Porlock & Exmoor
INFORMATION ON PORLOCK AND THE SURROUNDING AREA
The coast and countryside of Exmoor National Park has so much to offer and I have listed on this page some of my favourite places to visit which are within easy reach of Porlock.
PORLOCK AND PORLOCK WEIR
Porlock is a charming, picturesque traditional Exmoor village with a strong community spirit located in West Somerset close to the Devon border. Situated in the heart of Exmoor National Park which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. steeped in history and with an abundance of wildlife. Exmoor is the home of the Red Deer and Exmoor pony.
Porlock is surrounded by many beautiful villages with thatched cottages, glorious gardens, unique shops, heather clad moorlands, sparkling streams, rivers and lakes, ancient woodlands, archaeological sites, beaches and dramatic coastline.
There are an abundance of footpaths, bridleways and cycling routes within the Exmoor National Park so Porlock is the perfect location from which to enjoy many activities such as nature and bird watching , walking, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing sailing or simply taking a leisurely drive through the countryside.
Porlock provides an ideal base for walkers/hikers with numerous woodland, coastal and countryside footpaths directly on our doorstep including the South West Coast Path and Coleridge Way. One of our favourite walks with our dog and grandchildren is a circular route taking us through the woods to Porlock Weir where we stop for a drink or some lunch, returning along the coastal footpath and across the Porlock marshes which is a favoured location for bird watching.
Porlock offers an assortment of country pubs,restaurants and cafes where one can indulge in delicious cream teas, seafood specialities as well as traditional local fayre. There is an assortment of interesting shops, Doverhay Manor Museum, church and a very helpful visitor information centre. Being a village community activities take place throughout the year, eg carnival, duck race, fete, antique fairs, etc.
The charming historic harbour of Porlock Weir is situated approximately 1.5 miles from Porlock village. It is a stunning location to sit and enjoy a glass of wine at one of the restaurants or pubs whilst watching the sun go down. There are a few shops, the Boat Shed Museum and an Aquarium which houses numerous species found in the Bristol Channel. Small parts of a prehistoric forest are visible at very low tide.
When visiting Porlock Weir do not miss the scenic walk via the coast path to Culbone Church, the smallest church in Britain which can only be accessed on foot
When heading west towards Lynton and Lymouth the infamous toll road can be avoided by using the scenic Porlock toll road, which offers some fabulous photographic opportunities looking down through the woods to the coast. The A39 from Porlock to Lynton and Lynmouth is often referred to as being the most picturesque route in the UK so make sure you bring your cameras to capture some amazing photography.
LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH
Enjoy a spectacular drive from Porlock which combines high, rugged, tree clad cliffs and sweeping moorland, Lynton and Lymouth grew up around the wooded deep valleys of the East and West Lyn rivers. The Victorians described it as “Little Switzerland of England”. A water powered cliff railway links the two villages. You will find plenty of places to eat, and Lymouth has a putting green, tennis court and quaint fisherman’s cottages. Lynmouth is approximately 10 miles from Porlock, and Lynton approximately 12 miles.
VALLEY OF THE ROCKS
The coast path which leads from Lynton to the Valley of the Rocks offers the most incredible views. The cliffs are some of the highest in Britain. There are the famous wild goats who live in the Valley of the rocks as well as Exmoor ponies.
The unspoilt beach at Woody Bay is perfect for a cooling dip in the sea (approximately 3 miles from Lynton, 15 miles from Porlock). Continue along the road through the Valley of the Rocks through the toll at Lee Abbey to the hidden gem of Woody Bay, (3 miles east of Lynton).
Steeped in history Dunster is a picturesque village located 8 miles from Maxwelton and home to Dunster Castle. A castle has been sited in this location since at least Norman times. This National Trust property hosts many events throughout the year including battle reenactments, medieval games, ghost tours, pirate quest for treasure.
Dunster was once an important wool trading centre and has a unique octagonal yarn market which was built in the early 17th century by the Luttrell family. Another National Trust property within the village is an 18th century restored watermill. Within the village there are at least 200 listed buildings. The River Avill runs through Dunster and there are many beautiful walks/rides around here. You can visit the tallest tree in England at Nutcombe Bottom near Dunster. The well known hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” was inspired in this area, with the River Avill being “the river running by”, and “the purple headed mountain referring to Dunkery Beacon”.
One of our favourite places to visit is Tarr Steps(approximately 15 miles from our cottage) where the medieval clapper bridge crosses the River Barle where children love to play in the river. A footpath along the River Barle leads to the pretty village of Withypool
The Moorland Mousie Trust at Exmoor Pony Centre
The Exmoor Pony Centre not far from Tarr Steps. Free admission The Moorland Mousie Trust, a charity that works tirelessly for the welfare and promotion of the rare breed Exmoor pony. Meet the ponies, taster sessions and trekking.
Exmoor offers many wonderful places where you can enjoy a picnic in the glorious summer sunshine Landacre Bridge was a favourite picnic site when I was a child where I loved playing paddling and fishing in the river.
WIMBLEBALL LAKE COUNTRY PARK
Approximately half an hour’s drive from Porlock Wimbleball Lake is surrounded by footpaths and offers lots of activities:- a premier trout fishery (with tuition days for beginners and improvers), watersports include windsurfing, sailing and rowing.
The Exmoor Pony is the oldest and most primitive breed of pony within the British Isles and they are classed as a rare breed. When driving over the slopes of Dunkery or Porlock Hill one is often lucky enough see herds grazing near the roadside. Every October the ponies are rounded up for inspection and branding by the Exmoor Pony Society
There are approximately 3000 Red Deer on Exmoor, they are the largest wild land animal in Britain, having survived on Exmoor since prehistoric times. There are also Roe Deer and Fallow Deer living within the Exmoor National Park.
During your holiday in Porlock why not participate in Exmoor’s Wildwatch campaign and record your sightings of wildlife:
The above is just a small sample of some of our favourite places to visit. If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Follow our Facebook page and Blog for updates on forthcoming events and activities.