful Dunster Castle which was a significant fortification before being turned into a family home that is now managed by the National Trust and has a working watermill. The octagonal Yarn Market is a Grade I listed building built 400 years ago, although wool and cloth have been sold on the site since medieval times. There are some excellent cafes and pubs (including the Luttrell Arms with a gorgeous beer garden overlooking the castle if the weather brightens up), and with so many ancient buildings intact everywhere you feel like you are taking part in history.

Have a Cuppa

When a family has been in the business of blending and serving tea and coffee since 1888 you know you will get something delicious. DJ Miles is an award-winning business based on Porlock High Street where you can buy coffee beans that have been roasted and packed on site. All their products are ethically sourced so you can enjoy them guilt-free either at your cottage or in one of the many cafes around Exmoor National Park that serve DJ Miles teas and coffees.

West Somerset Railway

West Somerset Railway
West Somerset Railway

Leave your walking boots drying in your cottage and hop aboard a vintage steam train to travel along the UK's longest heritage railway. The West Somerset Railway runs for 20 miles between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead to let you take in some of the most beautiful parts of the coast and the countryside in comfort. The railway offers a choice of ticket types so you can get on and off for up to a week. They run a calendar of special events that include "Steam Teas", Engineman Courses and the Santa Express, but even a simple return journey is fun and memorable.

Hit the High Street

Shopping in Exmoor National Park is a revelation. Forget identikit high streets lined with familiar chain stores! Here you will find market squares that have been in use for centuries, winding lanes with quirky independent shops stocking uniquely wonderful items, and local artisans and farmers happy to talk to you about their wares so you get a story along with your souvenir. Porlock, Lynton and Dunster are all excellent shopping destinations, while Dulverton, Watchet. Coombe Martin and Minehead (the latter two being just outside the borders of the national park) have great regular farmers' markets.

Adventure Days

Mountain Biking in Exmoor
Mountain Biking in Exmoor

An adventure day in Exmoor will definitely give you something impressive to talk about! Get ready for the thrill of a lifetime with one of these exciting ideas.

Mountain Biking

You can genuinely challenge yourself mountain biking in Exmoor National Park, and leave a better rider than you arrived. There are more than 400 miles of bridleways crossing through forests and moors and taking you to views you probably wouldn't otherwise see. A good ride for experienced mountain bikers starts at Porlock and goes through Horner Wood, up to Dunkery Beacon before dropping downhill to Stoke Pero and along the Hawkcombe bridleway to Hawkcombe head, climbing up to Porlock Hill and finishing with a gripping downhill through Worthy Wood to Porlock Weir.


Climbing in the Exmoor National Park puts you in a select minority of people who see it from a vantage point most visitors can't reach. There are a number of specialist companies who can take you on a guided climb if you are not confident going it alone. Climbing in Exmoor is not as developed as on Dartmoor; however, Lynton and Lynmouth and the Valley of Rocks are good places to do it.

Climbing in Exmoor
Valley Of The Rocks - Exmoor

Exmoor Adventures

Buddy up with local adrenaline lovers through Exmoor Adventures. It is one of several great companies that can show you Exmoor's wild side whether you want to kayak, climb or coasteer your way around the beaches and cliffs, scale peaks and abseil down them, mountain bike, climb trees, or learn survival skills like orienteering. For those who prefer to go-it alone, head to Coasteering

Coasteering challenges your body and mind in a way that is difficult to describe, and it gives an enormous level of satisfaction. Wearing a buoyancy vest, wetsuit and helmet, you can leap from rocks into, untamed water and discover coves, caves and beaches that are impossible for all but the brave hearted to reach. It is wild swimming with added "wild". If you want an experience you will talk about for years after your holiday then coasteering is it.

Trail Running

Turn your back on the road-to-nowhere and hit Exmoor's running trails. With more than 600 miles of footpaths running along the coast and through the national park, there is a trail for everyone whether you are pushing your endurance, completing a personal off-road marathon distance or just heading out for a couple of miles to burn off some calories from all the delicious food you have been eating.

Wimbleball Lake
Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor

Wimbleball Lake for an action packed day of family fun. There are tracks and trails for walking and cycling and lots of water-based activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Horse riding

Everyone should spend at least some time on horseback while in Exmoor because the riding opportunities are fantastic. Horse riding is a great way to get a different perspective of this incredible landscape. Some cottages offer livery on or nearby, but if you do not have your own horse there are no shortage of stables who can take you on a guided horse ride of the area which is as diverse as it is beautiful.

Lazy Days

Porlock Weir
Spend time at Porlock Weir

Relax and breathe deeply on a day designed to do nothing other than let you recharge your batteries.

Porlock and Porlock Weir

Porlock is one the most photogenic villages in the South-West of England with its thatched cottages and pretty church. The 36-mile Coleridge Way footpath starts (or ends, depending on which direction you are heading) there, and there is a good visitor centre and local museum. There are some excellent cafes and pubs, or you can take a picnic and sit on Porlock Hill. Porlock Weir has a small tidal harbour which has been in use for more than a thousand years, a shingle beach, interesting arts and crafts shops and great pubs where you can drink local beer and watch the boats bobbing around on the water. It is a great place to while away a few happy hours doing very little.

Lee Bay

Throw the deckchairs, the cool bag, some beach games and your favourite book in the car and set up in Lee Bay where lush grassland sweeps down to the water. There is a free car park with picnic tables and toilets, a shingle beach with exposed sand at low-tide, and no shops to distract the kids from having some good old-fashioned outdoor fun.

Holnicote Estate

The 12,000 acre Holnicote Estate is too big to see in just one day. It was once the stag hunting playground of the Baronets of the Acland family and includes several villages like Luccombe, Bossington, Tivington, and Selworthy. Now managed by the National Trust, the estate's buildings have a timeless charm that makes wandering through the villages a pleasure. Take a walk through the woodland around Stoke Pero church - the highest church on Exmoor, before choosing a village tearoom and sampling delicious homemade cakes and scones at your leisure.

Beautiful Exmoor National Park
Exmoor National Park

Tarr Steps

Exmoor is full of superstition and legend, including that the Devil built the stone clapper bridge across the River Barle at Tarr Steps. The story goes that he will let you cross unless he has decided to sunbathe there, in which case you would probably want to avoid it anyway! A clapper bridge is one build by stacking stones and slabs across the river, and the one at Tarr Steps has been there for hundreds of years - at least since Henry VIII was on the throne. There is a car park with toilets, and a 2.5-mile circular waymarked trail leading through peaceful woodland.

Weekenders' Guide

Essential Guide to Exmoor
A whirlwind tour!

How do you sum up the spirit of Exmoor in just one experience? Maybe these bucket-list suggestions will help.

Climb to the top of Dunkery Beacon for the sunrise

The summit of Dunkery Beacon is accessible via a bridleway. It is only around a kilometre from the car park to the top, and you will need a head torch or handheld torch to light the path. Take a flask of coffee and something for breakfast and watch the rising sun wake the birds and wildlife including, if you are lucky, wild red deer.

Walk through Fairytale Tunnels

This 8km route starts at Porlock Weir and takes you to Culbone Church and through the remains of Worthy Manor, owned by Ada, the Countess of Lovelace, who was a pioneer female mathematician and Lord Byron's daughter. The Fairytale Tunnels were constructed so that Ada could walk from her house to the private beach without being seen.

Picnic with the stars

Pack a picnic and a blanket and go stargazing on Exmoor. The National Park is a Dark Sky Reserve due to its lack of light pollution. You will be astounded by how crowded the night sky is here! Many stars are visible to the naked eye, but you can hire a telescope at one of three Exmoor National Park Centres in Lynmouth, Dunster and Dulverton to see more. Good places for star spotting include Winsford Hill, Wimbleball Lake, the County Gate car park on the A36 between Porlock and Lynmouth, and Dunkery Beacon.

Take the plunge at Woody Bay

Natural swimming is one way to literally immerse yourself in the landscape. Woody Bay is typical of the Exmoor coast, with forest covered cliffs opening up onto the sea. Wend your way through the woodland path to be rewarded with a shingle cove and clear water.

Make friends with an Exmoor pony

The Exmoor pony is a native species and, while they roam freely on the moor, they are all owned and tracked and not as wild as they appear. The Exmoor Pony Centre houses around 20 rescued ponies, many of whom are permanent residents and are happy to meet visitors. You can stop by to see the ponies, or book a ride and see the landscape from the perspective of a true local.

Hollow Brook Waterfall

Exmoor has some pretty vistas, and Hollow Brook is one of the prettiest. The waterfall is on the Coastal Footpath between Woody Bay and Lee Bay, with water falling 210 metres into the sea. It's been known to freeze in winter but is best seen after it has been raining for maximum drama.

Last Minute Offers in Exmoor

Thinking of a break in Exmoor? Let us tempt you with a selection of our best last minute offers. Remember, we don't charge a booking fee, so the price you see is the price you pay.

Did you know?

...Numbering around 3,000, Exmoor's deer population is the largest in England. The land used to be a royal hunting ground, but the deer have lived there since prehistoric times. Together with roe deer, they are one of only two completely indigenous species.

... You will not run out of new places to walk with more than 750 waymarked paths in Exmoor National Park. The Tall Trees Trail on The Dunster Estate takes you past the tallest tree in England, a towering Douglas Fir which was last measured at 61.3 metres.

...there has been a herd of wild goats at Lynton for more than 1,000 years. Those that live there are now not descendants of the originals, which were removed in the 1800s in favour of white goats from the King's goat herd at Sandringham. They may have been more attractive, but the breed couldn't survive, and the current population, the result of three feral Northumberland goats, were brought in to toughen up the herd in the 1970s.

...Lynton's cliff railway is a feat of simple counter-balance. A car at the top is filled with three tonnes of water and is heavier than the carriage at the bottom which holds the passengers. When ready to go, the driver releases the brakes and gravity does the rest as the falling top car pulls the bottom car up the 25% gradient. At the bottom, the water is emptied into the sea.

... There are fewer Exmoor ponies in the world than Giant Panda. The native breed is the closest living species to Britain's prehistoric horses.

....The legendary Beast of Exmoor is thought to be not one, but three pumas released into the wild in the 1970s while being transported from Plymouth Zoo to Dartmoor Zoo.