News & updates

Dulverton area walking book

Walking Dulverton and area is now out!

The book describes 14 main walks, with 30 routes in all, covering the area between Bampton, the Ansteys, Exford, Winsford and Wimbleball Lake, centred on Dulverton.  Most walks are between 5 and 14 miles, and there is a town trail and a short walk to Marsh Bridge and Court Down. 

The book is available from the National Park Information Centre, Exmoor Society and the Tantivy in Dulverton, the Village Shop and Post Office in Withypool, the Exmoor Stores in Dulverton, or directly from this site (see the book page). If you want to order it from a bookshop the ISBN is 978-0-9555441-2-5.

 

Front cover smaller

New walk Woody Bay

I have added a new walk from Lee Bay (Lynton) to Woody Bay, Walk4awalk4a.pdf.  The first part heads out through Caffyns Heanton Wood, along the Bonhill valley and over fields before descending to Woody Bay, where it picks up walk 4 to return to Lee Bay.  It can be started from either Lee Bay or the parking area above Woody Bay.  Hardy walkers may want to start it from Lynton or Lynmouth, combining it with walk 5, or from Hunter's Inn, with the circular alternative walk 4. 

The Lynton area walks were starting to cross over in a less than logical way, so I have done some rationalisation to help with linking walks together.  All the circular routes in the area are now clockwise, i.e. they head east along the coast and west inland.  The circuits are fairly short (5-7 miles) but they are hilly and easily make the 'blue' category - so combining two together will  involve around 1000 metres of ascent.  If anyone does the marathon circuit of all four walks between Hunter's Inn and Watersmeet in one go, please let me know - it's nearly 19 miles with 1850m of climbs!

  • Walk 4 stays the same - Parracombe to Lynton - including the alternative circuit from Hunter's Inn to Woody Bay.  This can easily be linked with walk 4A.
  • Walk 4A links with walks 4 and 5. 
  • Walk 5 is now clockwise, with slightly amended instructions for the short walk around Hollerday Hill.  It links with walks 4A and 5A.
  • Walk 5A no longer has the clockwise version of walk 5 as an extension - it simply links to walk 5. 
  • Walk 5B stays the same (and is anticlockwise, which allows the outward part to be used as an alternative return for 5A).

GPX files for 4 alternative, 4A and clockwise 5 are now on the GPX page.

Here are the routes in a diagram:

 

Lynton walks

 

 

Herepath, Tea rooms closing and opening

The tea room at Hinam Farm near Dulverton is now permanently closed.  I have updated walks 25 and 28, which went past or close to it, to remove reference to the tea room.

Some better news, Egans at Boeveys in Simonsbath has finally opened.  I haven't sampled the fare yet, but will update the relevant walk details shortly. 

I have also reorganised the information on the Herepath so that it is all on one pdf file, and taken down the Herepath page.  The Herepath notes can be found here Herepathherepath.pdf, or via the Quantocks or Central Exmoor-North pages.

Exmoor Society guided walks

The Exmoor Society is starting its guided walks programme in April. 

The programme is here:  https://www.exmoorsociety.com/walks-programme 

I'm leading two of the walks:

More guided walks are advertised in the Exmoor Visitor magazine and on the Exmoor NP events calendar here  https://www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/enjoying/events  - but don't tick 'walks' as you won't find anything, just select the type of area you are interested in e.g. woodland, coast or moorland.

New Croydecycle maps for the Brendon Hills

I'm a fan of Croydecycle maps for their detail, clarity, accuracy, helpful information, useful size, and resistance to rain and mud.  Three new ones cover the inland Brendon Hills area:

  • 14 Roadwater, including Ralegh's Cross, Nettlecombe and Carhampton (relevant to walks 35 and 36)
  • 15 Timberscombe and Luxborough, spanning from Kennisham to Dunster and Wootton Courtenay (30, 31 and 37)
  • 16 Wimbleball and nearby Exe, across to Dulverton and Winsford (most of 29, 39, 39A, part of 41A).

More details are here:  http://www.croydecycle.co.uk/mapsandguides.htm#walkingmaps

New walk north of Taunton

Another new walk, courtesy of Philippa - we walked this at the weekend, very close to where I used to live to the north of Taunton.  It's a gently undulating route with a few short hills, between the far southern end of the Quantocks and the flatter country of the Taunton Vale, starting at Kingston St Mary.  The picture is the old windmill in Burlinch Plantation, soon after West Monkton.

Walk50awalk50a.pdf

GPX file now added.

P1030818 burlinch old windmill

New walks Minehead and Horner

I've added two new walks in the Minehead area, both enjoyable routes that are not too long or strenuous: 

12A heads out from Minehead to North Hill and around Bratton Ball, returning via Woodcombe and the parks walk.  It's just over 6 miles and has 430 metres of climb, mainly on the first half.  Walk12awalk12a.pdf

14A starts from Horner, heads uphioll through woods to Webber's Post, then along the side of Dunkery Hill on the Dunster Path.  The return route visits the Woodcock Gardens nature reserve and the pretty village of Luccombe.  Luccombe has been an omission from the walks catalogue, now put right on this walk.  6½ miles with 370 metres of climb.  Walk14awalk14a.pdf

GPX files added 5.12.20.

Updated walks North Devon coast

I have recently updated some of the walks on the North Devon coast to reduce duplication, as well as moving the starting-points to Combe Martin and Hunter's Inn.  The updated walks are:

 

Old walk New walk Status
0 Ilfracombe & Lee Bay via Slade Valley (linear alternative Mortehoe to Ilfracombe)

0A Mortehoe & Lee Bay (linear alternative Mortehoe to Ilfracombe)

0 Ilfracombe & Lee Bay via Slade Valley

Completed Sept 2020
1A Berrynarbor, Sterridge & Hele 1 Berrynarbor, Hele & Watermouth (inc Sterridge) Completed Oct 2020
1 Berrynarbor, Watermouth & Combe Martin

2 Combe Martin, Hangman Hills & Berrynarbor

2A Around Combe Martin

Completed Oct 2020
2 Holdstone Down & Hangman Hills Split between 2 & 3 --
3 Trentishoe & Heddon Valley 3 Hunter's Inn, Holdstone Down & Heddon's Mouth (includes Trentishoe Down) Completed Aug 2020

 

The old walks have now been removed from the site.  GPX files now updated.

Exmoor and Quantocks miscellanea

http://offthebeatentrackinsomerset.blogspot.com/ has some interesting posts on Exmoor and the Quantocks - particularly the May to September 2020 pages.  Most of these are on or near exmoorwalker.uk routes:

  • Ashcombe Gardens - walk 18, and just off 22
  • Lynch Chapel near Bossington - walk 10 & just off 11
  • Anchors of Watchet - walk 33, and 44A alternative
  • Thomas Poole - walk 45
  • The Maclaren Memorial - walk 13A
  • Simonsbath Tower - just off walk 22
  • St Andrews Church - walk 44A
  • Norma Huxtable - walk 41B
  • The Walford murder - walk 45
  • Ball Cottages - just off walk 49
  • Lilstock - walk 44A 

Lorna Doone Farm, Malmsmead

The National Trust has recently acquired the Lorna Doone and Cloud Farm sites, featured in Walk13walk13.pdf, including the shop and tea room.  The Trust is calling this Lorna Doone Valley.  Check the entry at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lorna-doone-valley for the latest information about facilities etc.

Croydecycle map Exford

Another new Croydecycle map has just come out, 53 Exford. It sits between the Dulverton and Horner/Dunkery ones and covers the area between Simonsbath, Exford, Withypool and Winsford.  I will update the walk descriptions in the area to include reference to the map.

Exford map

New Exmoor book

Nigel Stone's book 'Exploring Exmoor from Square One' is now out, published by Halsgrove.  Nigel was until recently the head of the National Park Authority as well as being an accomplished photographer, and one task that he set himself was to take a photograph in every kilometre grid square on Exmoor.  The book is more sensibly based on 2x2km squares (there would be around 700 entries otherwise), with excellent photography accompanied by short narratives about each place.  It works well as both a coffee-table book and a reference guide.  I worked my way through each of the 170 squares over a few coffee and tea breaks, and now refer back to relevant sections as a source of reference (there is a useful atlas-type key in the front).  It's available from several outlets in Dulverton, and direct from the publisher.

Exploring exmoor

Dulverton

A short article on Dulverton:     It's not just shops and cafés, it is the start of many excellent walks!

The Saxon herepath

I'm currently doing some research into the Saxon herepath (military road) that ran from south of Bristol via Combwich across the Quantocks and Exmoor.  This will be published as a pdf leaflet, probably not a detailed walk description but a suggested route for following the herepath as closely as is permitted by current rights of way.  The best parts for walking are between Combwich (on the River Parrett) and Elworthy on the edge of the Brendons, then from Summerway Cross up to Exford, over the moors and down to Worthy near Porlock.  The middle section roughly follows the top road on the Brendons - so it is not ideal for walking, as this is a fast and fairly busy ten-mile stretch of tarmac. 

UPDATE The Herepath information is now in pdf form on the site: Herepathherepath.pdf.

Herepath overview

Site readability

I've had some feedback that the coloured diamond grade symbols on the walks index pages all appear red on some devices.  I'm changing these so that the grade is reflected by the number of diamonds as well as the colour, e.g. 1 (yellow) diamond = easiest grade, 2 (green) = moderate, etc.

New Croydecycle map Dulverton & Tarr Steps

There's a new Croydecycle map just out covering the area between Dulverton, Winsford and Withypool:  http://www.croydecycle.co.uk/north-devon-walking-maps_large.htm#dulverton  Covers walks 27, 28, most of 25, and planned 27A.  This is my home territory and I'm finding it very useful - I now have multiple copies!

One correction to the bus information on the map, the 198 bus to Wheddon Cross, Dunster and Minehead leaves Dulverton at 10am (via Winsford and Exford) and 3pm (direct).  There's also an earlier bus, at 7.10am on Saturdays and school holidays (via Winsford and Exford), and 7.50am (bus 467) on schooldays (not via Winsford and Exford!).  I find the 10am bus useful for connecting walks such as 24, 25, 26 and 29.