Wheddon Cross, Exmoor National Park

Wheddon Cross, Exmoor National Park
  • The highest village on Exmoor is a gateway to Exmoor's highest point at Dunkery Beacon
  • Walk to the top of Dunkery Beacon for huge views of Exmoor, Somerset and Devon including the northern side of Dartmoor National Park
  • Drop down to Webber's Post to explore Dunkery and Horner Wood National Nature Reserve
  • Look out for Exmoor's famous red deer and ponies
  • Having explored high moor and wooded valleys, relax at the Rest & Be Thankful Inn where the B3224 crosses the A396 which provide easy access to other sections of the National Park
  • Main photo: the view to Exmoor's highest ground Dunkery Beacon from Rowbarrows

 

Where is Wheddon Cross in Exmoor National Park?

Wheddon Cross is in an amazing location below Exmoor's highest point at Dunkery Beacon and on the intersection of two major Exmoor roads. The A396 runs north/south connecting Dulverton and Dunster. The transmoorland B3224 runs east/west. Exmoor's highest village is a gateway to the National Park's high moor.

 

Directions to Wheddon Cross

Take the A396 that climbs from the A39 at Dunster to Wheddon Cross. If you're coming from Mid Devon, take the A396 that passes by Dulverton.

 

Parking at Wheddon Cross

There's parking in the centre of the village by the intersection of the A396 and B3224 at the Rest & Be Thankful Inn.

There are public toilets and information boards at the car park.

 

Why holiday or weekend break in Wheddon Cross?

To help you chose the Wheddon Cross area, we've listed some of the local attractions below.

 

Dunkery Beacon

Head out of Wheddon Cross on the B3224 and you very shortly come to Blagdon Cross. Take the moorland road in front of you to Dunkery Gate. There's a small car parking area on your right. A good path rises to Dunkery Beacon. It's a short walk and isn't particularly demanding.

The views are immense. On a clear day, you'll see Dartmoor National Park to the south and Brecon Beacons National Park to the north. Bodmin Moor is the south west and the high ground of Exmoor National Path extends west. Highly recommended.

 

Dunkery and Horner Wood National Nature Reserve

Dunkery and Horner Wood is one of the largest National Nature Reserves in England.

'The nature reserve supports a wealth of wildlife including rare and endangered species. The red deer is the largest of Britain's native animals. Listen for the roaring and clashing of stags during the autumn rut. If you are lucky, you might glimpse a merlin, our smallest bird of prey - up to three pairs breed here. Curlews breed on the wet areas, and fill the air with haunting cries. In early June, watch for the heath fritillary, one of Britain's rarest butterflies.' (Source: information board on site)

 

Webber's Post

We'd recommend exploring Dunkery and Horner Wood National Nature Reserve from Webber's Post which is on the moorland road that runs between Dunkery and Luccombe/Horner.

 

Holnicote Estate

Dunkery Beacon, the Dunkery and Horner Wood National Nature Reserve and Webber's Post sit within the National Trust's magnificent Holnicote Estate.

Holnicote Estate is 'one of the largest and most diverse countryside properties owned and managed by the National Trust. The 5026 hectare estate gives you the opportunity to discover picturesque villages, woodland, farmland, moorland coastline, archaeological sites and a wide array of wildlife, including many species that are rare in the UK. Most of the estate can be explored using more that 240km of bridleways and footpaths.' (Source: information board at Selworthy)

 

Exmoor prehistory

Walk west of Dunkery Beacon down the spine of the moor and you come to Little Rowbarrow and Great Rowbarrow which are part of Exmoor's rich prehistory.

If prehistory is of interest, make sure you explore Dartmoor National Park. We list its best prehistoric sites on our sister site 'Holiday in Dartmoor'.

 

Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve

Exmoor was Europe's first International Dark Sky Reserve. Owing to the low levels of light pollution, you'll be able to see thousands more stars with the naked eye than you would in an urban area.

Dunkery Beacon and Dunkery Hill are top places from which to experience this.

 

Brendon Hills

The Brendon Hills run east and south east of Wheddon Cross by the B3224. They provide a very different experience to the high moor. Visit whilst walking a section of the Coleridge Way.

 

Dunster & Minehead

Dunster is one of Exmoor National Park's most popular villages. It sits on the eastern border of the National Park down the A396 from Wheddon Cross. Visit Dunster Castle (National Trust) and Dunster Yarn Market, Butter Cross and Gallox Bridge (English Heritage). The Tallest Tree In England is situated in Dunster Estate!

Minehead lines the eastern border is a famous English seaside town. Enjoy the big, sand beach or take a trip on the West Somerset Railway. Note that the South West Coast Path starts/ends in Minehead. See the South West Coast Path Start/End Sculpture.

 

Porlock Vale and Porlock Bay including Porlock Weir, Porlock Beach and Bossington Beach

Follow the moorland road that cuts across Dunkery Hill and descends past Webber's Post to access Porlock Vale and Porlock Bay.

Visit Porlock Weir and Porlock Beach on the west side of the bay.

Explore Bossington and Bossington Beach in the east side of the bay. The views from Bossington Hill are sensational.

 

Long distance walking routes by Wheddon Cross

The Coleridge Way and Macmillan Way West pass by Wheddon Cross.

 

Horse riding near Wheddon Cross

Try Burrowhayes Farm. '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.'