Discover challenging and dramatic walking trails shaped by the footsteps of traders, smugglers, saints and pirates. Cornish walking trails will reveal ancient tin mines, clifftop castles, timeless fishing villages and wild moors as you travel through a landscape of huge cliffs and hidden coves that goes back to the depths of time itself. In between the coastal drama, iconic harbours such as St Ives and Padstow give walkers access to some of the UK‘s best restaurants and coastal hotels. A county encircled by the wild Atlantic ocean, there is over 330 miles of spectacular world class coast path here taking you around the farthest corners of England - put simply it feels like walking on the edge of the world.
Stretching from coast to coast across the southwest of England, Devon is a richly diverse county with rugged shores and cliffs in the north, and classic Victorian seaside resorts in the south. In between you'll find tranquil green pastures, wooded gorges and the two dramatic wild moors in the National Parks of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Choose Devon for its walking variety, and you'll find that the popular image of cream teas and thatched cottages is true - but that Devon is so much more once you explore it on two feet. Coast to coast routes like the Two Moors Way will offer a journey through it all from the wild northern shores that inspired the Romantic poets to the maritime ports of the south coast.
Free your soul and clear your mind! Walking on the wild moors of these National Parks is a wonderful antidote to modern living. England's last true wilderness, Dartmoor offers 365 square miles of virtually uninhabited freedom with high moors and twisted dramatic granite tors a land of myths, ghosts and legends. Exmoor, its smaller and more gentle neighour, is 250 Square miles of near perfect and unique beauty, with high uplands swathed in heather and steep, wooded gorges and rushing streams. See Dartmoor ponies and Exmoor stags in these wildlife rich areas, home to 30 species of mammals and over 240 types of bird. The moors offer a unique opportunity for more challenging walking where the only human sound you will hear is the rhythm of your own breath.
Avoid the crowds and discover “Secret Somerset” missed by so many rushing headlong for the far South West. The 'land of the summer people' was named in a time when this area could only be visited in the summer months as the sea receded. Today its a rich, fertile and 'for real' landscape crowned by the fine walking ridges of the Mendip and Quantock Hills both protected areas of outstanding natural beauty. Rising up over King Arthur‘s Vale of Avalon along with the magical Tor at Glastonbury, walkers will find hidden gorges, wooded combes and the best inland panoramas of the South West. Also boasting its own Jurassic Coast Path, providing a gateway into the wilds of Exmoor National Park, Somerset offers walking routes without the crowds for those who want to find..... what the rest miss.
Dorset has a comfortable old world “English” feel to it and its walking routes traverse a rather more green and agricultural land of thatched cottages, cream teas.... and fossils ! Walkers here will find the more gentle rolling farmland, pretty villages and chalk ridges beloved by Thomas Hardy that sweep down to end abruptly at the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Here, alongside the sea, those after more challenging routes can take a walking holiday through time itself amongst the dramatic chalk stacks, cliffs and arches of the Dorsetshire fossil coast. An area that can be very busy in high season but often suits walkers looking for more gentle and less exposed walking than the far west of the region.
Wales offers some of the best walking and outdoor activities to be had anywhere in the world. The 870-mile Welsh Coast Path was only fully opened in 2012 and is the world's first walk along the entire coast of a nation. The terrain is on an equally grand scale with towering cliffs, vast stretches of unspoilt golden sands, imposing castles, offshore islands and to the north there is the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park with its stunning mountains. Wales in general offers walkers great value for money compared to more popular areas like Cornwall with walking options to suit everyone, from those who want the cosmopolitan restaurants and facilities of towns like Tenby and St Davids, through to isolated and remote forests and coastal hills that sit on the very cusp of the Snowdonian Peaks. Bursting with confidence and pride in its “Welshness”, its Celtic history, language and culture there has never been a better time for walkers to enter Wales.
The South West Coast Path is the UK's longest National Trail and one of the top ten walking routes in the world. It snakes, dips and rises continuously on its way through a staggering 1014km (630 miles) of pristine coastline, 450 miles of which is through nationally protected areas. It's a challenge too; walking the entire South West Coast Path is the equivalent to scaling Mount Everest four times! From towering cliffs to hidden coves, ghostly tin mines to lush subtropical wooded creeks. One minute a dramatic rock theatre hewn out of the cliffs, the next a prehistoric fossilized forest or a 20thC Art Deco Island Hotel. What sets The South West Coast Path apart from other trails is that around almost every corner is yet another surprise as you retrace the footsteps and histories of the tin miners, fisherman, smugglers, wreckers and the customs men who chased them.
Highlights - The Two Moors Way - a Dartmoor and Exmoor Coast to Coast Walk. The Coleridge Way Poets Route, The Tarka Trail North Devon Walks and The South West Coast Path Somerset Coastline.
View our Walking Map of Exmoor
250 Square miles of near perfect and unique beauty, Exmoor packs a great deal into the UK’s most compact National Park. Windswept high moorland and gorgeous heather banked summits roll ever downward into densely wooded valleys and roaring rivers and gorges that reveal secretive yet welcoming cob and thatch villages at the end of your days walking. Smaller and less harsh that its neighbouring Dartmoor what Exmoor Walking Holidays have over the former is the dramatic collision of moor with Ocean. The Moorland literally ends by plunging into the Bristol Channel down incredible Hogs Back coastal cliffs, the highest in England - an incredible 800 feet of bare rock – there is simply nowhere else like it in North Devon, Somerset or indeed the rest of the UK.
Without doubt, Exmoor’s survival has been thanks to its relative isolation, tucked away at the top of the UK’s West Country Peninsular its missed by those rushing headlong for Cornwall’s far west or Dartmoor. Well....their loss can be your gain! As a result on Exmoor Walks you never feel crowded out, in a location where space and height become the overarching themes to your walking holiday – Exmoor leaves you feeling tall as you wander high on top of a hidden country, looking forever downward from an empty heaven that seems to stretch all the way to the mighty ocean in one long purple heather carpet.
Within these expanses your walking holiday will link fascinating evidence of historical attempts to tame these moors, deserted Medieval Villages, Iron Age hill forts and the ruined farmsteads of the outlaw clans that once controlled the area. Whilst at Tarr Steps the incredible ancient stone clapper bridge spans the crystal clear gurgling River Barle like something left behind by Giants
The thrill of stalking a lone Stag as it prances over the heather ahead or creeping towards a nervous herd of roe deer is unforgettable out here where the largest concentration of Red Deer in England freely roams the National Park along with the unique and rare breed of Exmoor Pony and even a herd of sea cliff residing wild goats.
Testament to its walking quality Exmoor has over 750 miles of “rights of way” and the longest stretch of naturally wooded coastline in the UK running right down through deep and lush gorges to the shore itself. Encounter Walking cover the best of these trails with options across the moor and along the South West Coast Path.
Little Switzerland, The Valley of the Rocks, The (Lorna) Doone Valley and the Samuel Coleridge Way, world class walking meets the poets and artists here and we cover the highlights and full variety of the National Park with selected options across the moor and along the South West Coast Path. This area in particular lends itself to those who can’t decide between the Moor and the Coast and are looking to mix a few days of splendid isolation walking the high ground before seamlessly linking the adventure into the drama and challenges of the South West Coastal Path en route into North Devon.
Click below for full details and images of the Exmoor Walking Routes and then contact one of our walking advisors for advice and suggestions on ways to link the trails together into a unique and varied walking holiday.
Or Locate the walks using our Exmoor Walking Map
The Exmoor South West Coast Path – Valley of the Rocks, Porlock Weir, Mighty Moors and Golden Shores
The Coleridge Way – Follow in the great Poets footsteps on a little walked trail through hidden Somerset
The Two Moors Way – Tarr Steps, Exe Head, the Upper Barle Valley and the heart of Exmoor at Withypool
The Tarka Trail – Circular Walking Route following the landscapes from Tarka the Otter a splendid mix of coast path, inland river valleys and a spectacular finish over the heather on Exmoor.
Coleridge Way and South West Coast Path – 4 days on the Quantock Hills and Exmoor and up to 4 days walking the Devon Coastal Path West to Barnstaple or East to Minehead and onto the Somerset Coast Path.
Two Moors Way (Exmoor) and South West Coastal Path – Take 3 or 4 days walking from mid Devon via Tarr Steps onto Exmoor before heading for a final dramatic day walking the Somerset South West Coastal Path to Minehead or heading West for up to a week of North Devon walks.
Map of all
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