Exford, Exmoor National Park

Exford, Exmoor National Park

Beautiful village in the heart of Exmoor National Park

Located in the heart of Exmoor near the highest point in the National Park, it's a great base from which to explore this part of the Westcountry.

Given its situation, Exford is also the perfect place from which to experience Exmoor as an International Dark Sky Reserve.

 

Best things to do in Exford

To help you choose Exford, we've listed some of the local attractions below.

 

Walking

Exe Valley Way. Follow the Exe Valley Way from Exford down to Withypool and then the famous Tarr Steps before continuing to Dulverton on the border of the National Park. Alternatively, follow the Exe Valley Way to Withypool and then walk to the headwaters of the River Exe at Exe Head on the high moor. To do this, follow the Two Moors Way to Simonsbath and then to Exe Head. Both are big return walks. To shorten, check bus times/book a taxi or walk a section of the routes.

Macmillan Way West. Walk a section of this 100 miles + long distance walking route. Paths climb from Exford to the high moor and then connect with the Macmillan Way West. Follow this east to Dunkery Beacon which is Exmoor's highest point.

Two Moors Way. Either walk the section from Simonsbath to Exe Head and then down to Lynmouth (about 10 miles and takes us a leisurely 4-4.30 hours) or the section from Simonsbath down to Withypool, Tarr Steps and Hawkridge (about 11 miles and takes us a leisurely 4.30 hours). Note the Two Moors Way leaves Exmoor National Park south of Hawkridge at Badlake Moor Cross. Again, both are big return walks. To shorten, book a taxi of walk a section of the routes.

Tarka Trail. Same route as the Two Moors Way from Exe Head to Lynmouth or follow a section of the Tarka Trail west of Exe Head to Woodbarrow Gate to see some of Exmoor's top prehistoric sites.

Coleridge Way. Whilst this is well north of Exford, the Coleridge Way follows an impressive route. Try the Lynmouth to Watersmeet section.

 

Horse riding

The Exmoor Pony Centre near Dulverton. Ride 'iconic rare breed native Exmoor Ponies'. There are many options available covering all abilities/experience including treks on the high moor.

Brendon Manor Stables by Lynton (just off B3223 near A39 Watersmeet Road). 1-3 hour treks covering all abilities/experience. Includes trips to Doone Valley/Doone Country. 'Our rides can take people all over the open moorland and down into the valleys and clear streams below. Brendon Manor's location and trekking routes not only takes in the unspoilt ruggedness of Exmoor, but also the natural beauty of the North Devon coastline.'

Exmoor Coast Riding Holidays/Exmoor Riding Centre by Lynton (between the A39 and Woody Bay/the spectacular coast west of Lynton). Rides for all abilities/experience. Includes trips to The Valley of Rocks which is a Westcountry highlight.

Outovercott by Lynton (by the A39 between high moor and the spectacular coast west of Lynton). Treks covering all abilities/experience. Includes 'a scenic coastal ride taking in views of the Valley of Rocks, Lee Abbey and the spectacular Exmoor coastline, with its famous hog's back wooded cliffs'.

Pine Lodge by Dulverton. From one hour rides to Safari Day Rides. Trips include the famous Tarr Steps. 'Each hack is different and provides an excellent opportunity to spot many rare species of flora and fauna as you ride amongst herds of red deer and wild Exmoor ponies, with buzzards, harriers, skylarks and hares, kingfishers, leaping salmon and perhaps even a wild otter or two.'

Burrowhayes Farm by Porlock. 1-3 hour treks covering all abilities/experience. 'We organise escorted rides of mixed abilities in the glorious Horner Valley and on the open moorland of Dunkery, Ley Hill and Selworthy. So everyone can enjoy to the full the beauty of Exmoor with the added thrill of being on horseback.'

 

Food and drink

The Exmoor White Horse Inn. Overlooks the River Exe by the B3224.

The Crown Hotel Exmoor. By the village green and B3224.

 

Moorland

Dunkery Beacon. The highest point on Exmoor. Glorious views. There are plenty of parking places on the moorland road that crosses Dunkery Hill including one pretty much below the beacon.

Doone Valley/Doone Country. Walk to Doone Valley across Brendon Common from the car parking areas by the B3223 Simonsbath and Lynmouth Road.

 

Beauty spots

Dunkery Beacon. The highest point on Exmoor. Glorious views. There are plenty of parking places on the moorland road that crosses Dunkery Hill including one pretty much below the beacon.

Tarr Steps. Famous Westcountry clapper bridge in a glorious setting. Particularly beautiful in Autumn when the leaves turn in the Barle River Valley. The bridge is owned by Exmoor National Park Authority and is within the Tarr Steps Woodland National Nature Reserve. Top place. Big car parking area from which you walk down to the bridge.

 

Culture and visitor information

Doone Valley/Doone Country. Walk to Doone Valley across Brendon Common from the car parking areas by the B3223 Simonsbath and Lynmouth Road.

 

Coastal walking

South West Coast Path. See our listing for Best Exmoor SWCP/South West Coast Path Walking.

 

Other Exmoor visitor attractions

Follow the B3224 east to Wheddon Cross and then drive the A39 to Dunster to visit the National Trust's Dunster Castle.

Alternatively, follow the B3224 west to Simonsbath then the B3223 to the A39 and the National Trust's Watersmeet then Lynmouth.

 

Pretty villages

Winsford. Beautiful village below Winsford Hill. Enjoy a pub lunch at The Royal Oak Inn.

Withypool. Village below Withypool Hill and Withypool Common. On the Two Moors Way and Exe Valley Way. Enjoy a pub lunch at, another, The Royal Oak Inn.

 

Beaches

See our listing for Best Exmoor Beaches.