#9 of 10 national parks in England

Best trails in Exmoor National Park

213 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Exmoor National Park, Somerset? AllTrails has 38 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 28 moderate trails in Exmoor National Park ranging from 4 to 37.2 km and from 4 to 514 meters above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Exmoor National Park is made of open moorland and have 55 kilometers of incredible coastline. Visitors can explore the rocky headlands, ravines, waterfalls and towering cliffs. With its huge waterfalls and caves, this dramatic coastline has become an adventure playground for both climbers and explorers. The cliffs provide one of the longest and most isolated sea cliff traverses in the UK. Sightseeing, walking, cycling and mountain biking main attractions in Exmoor. The South West Coast Path starts at Minehead and follows all along the Exmoor coast before continuing to Poole. The Coleridge Way is an 82 km footpath which follows the walks taken by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Lynmouth. 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. Other Exmoor walking trails include the Tarka Trail, Samaritans Way South West, Macmillan Way West, Exe Valley Way and Celtic Way Exmoor Option.

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Map of trails in Exmoor National Park
Park information
Area:
69,204 hectares
Park hours
Monday
All day
Tuesday
All day
Wednesday
All day
Thursday
All day
Friday
All day
Saturday
All day
Sunday
All day
Contact
+44 1398 323665
Helpful links
Top trails (38)
#1 - Lynmouth to Brendon
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 7.9 km • Est. 1 h 59 m
A circular walk, starting and finishing in the North Devon town of Lynmouth. The first half of the walk is along the picturesque East Lyn river gorge. The East Lyn river itself, is a fast flowing waterway tumbling across a rock strewn river bed. There are many rapids and waterfalls to enjoy. The river and the gorge are a haven for wildlife; herons can be seen standing fishing in some of the slower moving sections and deeper pools. The second half of the walk takes you over some beautiful coastline with breath-taking views across this part of North Devon and out across the Severn estuary. On a clear day, the coast of southern Wales can be clearly seen. The beautiful and rugged North Devon coastline can be especially appreciated from Beacon Tor before descending back down the coastal path and returning into Lynmouth. Most of the area covered by the walk is part of 2,000 acres of North Devon coast managed by the National Trust. The National Trust centre at Watersmeet is where the East Lyn river joins with Hoar Oak Water. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the two rivers whilst enjoying a refreshment break. The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout, including some quite steep sections. The riverside path on the outward leg climbs high above the river in places, with steep drops down the banks to your side so take particular care with children and dogs. Some parts are uneven and slippery underfoot and the highest parts of the walk are quite exposed. You will need to negotiate several gates, flights of steps and bridges, but there are no stiles on route. Allow 2.5 hours.Show more
#2 - Porlock Bay
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 12.2 km • Est. 3 h 33 m
This hike encompasses both salt and freshwater marshland, beaches that are sometimes covered in driftwood from the stormy weather, and dramatic, gnarled cliffs.Show more
#3 - Valley of Rocks and Lynton
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 4.0 km • Est. 1 h 15 m
A circular coastal walk near the cliff-top town of Lynton in Exmoor, Devon. The route leads you through the spectacular Valley of Rocks with its impressive geology and feral goats, following a stretch of the coastal path along the impressive high cliffs. Heading into the town of Lynton, the route crosses the cliff railway before exploring the town and then returning to the valley. The route follows tarmac paths for almost the entire length (with just a short stretch over short grass), so it is ideal if you want to avoid the mud. There are several climbs and descents throughout. There are no stiles or kissing gates, but you will need to negotiate several single gates. The stretch of coastal path has a very steep, sharp drop down the cliffs on one side, this is probably not a good walk for those that suffer from vertigo and do take care with dogs. The paths are all at least one metre wide, so in theory it would be possible to take a pushchair round, but there are no wide passing places along the coastal path so it would not be suitable for wheelchairs. For half the route, you will be sharing the paths with the local feral goats, although these are very used to walkers and their dogs. Allow 1.5 hours (plus extra time to explore the town). Show more
#4 - Tarr Steps and River Barle
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 3.7 km • Est. 1 h 11 m
A circular walk from the iconic Tarr Steps clapper bridge in Exmoor, Somerset. The simple route crosses this impressive ancient bridge, before following a riverside journey through the woodland, a designated National Nature Reserve that runs alongside the River Barle. This is an idyllic habitat enjoyed by salmon, otters and the elusive dormouse. The route has a few steady gradients including one long slope from the parking area. The paths are muddy in part and very rocky and uneven in other parts meaning they can get slippery. There are no kissing gates, stiles or livestock on route, but you will need to negotiate several simple gates and two bridges - the clapper bridge and a normal footbridge. The rocky nature of the paths means this route would not be suitable for any type of wheeled assistance vehicle. Dogs are welcome on the walk, indeed it is a popular dog walking spot. There are public toilets in the car park at the start of the walk. Allow 1.5 hours. The Tarr Steps are a clapper bridge across the River Barle, that dates back to around 1000 BC. There is an old story, according to which the devil created the Tarr Steps as part of a bet with a giant that lived in the area. The hike is one of the most popular in Exmoor National Park. Show more
#5 - Lynton, Watersmeet and Valley of the Rocks
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 15.8 km • Est. 5 h 37 m
Starting from Lynmouth take the path alongside the river to Watersmeet, which is a charming National Trust tearoom and shop. The route then takes the fishermans path alongside the shop up to Countisbury church before a glorious walk along the coast path back to Lynmouth. From here you can either go back to the car (you will have done around 6 miles) or ascend to Lynton via the footpath or cliff railway. Head past the town hall, left into Crossmead, right at the end and straight on through a 'no thru road' sign up onto the cliffs above the valley of the rocks. The route goes down to Lee Abbey before turning back and taking the surfaced footpath to Lynton. At the end of this path you go through a gate into a wood and from here there is a choice of paths; one to Lynton and one to Lynmouth.Show more
#6 - South West Coast Path: Trentishoe to Ilfracombe
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 18.0 km • Est. 6 h 13 m
The walk starts with a brisk climb up the other side of the Heddon Valley. It was drizzling and very windy and the route passes round Peter Rock. Peter Rock overhangs the cliff and is exposed to the wind at the mouth of the valley and slippery rock, but it was ok. Following on from that, the path goes to the top of Great Hangman, which is the highest point on the entire South West Coast Path at 318m. Then you travel down past Little Hangman and a number of small villages (Combe Martin, Berrynarbor, Watermouth, Widmouth, Hele) before reaching Ilfracombe. One section involves walking along the footpath at the side of the main road for a mile or two. A quick drink in a pub in Ilfracombe, then bus to Barnstaple.Show more
#7 - Valley of The Rocks and Lynton Outer Loop
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 8.9 km • Est. 2 h 58 m
#8 - Tarr Steps Circular Walk
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 13.0 km • Est. 4 h 11 m
The Tarr Steps are a clapper bridge across the River Barle, that dates back to around 1000 BC. There is an old story, according to which the devil created the Tarr Steps as part of a bet with a giant that lived in the area. The hike is one of the most popular in Exmoor National Park. The hike begings on a path following the River Barle as it passes through woodlands. You will come to a meadow about 2 miles into the hike where you will cross diagonally. Note when the path begins to go uphill; halfway through this climb there will be a gate on your left. This will be the first of many gates you will pass. You will begin to see farm buildings as you walk higher. When you get to the road, make a left to Withypol. Cross the large bridge and look for a sign that says Hawkridge. Cross the cattle grid and walk uphill along the Hawkridge road. After a little over a mile you will see another cattle grid, and a sign marking a downhill turn for Tarr Steps. IGNORE this sign and keep walking a bit further. After Westwater Farm you turn left onto a smaller trail and there will be another sign for Tarr Steps. The path will take you uphill over a series of gates and stiles. At Parsonage Farm there is another Tarr Steps sign that will have you make a sharp left. Go through the gate, head downhill making a few more turns and navigating a few more gates before arriving at Tarr Steps.Show more
#9 - Bossington Hill Circular
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 5.6 km • Est. 1 h 59 m
#10 - Selworthy and Selworthy Beacon
Exmoor National Park
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Length: 6.9 km • Est. 2 h 20 m
A circular walk from the tiny village of Selworthy in Exmoor, Somerset. This is a great walk for showing off everything Exmoor has to offer. It begins outside a medieval church, leading you past thatched cottages and a traditional village green to enter the vast and peaceful hillside woodland. Here you will visit Agnes Fountain and have a perfectly framed view of Porlock Bay. Your journey continues with a steep climb up into the open moorland to join a stretch of the South West Coast Path leading you to Selworthy Beacon, one of the highest points in Exmoor. You will have chance to meet the local Exmoor ponies and other conservation grazers whilst enjoying superb views across the Bristol Channel. The walk follows mostly unmade paths and the woodland stretches can get very muddy. There are several climbs and descents throughout, including one fairly steep climb into the moorland, but there are also several relatively level stretches that balance this out. The woodland paths are free from livestock, ideal for well-behaved dogs to burn some energy, but you will be sharing the moorland stretch with Exmoor ponies, Belted Galloway cattle and sheep. Being part of the coast path, the livestock are used to walkers and tend to be fairly relaxed, but take extra care with dogs. There are no stiles or kissing gates on route, but you will need to negotiate some steps, footbridges and single gates. Navigation in the woodland is difficult due to the vast number of paths, so using the AllTrails map to help guide you. Allow 3 hours. Show more
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