Exmoor National Park, Devon and Somerset

Where to start, where to start? The thing with Exmoor National Park is that it's so varied, but it's all so beautiful; stretching from West Somerset to North Devon, you've got an incredible mix of dramatic clifftops, steep rolling hillsides, deep wooded valleys where rivers rush along, gorgeous little villages where the narrow lanes are lined with old thatched cottages and welcoming tea rooms, and then there are heather topped heaths where wild ponies happily graze...

Explore however you wish - on foot, by bike, by horseback or by car. Walkers and cyclists will find many an enticing trail, but a must is the trek up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on the moors; the views are phenonemal. Horner Woods are a delight anytime of year, but especially so at bluebell time, autumn walks ankle deep in crunchy golden leaves in the woods of the Holnicote estate are an absolute joy, and the walk from Porlock up over the wooded cliff to Culbone Church is nothing short of magical. 

Porlock Weir is a lovely spot; sit and watch the comings and goings, wander down the hill past the flower hung cottages, stop by for lunch at The Bottom Ship inn. Selworthy is picture postcard perfect, heavy thatched dwellings centered around the village green and on the hillside the charmingly named Periwinkle Tea Rooms; at Bossington you can tuck into big fat cream teas at Kitnor's Tea Room and Garden and then stroll down to the pebbly beach backed by salt marshes. Have a wander along the river at Watersmeet, cross the clapper bridge at Tarr Steps and have lunch at Tarr Steps Inn within earshot of the babbling waters. Ride the unique cliff railway at Lynton and Lynmouth, enjoy the views from Dunster Castle (NT) high up on the hill above the sleepy village, walk along the leat to the working watermill. You can even take an off-road safari with guides who know the moors like the back of their hands; spot wildlife and feast your eyes on the most wonderful vistas that stretch on for miles. It's all so utterly incredible, a day spent on Exmoor is a day well spent, a chance to slow down, to stop and stare. Absolute soul fodder, all of it.

All information correct at the time of writing

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