Porlock, Exmoor National Park

Porlock, Exmoor National Park
  • Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was interrupted by 'a person on business from Porlock' whilst writing Kubla Khan
  • Amazing location. Situated behind Porlock Bay and below Dunkery Hill/Dunkery & Horner Wood National Nature Reserve
  • One of a handful of Exmoor villages in the eastern section of the National Park that are essential visiting. Also see Porlock Weir, Bossington, Allerford and Selworthy
  • Offers superb local walking. Follow the Coleridge Way. Drop down to the coast to walk the South West Coast Path. Head up to Dunkery Hill to stand at Exmoor's highest ground at Dunkery Beacon
  • Great for beaches. Head to Porlock Beach or Bossington Beach. Spend a day at the huge low tide sand beach at Minehead
  • Main photo: Kubla Khan by the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge 


Famous Exmoor village situated behind the magnificent Porlock Bay

With its magnificent location and literary connections, Porlock is one of Exmoor National Park's top visitor destinations. View from Bossington Hill to the east of Porlock Common to the west. Take a trip down to Porlock Weir.


Best things to do in Porlock

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


Culture and information

Whilst writing Kubla Khan, the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was interrupted by a visitor from Porlock.

The Coleridge Way passes through the village.


Food and drink

The Ship Inn in Porlock. The Ship Inn is located by the A39 offering easy access.

The Bottom Ship Inn in Porlock Weir. Coastal pub overlooking Porlock Bay. Great access to the beach and sea. The South West Coast Path runs past the pub and the Coleridge Way is nearby.

The Culbone. By the A39 west of Porlock beyond the famous Porlock Hill.


Inland walking

The Coleridge Way. Runs between Lynmouth Pavilion National Park Centre on Exmoor and Coleridge Cottage on the edge of the Quantock Hills AONB.


Coastal walking

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


Visitor attractions

West Somerset Railway. Runs from the east border of Exmoor at Minehead and then Dunster to Bishops Lydeard below the Quantock Hills. Super family attraction. It's fun to walk the coast path between Dunster and Minehead and then catch the train back.

The National Trust's Dunster Castle. One of Exmoor's most popular visitor attractions, Dunster Castle dominates the village. Essential visiting.



Dunkery Beacon. The highest point on Exmoor provides immense views. If you're there in late August/early September you'll get heather too.


Pretty villages and hamlets

Porlock Weir. A favourite Exmoor destination on the coastline of Porlock Bay. Celebrated beauty spot with amazing views.

Selworthy, Allerford and Bossington. Selworthy, Allerford and Bossington are villages located in an arc at the base of Bossington Hill.



Porlock Beach. Rock and pebble. Porlock Beach is the west section of the famous pebble ridge (or shingle ridge) at Porlock Bay. Park at Porlock Weir and wander across. Alternatively, walk in from Porlock. Again, consult the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL9 Exmoor map for detail.

Bossington Beach. Rock and pebble. Bossington Beach is the east section of the famous pebble ridge (or shingle ridge) at Porlock Bay. Park at Bossington and follow the path to the coast. Alternatively, walk in from Porlock. Consult the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL9 Exmoor map for detail.

Minehead Beach. The most popular family beach in this part of the Westcountry. Huge expanse of sand at low tide.



National Trust's Dunster Castle. One of Exmoor's most popular visitor attractions, Dunster Castle dominates the village. Essential visiting.

English Heritage's Dunster Yarn Market, Butter Cross and Gallox Bridge.

Further away, Cleeve Abbey.


Activities and adventures

Exmoor Adventures. With such a spectacular coastline, try sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing and coasteering with Exmoor Adventures based in Porlock.

Horse riding at Burrowhayes Farm by Porlock. '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.'

Exmoor Riding by Porlock. 'We are situated within the grounds of Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre, just one mile from Porlock, and five miles west of Minehead.   We have access to hundreds of miles of off-road riding through woodland and over moorland, with spectacular views to the sea and across the moor to Devon and Cornwall.  Some of the best riding countryside in the world!  The countryside is challenging, and so we are unable to take novice riders.'