Exmoor National Park is the smallest of the National Parks covering around 267 square miles of stunningly beautiful scenery and wonderful views. There are over 625 miles of footpaths and bridleways. It is possible to ride, cycle, walk or even run all day only touching the roads to cross them. The highest point at 1704 feet (Dunkery Beacon) enjoys wonderful panoramic views over the moor, the Quantocks and across the Bristol Channel to Wales.
Uniquely there are thirty-four miles of coastline within the park; it has the highest cliffs and the longest stretch of coastal woodland in England.
Watch Exmoor Video – Click here
Exmoor is characterized by steep wooded combes and a very varied landscape that changes with the seasons. No matter when you come it is not possible to be unmoved by its spectacular beauty. In the autumn the moor is covered in heather and you may even be lucky enough to find the local delicacy of whortleberries. The moor is dotted with wild Exmoor Ponies, the Heath Fritillary as well as the largest herd of wild Red Deer in the country.
This is Lorna Doone country, go visit the church and village of Oare and the valley from where the dreaded Doones terrorized the neighbourhood.
There is so much to do and see here on Exmoor. Press here for Walking, Fishing, Cycling or Riding. These links will take you to the relevant pages on the Exmoor National Park web site. Alternatively have a look at Everything Exmoor for an overview of this wonderful area. To come back to this page after you have looked just close the page that opens.
The National Trust has a number of interests in and around the park, notably Knightshayes, Arlington Court, Dunster Castle and Lundy.You can take a boat trip to Lundy Island, spend the day walking around this spectacular National Trust Island watching the seabirds, and even perhaps spot the basking sharks and puffins. Just as spectacular is the Valley of the Rocks and Watersmeet; just off Lynmouth and Lynton.
Our village, Hawkridge, is situated just north-west of the picturesque town of Dulverton on the Two Moors Way. The famous Tarr Steps is only 1.75 miles from here and you can also walk to Dulverton or Withypool or simply take a circular walk around our estate along the stream, through West Hollowcombe Woods and back through the village.
The large towns forming a triangle around Exmoor are Minehead, Barnstaple and Taunton. Within the Park there are a number of small towns and many villages; some of the best known being Dunster, with its lovely castle and grounds overlooking Minehead, Porlock, Selworthy, Allerford and Exford. Whilst in the area why not try a safari to see the famous Red Deer of Exmoor as well as the ponies and other wild life.
There is a rich tradition of locally produced food on Exmoor; check out the Exmoor Producers Association site for a few ideas.There are also a multitude of pubs and restaurants around Exmoor serving good food and drink. Close to us are:-
The Royal Oak – Withypool.
The Royal Oak – Winsford.
Woods – Dulverton
The Bridge – Dulverton.
The Masons Arms – Knowstone.
The White Horse – Exford.
The London Inn – Molland.
The Sportsman – Sandy Way.
Stretching back into the mists of time, Exmoor is littered with burial mounds and standing stones (Menhirs). Watch history come alive at Torrington 1646 and right up to date at the Cobbatton Combat Collection. Museums detail the sometimes colourful past of the area. Check out the Lyn and Exmoor Museum in Lynton, South Molton Museum, Dunster Dolls Museum and others in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple.
Not only theatres around the area such as the Queens at Barnstaple or the Landmark in Ilfracombe but numerous other smaller events covering all aspects of music and word.
There are many other events going on in the area all through the year, some traditional, others more contemporary. For further details and dates try this link.
With all of the natural beauty of the area a lot of people come here for the riding, both horse and, for the extra fit, cycling. (storage for bicycles available). Why not go down the road to Wimbleball Lake, where there are water sports, walking, cycling, boating and fishing available. The Ironman competition is held there on an annual basis.
The North Devon Leisure Centre has swimming and a fitness gym. Outside the Park there are a number of Golf Clubs including the Libbaton Golf Club, High Bickington, Portmore Golf Park at Barnstaple and Saunton Sands near Braunton.
There are numerous walks direct from our doorstep, either through West Hollowcombe woods or along the Two Moors Way. Alternatively why not go to www.walkingbritain.co.uk and see if something can be tailored to your requirements.
For advice and equipment regarding shooting and fishing contact Lance Nicholson who is based in Dulverton; start by going to his website at www.lancenich.f9.co.uk. If you want a guide and know your way around a fishing rod try www.hartflyfishing.demon.co.uk
North Devon has numerous activities for all the family which, amongst other things, include Go Karting, Ten Pin bowling as well as:-
- The Big Sheep
- Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
- The Milky Way
- Quince Honey Farm
- The West Somerset Railway
If you would like to try some more adventurous activities, why not contact the Mill Climbing Centre and see what they can lay on.
Arts & Crafts
As can be expected the area abounds with a host of arts and crafts, for instance the Old Corn Mill and Pottery, Guildhall Heritage and Arts Centre,
- Pulhams Mill for Furniture and Crafts
- Exe Valley Fishery
- McCoy Saddlery
and many local artists and sculptors
Alternatively go and visit the Dartington Crystal factory in Torrington, have a guided tour and then a browse in the factory shop for some spectacular bargains!