We are just 5 miles from Exmoor National Park, a beautiful wilderness with open moorland, ancient wooded valleys and stunning Heritage Coast.Exmoor is the least visited National Park in the country which makes it rather special – you won’t see many tourists here, it’s really unspoilt and beautiful. The coast is breathtaking with dramatic cliffs and beautiful views and if you like to walk we highly recommend the South West Coast Path.
Definitely check out Tarr Steps about 40 minutes from us and a great easy walk in a beautiful location. Lynton & Lynmouth, also known as Little Switzerland are nice, about an hour from here, Valley of the Rocks is 5 minutes further – definitely leave time for look. Dulverton is a pretty village near Tarr Steps. Dunster Castle is brilliant and about 30 minutes from us.Horner Woods is beautiful if you like walking.
There are lots of traditional pubs in the Exmoor villages serving hearty food, and cafes with cream teas. Dunkery Beacon is the highest point in Somerset, there are lots of places to park up there so you can walk as much or little as you like to reach the summit where the views are incredible.
For river swimming Withypool is gorgeous on a warm day with paddling and grassy banks for a picnic, it is very shallow and safe, there’s a good cafe here as well, or you can picnic on the riverbank. At the beautiful Tarr Steps there is an easy circular walk, lots of shallow and deeper water, and there’s a pub and ice cream van near the bridge too; Landacre Bridge is similar. You can also access the river at Simonsbath – it’s stunning here if you like to walk, or you can just relax in the field at the start of the walk where there’s a big grassy bank close to the river. There is also a river running through Horner woods and a river at the back of Bossington.
If you don’t have much time to see Exmoor, maybe consider a guided Safari Tour with Exmoor Wildlife Safaris, there are several safari companies on Exmoor which you can find on the net.
There is alpaca walking at Alpacas of Hall Farm near us too.
There are several places for pony riding – try The Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre (30 mins drive) -they have ponies and shetlands too. There’s the Exmoor Pony Centre in Dulverton too (25 mins drive), Quantock Trekking are suitable for experienced riders.
Nearest to our farm are Blue Anchor Bay and Dunster Beach, both a combination of stones and sand and a 30 minute drive from our farm. It’s free to park at Blue Anchor and there’s a simple cafe there called The Driftwood, it’s also dog friendly all year round. Dunster Beach has big stretches of sand then stones in the middle. Minehead is quite busy in the summer when Butlins is open so we tend to avoid it, but if you’re looking for a traditional English beach experience with attractions and promenade, this beach is sandy and about 40 minutes away from us.
Porlock Weir just past Minehead has a gorgeous harbour, stone beach, good walks and independent food places. Exmoor Adventures in Porlock offers fun activities, kayaking, coasteering, electric bikes etc. Bossington is a mile of stony beach with breathtaking views, stone pill boxes and easy cliff walks. Bossington isn’t for swimming as there’s a strong current but you can paddle in the river near the National Trust car park.
On the west side of Exmoor Saunton, Woolacombe and Putsborough are well worth the journey if you want to surf or boogie board, there are good cafes and surf lessons here too. We recommend driving right through the middle of Exmoor National Park to get there as the route is beautiful, rather than taking the main roads which is only 5-10 minutes quicker. If you have a National Trust card you can park for free at Baggy Point and walk around the headland – stunning but there are drops so avoid if you don’t like heights!
For fossils, we recommend a trip to Kilve Beach, an area of Special Scientific Interest, it’s easy to find fossils here. The cliffs are layered with compressed strata embedded with fossils and there are loose fossils on the beach too. Famous Lyme Regis and Charnmouth are about an hour away if you want more fossil hunting, but are much busier beaches than Kilve and you won’t find so many fossils as there are so many people on those beaches. Please note you must buy a ticket as soon as you arrive at the Kilve Beach car park there is a camera which clocks you as soon as you arrive, and they are issuing fines (Alexis has been caught out by this!)
Beer, Branscombe, Lyme Regis and Budleigh Salterton in South Devon are also worth visiting and are about an hour from here (much busier than our beaches so go early to ensure a parking place). Drop into the Donkey Sanctuary, Otter Valley Ice Cream or amazing Darts Farm on your way past. Topsham is also pretty with lots of nice independent shops and antiques.
Lyme is about an hour from us, it’s well known for fossils and the historic Cobb. The Beach is small and central to the town, the carparks get busy in the summer months but there are plenty of them. The town has lots of places for ice creams, fish and chips, cream teas. There are galleries to enjoy and the Dinosaurland/Fossil Museum.