Bossington Beach (National Trust), Porlock, Exmoor National Park

Bossington Beach (National Trust), Porlock, Exmoor National Park

Rock and pebble beach on the eastern side of Porlock Bay

Bossington Beach is a rock and pebble beach at the eastern end of Porlock Bay and its famous pebble/shingle ridge. The beach is located at the eastern end of the Exmoor coastline near some of the National Park's prettiest villages. It takes its name from nearby Bosssington. Hurlstone Point overlooks the beach. Bossington Hill rises to the east. Porlock Beach and Porlock Weir are to the west.


Location of Bossington Beach

The popular seaside holiday resort Minehead is located on the eastern border of Exmoor National Park. The huge bulk of North Hill dominates the town and its vast low tide sand beach. North Hill runs west to Bossington Hill. From there, you look down on a dramatic and beautiful sweep of coastline at Porlock Bay. Porlock Shingle Ridge lines the bay. Bossington Beach is the eastern section of this ridge. The beautiful village Bossington sits inland.

We've positioned Bossington Beach on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.


Directions to, and parking at, Bossington Beach

Drive the A39 to the Porlock area. Take the turning off the A39 to Allerford and then Bossington. There's parking in the heart of the village.

You can also walk in on the South West Coast Path from Minehead or the car park at Porlock Weir. Paths also run from Porlock down to Porlock Marsh and Porlock Shingle Ridge.


Bossington Beach and the Porlock Ridge and Saltmarsh SSSI/Site of Special Scientific Interest

Bossington Beach is part of the Porlock Ridge and Saltmarsh SSSI/Site of Special Scientific Interest which lines Porlock Bay from Hurlstone Point in the east to Gore Point in the west (roughly 4.5km/3m in length) and covers the saltmarsh that sits behind Porlock Shingle Ridge.

The Natural England Porlock Ridge and Saltmarsh SSSI citation provides an excellent description of the area:

'This site comprises a shingle ridge and associated saltmarsh hinterland extending for a distance of approximately 4 kilometres along the west Somerset coast, immediately north of Porlock village. Porlock shingle ridge was formed, as sea level rose during the middle part of the Holocene epoch, from shingle eroded from head deposits which masked the sea cliffs to the west after the last glacial period. This major source of coarse sediment has long since disappeared, leaving only a relatively insignificant input of sediment from occasional cliff falls. The inputs of sediment to the beach ridge from this modern source are too small to sustain the earlier beach profile and the increase in the length of the ridge as it continues to rollback, in a lengthening curve, into Porlock Bay. This means that the ridge has been growing steadily thinner ever since it was formed, a condition exacerbated by the further reduction in shingle inputs caused by the construction of groynes at Gore Point at the western extremity of the ridge. The modern ridge was therefore unable to withstand recent extreme storm events and a breach opened during the storm of October 1996 which flooded the low lying marsh hinterland. Rapid evolution of the beach following the breach is providing a unique opportunity to study the development of a coarse sediment barrier system in an open coast location.' (Source: Natural England Porlock Ridge and Saltmarsh SSSI citation)


Important note on Bossington Beach and Porlock Shingle Ridge

Please note that the South West Coast Path/public footpath no longer runs across Porlock Shingle Ridge from Bossington Beach to Porlock Beach. According to the Exmoor National Park Authority, it is permanently closed. 'Porlock Shingle Ridge is impassable due to the breach. Do not attempt to cross, even at low water. Follow signs from Bossington to Porlock Weir.' (Source: Exmoor National Park Authority website)

When walking the area, you're directed through Porlock Marsh behind Porlock Shingle Ridge. It's well signposted and a beautiful walk.


Beaches near Bossington Beach

Beaches on the coastline east of Bossington Beach:

Minehead Beach

Dunster Beach

Blue Anchor Beach

Watchet West Street Beach

Helwell Bay Beach

Doniford Beach

St Audrie's Bay Beach

East Quantoxhead Beach

Kilve Beach

Lilstock Beach


Beaches on the coastline west of Bossington Beach:

Porlock Beach

Sillery Sands (Beach)

Lynmouth Eastern Beach

Lynmouth Western Beach

Wringcliff Bay Beach

Lee Abbey Bay Beach

Woody Bay Beach

Heddon's Mouth Beach

Wild Pear Beach

Combe Martin Beach

Combe Martin Newbury Beach

Broadsands Beach

Watermouth Cove (Beach)

Hele Beach

Ilfracombe Rapparee Cove (Beach)

Ilfracombe Wildersmouth Beach

Ilfracombe Tunnels Beaches

Lee Bay Beach

Sandy Cove (Beach)


North Devon Atlantic facing beaches:

Rockham Beach

Grunta Beach

Barricane Beach

Woolacombe Sand (Beach)

Putsborough Sand (Beach)

Croyde Sand (Beach)

Saunton Sands (Beach)

Northam Burrows Beach

Westward Ho! Beach

Instow Sands (Beach)


Things to do near Bossington Beach

South West Coast Path

Dunkery Beacon and Exmoor's high moor

Dunster Castle

The Dunster Douglas (the tallest tree in England)

West Somerset Railway

The Valley of Rocks

Lynton and Lynmouth Railway

Watersmeet (National Trust)


Villages and towns near Bossington Beach





Porlock Weir