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A weekend on Exmoor

Exmoor offers endless possibilities: explore the open moor, the deep wooded valley and high cliffs & take in the tranquility of the beautiful countryside.
Exmoor is an area of hilly open moorlands in west Somerset and north Devon. It’s been name after the river Exe which runs through the middle of it. It used to be a royal hunting forest, but these days, most people come here solely on the hunt for relaxation and fun.

has a total size of over 260 square miles, of which two thirds are located in Somerset and a third in . But it’s not all moor and woodland: the area includes about 35 miles of coastline, which also feature England’s highest cliffs near Culbone Hill. Very often, the woodlands reach the shoreline, creating the longest stretch of coastal woodland in England and Wales.

Exmoor is not only home to an amazing variety of plant and bird species that bird watchers will love, the rugged coast with dozens of ravines, waterfalls and majestic cliffs have been attracting bold explorers and daring climbers for centuries. In the olden days, the area’s harbour played an important role in trade and fishing, although these days, most people come here seeking the thrill of climbing the cliffs instead.

Culture & attractions on Exmoor

The Exmoor National Park is undoubtedly the main attraction of the area, and everything in Exmoor is somehow connected to it. The goes out of its way to promote the many attractions of the area to visitors of any age.

Exploring is a great experience especially for children: the Exmoor Rangers organise weekly wildlife themed activities for children, although usually, the entire family is welcome to join.

Located on a steep hill deep in the countryside, is one of the best kept secrets of the area. The castle goes back to the Norman area and offers breathtaking views over the hills, moors and over the Bristol Channel. For the last 600 years though, the castle has been the country home of the Luttrell Family. Explore the subtropical terraced gardens, the ancient crypt and many other secret rooms and basement chambers. With the from nearby Dunster Station, you can even arrive here in style like the aristocrats once did.

Exmoor might seem quaint, but behind all this hides a jam-packed events calendar, from the Exmoor Walking Festival and the Porlock Arts Festival to many smaller festivals with century old traditions.

Must-do highlights on Exmoor

Within its 267 square miles, Exmoor National Park offers an amazing variety. The landscape is made up of moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland, all of which have been shaped by people and nature over thousands of years. Exmoor was a Royal Hunting Forest until 1818 and has been a National park since 1954. The area is too big to just explore aimlessly, so it pays to plan your route (and mode of transport) in advance or join one of the many guided walks and tours in the area.

One of the hidden jewels of the area is at Washford, one of the last remaining monastic sites with intact cloister buildings dating back to the 13th century. If you are looking for inspiration, pay a visit to in Nether Stowey – maybe the landscape will turn you into a poet, too!

There are several great Victorian mansions in the area that are well maintained by the National Trust, such as with its extensive park lands, and with its walled garden.

It’s surprising that many visitors never venture to the area’s beaches, which range from sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing to rockpool beaches and many full of archaeological wonders, such as the fossil beach at Kilve.

Eating & drinking on Exmoor

Exmoor is fabled for its excellent local food. Meat and lamb are of high quality, and its clotted cream and local cheeses are well known in many areas of Europe. The National Park even features its own vineyard!

Tea rooms are available in the smallest of villages, but Lewis’ Tearooms in Dulverton deserve a special mention for its amazing cakes.

The offers locally produces food in a charming countryside location, and you can choose between a modern dining area or lavishly decorated old-fashioned dining rooms.

Accommodation on Exmoor

The historical village of offers some of the best accommodation in the area and has good transport links to many of Exmoor’s attractions.

is a barn conversion featuring high-quality furnishing. Many of the original features of the building were preserved. The cottage sleeps up to six guests and is situated within 20 acres of beautiful grounds with a terrace and fishing, horse riding and golf opportunities.

The nearby is another converted period barn with beamed ceilings and offers ample space for four visitors – here too, access to the large park and sports facilities is included.

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