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, or directly from this site (see the book page)

 

Front cover smaller

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 

GPX files updated

The GPX files have now been updated so that all main walks up to the end of August 2020 now have matching GPX files on the GPX files page.  I will aim to keep the GPX files updated at the same time as the walk  descriptions, but for walks where the last recce is later than August, do check that the date of the GPX file matches the last recce date - if it doesn't, check the GPX route against the route map in the description before using it.

Update:  Walks 0A-3, 12A, 14A and 50A added/updated November/December 2020. 

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.

June 2020 update

I have recently been re-walking many routes, in my immediate area first and now extending across the region.  I'm prioritising routes where I'm aware that there have been changes, for instance in the Dunster woods (walk 31) much of the area is now managed by the Forestry Commission rather than the Crown Estates, and some signposts and waymarks have been removed.  If you come across any changes - other than temporary changes due to coronavirus - please let me know at editor@exmoorwalker.uk. 

One result of the lower numbers of walkers on Exmoor in April and May has been that some moorland tracks have become harder to find or have disappeared entirely.  A user commented that part of walk 21 was no longer really viable - I re-walked this and have altered the route to make it slightly easier to follow.  Walks with significant open moorland stretches are now indicated, and the newer maps now have a moorland symbol. 

70 walks

The site now has 70 main walks, the last one (21a Lanacre, Sherdon Water and Cow Castle) going up at the beginning of July.  That will be it for now, as I will be focusing on re-walking some of the existing routes and perhaps adding to them, particularly the shorter walks. 

(For anyone looking for the extra Oare walk that I promised, it is now an alternative on Walk 13 - it shares the path along Badgworthy Water and the section from Oare to Malmsmead with the main walk, so it didn't justify a separate map and description). 

 

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

Exmoor Society guided walks

This summer I'm leading three walks for the Exmoor Society, all on weekdays:

  • Thursday 6th June, Porlock Weir, Ashley Combe and Culbone (short version of walk 9 Walk9walk9.pdf)
  • Thursday 25th July, Landacre Bridge and Withypool Hill (short version of walk 21 Walk21walk21.pdf)
  • Tuesday 13th August, Wheddon Cross and the Herepath Herepath source notesherepath-source-notes.pdf (southern loop of Walk 29B Walk29bwalk29b.pdf).

The full walk programme is on the Exmoor Society web site.  My walks are all 5-6 miles and moderately strenuous ('green' walks on my site); the July one has some stretches of uneven terrain, so full walking gear is recommended. 

Dulverton

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

Update - site layout, new walks, book

If you have visited the site previously you will have noticed that all except the Quantocks section have been divided up into smaller areas, e.g. the high Exmoor page has been divided into west, south central and north central, and the Exmoor coast into east and west.  Some walks are on more than one page, so for instance Lynton walks appear on both east and west coastal pages.  This is simply to stop the list of walks on each page getting too long, and the maps too cluttered. 

There are now 66 main walks on the site, and I'm intending to add four more - Wistlandpound, additional ones in the Oare and Dulverton areas, and a linear inland walk probably between Porlock and Dunster.  I will also expand Walk 0 to include an alternative route from Mortehoe along the coast to Ilfracombe.  Then I will concentrate on getting the book out as well as revisiting some of the earlier walks. 

About the book, the 'manuscript' is finished, and I'm now awaiting decisions about publication and whether it will be full colour or monochrome.  More to follow. 

Walks now complete! (Until I add some more)

All the 50 planned walks are now up (the much-delayed Exford to Simonsbath route went on last week), and I have also added detailed notes on the Herepath. 

As I do additional walks that I think are worth including I will put them on:  two extra ones from Dulverton have just gone up (27A Tarr Steps and 28A the Ansteys), and plans over the winter are for a coastal walk near Ilfracombe and a circuit from Wheddon Cross.  I must also add a coastal walk to the Quantocks section.

Continue reading

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 on the site in its own section - outline notes for Combwich to Elworthy, more detailed ones for Summerway Cross to Porlock Weir, and a separate leaflet with background notes and sources.  If I can find out any more about the path west from Exford, I will add this later.

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.

Walks update

My recce for Walk 22 (Exford to Simonsbath) has been postponed until later in July, but I have written up and posted the reverse route via Withypool which I did a little over a year ago (walk 22A).  The two walks will make a 20+ mile circuit, either for a long summer's day or over two days with a break in one or other of the villages.

I'm also beginning to post some additional routes such as 3A (inland from Hunter's Inn) and 5A (the Lyn gorges).  There's nothing systematic about this so additional walks will appear as and when I do them. 

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.