News & updates

New walk numbers

Walking on Exmoor and the Quantocks started in 2016 as a collection of 35 walks to be published as a book.  I soon realised that I needed more routes to do the region justice, so the walks were renumbered and I decided to use a web format instead, with a target of 50 downloadable routes in the form of pdf leaflets.  By the end of 2022 the site had 85 main walks and many 'extra' routes hidden as alternatives in the main walk leaflets. 

For New Year 2023 I have renumbered the walks from 1-100.  A few walks have been split into two shorter routes to make them easier to link to other walks, and I have also pulled out some of my favourite alternatives as main walks.  There are still a few 'additional walks' such as Wellington Monument and Hartland Point that are outside the main area covered in the web site, and I may add to these occasionally, but I won't be adding any new walks to the main region. 

Four new walks have been added:  47 4747.pdf Dunster to Porlock via the Grabbist ridge and Horner; 55 5555.pdf Wheddon Cross to Porlock via Wootton Courtenay and Luccombe;  71 7171.pdf Watchet, Doniford and St Decumans;  and 87  Wiveliscombe and Heydon Hill 8787.pdf.

List and map of walkslist-and-map-of-walks.pdf

New walk numberingnew-walk-numbering.pdf

The new numbering and crossreferencing is now complete, apart from some of the references in the 'news and updates' section.  If you spot anything that doesn't work properly please email me

 

Cafes and tearooms

This map was created for a walking group centred on Taunton, but it covers all of the area included in exmoorwalker.uk.  It is slightly selective as it is geared towards groups of walkers and only includes establishments that members of the group have tried.  Scroll the map and click on the symbols for links or further information (clicking on the 'square' symbol enlarges the map to full-screen).

Exmoor and Quantocks miscellanea (2)

http://offthebeatentrackinsomerset.blogspot.com/ has some interesting posts on Exmoor and the Quantocks.   These are the relevant ones since November 2020 (see my earlier post for more):  Note the references are to the old route numbers.

Lynmouth to Porlock overland lifeboat launch - walks 6, 7 & 9

Culbone Stone - off walk 8

Floral cascade at Stogumber church - walk 34

Minehead's Metal Heads - walks 12A, 32 & 33

Ralegh's Cross - the actual cross, not the pub - walk 36

Tank training on North Hill - walks 12 & 12A

St Peter's on the Quay, Minehead - walks 12 & 32

Aschcombe Gardens, Simonsbath - walks 18, 20

Wellington Park - walk AW4

DOGS - or rather dog owners

A bit of a rant here, unfortunately.  I love dogs, but I do have problems with the actions of some dog owners. 

Dogs and sheep.  On two occasions recently I have witnessed dogs chasing sheep.  Fortunately neither led to any immediate visible harm to the livestock, but that doesn't mean that they didn't suffer from being chased around a field.  In one instance there was a clear notice on the gate that the dog owners had just come through to KEEP DOGS ON A LEAD.  Unfortunately there seem to be too many dog owners who either don't care or think that their dogs won't chase livestock.  Here's a link to an RSPCA page about sheep worrying.

Dog waste bags.  I'm fed up with seeing dog waste bags hung in hedgerows or left at the side of paths.  This might get the dog mess out of the way of people's feet, but it is adding litter to the countryside, it is unsightly, and ultimately it doesn't solve the problem - the bag will break down and expose the offending matter, which is still capable of causing diseases such as neosporosis or toxicariasis, or infection with worms.  Part of the responsibility of being a dog owner is picking up and removing dog mess, which means taking it home if there are no suitable bins.  Here are some suggestions for disposal. 

Coastal buses return - Watchet to Ilfracombe

The First Bus 'Exmoor Coaster' daily service between Minehead and Lynmouth (with extension to Watchet) is into its second year and now runs all year round.  The details are at https://www.firstbus.co.uk/adventures-bus/services/exmoor-coaster

For summer 2022 there's also an 'Exmoor Sunseeker' service between Lynmouth and Ilfracombe, timed to meet up with the Coaster.  It's currently running daily in June, July and August, and on Sundays in September and October.  Details here:  https://www.firstbus.co.uk/adventures-bus/exmoor-sunseeker

Both of these routes - particularly the 'Coaster' - are useful for linear walks. 

Tea rooms closing and opening

The tea rooms at Hinam Farm near Dulverton and Pulhams Mill near Wimbleball Lake have both closed.  I have updated the relevant walks to remove reference to them. 

Some better news for Parracombe, Simonsbath, Roadwater, Stogumber and Cothelstone - all have new or reopened tea rooms.  We have tried Egans at Boeveys in Simonsbath and the Roadwater shop cafe, and both are excellent. 

There is now a cafes and tea rooms map linked from the site, courtesy of Footloose303 walking group.

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 Exford, 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.

Book updates are here:  Bookupdatesbookupdates.pdf

 

Front cover smaller

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 (note these are the old route numbers):

  • 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 

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:  http://www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/homes-and-gardens/places-to-live/22611855.guide-thriving-rural-town-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

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.