Time to clear the head and get out for a winter walk

p1030516-valley-of-the-rocksThere’s nothing better than getting out into the fresh air and taking a brisk or leisurely walk on Exmoor.

There are few locations in Britain where you can get a mash up of wild moorland with lush, deep, river-made, wooded valleys, dotted with pretty thatched cottages, and acres of woodland.

Visit at this time of year and you can cuddle up in front of a log burning stove, sleep in a four-poster bed, dine by candlelight, star gaze, walk hand-in-hand on a sandy beach, take a trip on a steam train on Britain’s longest heritage railway line and even visit the lunar landscape of the Valley of Rocks.

Our hotel is a wonderful base for more seasoned walkers and, also, for those looking for a more leisurely pace, and who fancy kicking through the leaves searching for end of season conkers.

We offer a drying room for equipment and clothing, and we think we’re pretty unique, as we provide luxury accommodation and award-winning, seasonal food, as well as help and advice regarding particular walks for those wishing to stay with us.

For self-guided walking we provide maps and advice and can organise guided walks by prior arrangement. Here are our five favourite short walks, at this time of year, that are near us:

The Tall Trees Trail

This wheelchair and push chair accessible trail located at Nutcombe Bottom is great for all abilities. There’s an interactive interpretation available along the way that offers a wonderful introduction to the great outdoors for younger walkers and gives you an opportunity to discover England’s tallest tree too!

Tarr Steps

A wonderful beauty spot on Exmoor to visit as well as the starting point for a two mile circular walk along the River Barle. It crosses a National Nature Reserve, which aptly for National Tree Week, includes some of the best riverside wooded areas you will ever find.

Dunkery Beacon

Dunkery Beacon, which can be reached on foot from the hotel, is the highest point on the moor at 520 metres. It commands a breath-taking 360-degree panoramic view but is easily accessible to walkers of all abilities.

The Valley of the Rocks

Another easily accessible walk that ensures you get up close and personal with one of Exmoor’s most popular areas and the goats that graze it!

Wistlandpound Reservoir

If you like water and walks, head for Wistlandpound Reservoir. It features an easy to access two-mile route around the pretty lake that is suitable for all abilities.

For those who want to be more adventurous we’d suggest:

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path, which is Britain’s longest national trail, extends all along the Exmoor coast for 34 miles before making its way on into Devon and beyond.

The Coleridge Way

This part of the world is where the Romantic Movement poet Coleridge lived in the late 1700s and wrote his finest works including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight, The Nightingale, Cristabel and This Lime Tree Bower my Prison. The Coleridge Way runs from Nether Stowey to Lynmouth and the Macmillan Way from Castle Cary across the Quantocks, through to Barnstaple in Devon, and linking to The South West Coast Path.