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Exmoor National Park

Exmoor National Park is situated in the South-West of England, its 267 sq.miles split between Somerset and Devon and it takes it name from the River Exe which has its source at the centre of the area. It has a unique landscape of moorland, woodland, rugged coastline, valleys and farmland which has been shaped by nature and by its inhabitants over thousands of years. Exmoor was once a Royal Forest and hunting ground which was sold to John Knight in 1818. Exmoor was designated a National Park in 1945 and is sparsely populated with most of the population living in small villages or hamlets, the largest of which are Porlock, Dulverton, Lyton and Lynmouth, which contain around 40% of the park’s population. Lynton and Lynmouth are combined into one parish and are connected by the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway. Exmoor National Park also includes the Brendon Hills, the East Lyn Valley, the Vale of Porlock and 34 miles of coastline of the Bristol Channel.

Exmoor attracts many visitors each year, some come to admire or study the flora and fauna, several areas within the Exmoor National Park have been declared Sites of Special Scientific Interest, others come for the walking, climbing or the wonderful scenery. For walkers there are the “Coleridge Way” and the “Two Moors Way”, the Coleridge Way is a 58 km (36 mile) footpath which follows the walks taken by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Porlock, starting from Coleridge Cottage at Nether Stowey, where he once lived. It starts in the Quantocks before moving onto the Brendon Hills and crosses the fringes of Exmoor National Park at Dunkery Beacon before finishing in Porlock. The Two Moors Way runs from Ivybridge in South Devon to Lynmouth on the coast of North Devon, crossing parts of both Dartmoor and Exmoor. Both of these walks intersect with the South West Coast Path, Britain’s longest National Trail, which starts at Minehead and follows the Exmoor coast before continuing to Poole.

Official Website : www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/enjoying/national-park-centres

Exmoor contains 16 conservation areas and 208 scheduled monuments, the marked walking paths, Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, Porlock (a quaint coastal town), a salt marsh nature reserve and a harbour at nearby Porlock Weir. Watchet is a historic harbour town with a marina and is home to a carnival, which is held annually in July. Other attractions around the towns and villages are the ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps, the Snowdrop Valley near Wheddon Cross ( a wonderful sight to behold in February and later a carpet of bluebells), Dunster Castle and Priory, dovecote, yarn market, packhorse bridge and mill.

There are several National Park Centres at which visitors can find a wealth of information about Exmoor. Centres can be found in Dulverton, Dunster and Lynmouth. Here staff will be able to provide information on guided walks, events, things to and see in the area. There are also independently run visitor centres at Combe, Martin, Lynton, Minehead and Porlock.

Be Inspired

Castles

Castles were first built in England during the Norman Conquest in the 11th century as fortifications. There are many hundreds of castles throughout England some in good repair whilst others have all but completely disappeared other than a few stones to mark the spot.

Castles

Lakes

England has many lakes spread out over the whole of the country but the most famous must be the Lake District which draws around 16 million visitors each year to admire the beauty of the countryside around the lakesides. Lake Windermere is England’s largest lake.

Lakes

National Parks

The National Parks of England are quite diverse but all have in common one thing and that is their beauty. From the windswept reaches of Dartmoor and Exmoor to the mountains and lakes of the Lake District or the ancient, peaceful tranquility of the New Forest all are worthy of a visit.

National Parks

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