Introduction to the walks

A hundred main walks are described, most between 6 and 12 miles, spanning the coast from Croyde to Lilstock, the Exmoor National Park, the Quantock Hills, and some of the country in between and to the south.  Many walks have shorter alternatives or they can be linked together to form dawn-to-dusk routes.  Including the alternative and shorter walks there are well over 200 routes to choose from, ranging from strolls around villages to hard hikes across open moorland.

New walk numbering 2023

Walks are graded from yellow (easiest, mainly the shorter alternative walks) through green and blue to black (most strenuous).  If you are not an experienced hiker start with one or two of the yellow or green walks and see how you get on.  There are no 'mountain' walks in the region, but several walks cross open moorland without clear paths and they may be difficult to negotiate when the ground is waterlogged or after strong growth.  Many harder walks also have easier alternatives, and these are listed in the downloadable catalogue.  A red exclamation mark indicates where a head for heights may be needed.  None of these walks have extreme exposure, and some have alternative routes that avoid narrow paths above drops, so don’t automatically rule them out if you suffer from vertigo or have a fear of heights.  (A blue exclamation mark indicates a tidal stretch or a stream that can be difficult to cross after heavy rain, and an orange-brown 'tussock' symbol an area of open moorland that may be difficult to negotiate when the ground is waterlogged or after strong growth).  Check the public right of way maps for Exmoor, Somerset or Devon (see 'useful links') for an update on any path closures or problems.  

Please note that the times in the descriptions are continuous walking times.  These are based on a speed of 3mph, with allowances for going uphill and difficult terrain.  A good rule of thumb is to allow half as much again to complete the walk - or more if you want to spend time looking around.  The walks also have an estimated total time, but how accurate this is depends on your walking speed and how much you pause or explore along the route. 

Many of the routes are circular; where they are not, there are usually public transport connections between start and finish, at least on weekdays and often also Saturdays.  A few linear walks don't have bus connections and you will need to organise your own transport; a few also link together to make longer walks.  Either way, I suggest taking transport from the finish to the start at the beginning of the walk.  That way around, you avoid a race to catch the bus, or a long wait after arriving too early.  Many of the walks can be reached by bus or train, particularly if you are based in one of the larger centres in the area; the details (but not timetables)) are in the walk descriptions.

Do make sure you prepare properly for walks and are aware of dangers - these can include cars, cattle, snakes, ticks, the landscape itself, and the weather.  Read the walk safety sheet and follow the country code.

The links under each of the eight walk sections (and on the interactive map below) take you to a PDF document containing the route description, including a map and details of any alternative or shorter walks. 


21 into lank combe

O0002273 near croydon hill

Imgp8251 ilfracombe to bull pointInto Lank Combe; Croydon Hill; coast path at Ilfracombe.  © Stan Lester.

Walks locator map

There is also a cafes and tearooms map borrowed from the Footloose303 walking group, here:  Cafes and tearooms