Exmoor – explore a royal forest & an extinct volcano or go on a guided walk

Red DeerWalkers who take a trip to Somerset this summer (2018) can participate in a 725-year-old perambulation, stroll over an extinct volcano or enjoy a guided walk with experts.

We’re inviting ramblers of all abilities to explore the area on foot before relaxing in one of our luxury rooms.

Our part of the world is a bit of an undiscovered paradise for walks of all abilities. Those who are hardy, experienced ramblers could book in this June for the Exmoor Perambulation, which is a circular, long distance walk, dating back more than 725 years.

It’s one of the most challenging walks you can take in the area. It covers 31 miles of cross-country walking, complete with accompanying breath-taking views and it allows participants to access parts of the National Park not normally open to the public.

It also includes part of the boundary of The Exmoor Royal Forest, which is rolling open grass moorland mixed with steep combes and rivers. Royal forest law, which protected the habitats of deer and boar, was established by William the Conqueror, a keen huntsman.

Exmoor was highly attractive to kings due to its abundance of Red Deer, something which you have the opportunity of seeing today on any walk in the area.

The Exmoor perambulation offers experienced walkers a challenging 16 or 31-mile walk through some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. For visits at other times, walkers are encouraged to park at Prayway Head, and using an OS map, navigate to Hoaroak Water.

The Exmoor Forest area is a challenging walking landscape for experienced walkers. Sturdy walking boots and clothing are required, along with the ability to read and use Ordnance Survey maps (Explorer OL9 Map). For further details, please visit www.secretsomerset.uk.

Another mecca for walkers near us is the newest section of England’s coastal path, which was opened in 2016. This 58-mile stretch follows two thirds of Somerset’s coast from Brean Down to Minehead and the newly opened section represents a significant step towards completing the England Coast Path by 2020. From Minehead the South West Coast Path goes on into North Devon and Cornwall too.

But perhaps less well known are the tracks through the Great Wood Forest on the Quantocks, which takes in wood, farm and parkland and allows the walker to trek over rock from an extinct volcano. Great Wood is perfect for the amateur walker just starting out.

For this walk, drive to Seven Wells car park. Access is from the Nether Stowey/A39 side of the Quantock Hills. From Dunster, leave the A39 just before The Cottage Inn pub. Drive up past The Campbell Room through Adscombe and past Great Wood Camp car park. Seven Wells is further on at the T-junction of roads. For further details, please visit www.secretsomerset.uk.

For those looking for a guided walk of the area with an expert on the moor and its terrain, we suggest contacting The Exmoor Society. It is now the largest provider of guided walks on Exmoor from April to October each year. The walks it runs are free, although small donations are welcome from non-members. For further details, please visit www.exmoorsociety.com.