This is a stunning walking holiday full of variety, taking in Somerset and the North Devon coast in The Exmoor National Park. Parts of the route are not-so-gentle, but the rewards are well worth the effort: breathtaking coastline, charming rural villages in unspoilt locations, dramatic deep-cut valleys and wild, expansive moorland.
Starting in Lynmouth, the first few days feature spectacular walks along the South West Coastal Path, with opportunities to explore historic Lynton, ride the world famous Cliff Railway, eat hearty pub lunches washed down with local ales in idyllic locations, marvel at breathtaking views across the Bristol Channel, and visit dramatic coves, ancient woodlands and some of England's tallest cliffs.
The second half of the trip heads inland to the moors for a very different scene. The landscape here is wonderfully wild, unspoilt and unpopulated, with only the occasional village dotted here and there. A few ascents reward with fantastic views of the peaks of Dartmoor to the south, and Wales and the Black Mountains to the north. The wildlife here is abundant, with stags, birds of prey and horses to spot.
All in all, it's a fabulous route and a wonderful opportunity to explore the stunning countryside of this little corner of England.
from £1,385 per person
Based on two people sharing a room
Transfer from Barnstaple station to Lynmouth at start and back to Lynmouth or to Tiverton station from Tarr Steps at finish. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts daily in Lynmouth and finishes at Tarr Steps
Characterful boutique hotels set in stunning locations
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Not so gentle walking. More info...
5 days of walking 6 - 15 miles (10 - 24 km) per day
Varied: quiet country roads, bridleways, country paths, and the South West Coastal Path. Some sections are steep and wooded
- Add an extra day or swap a day of walking (if it's raining or overcast) and take an Exmoor 4x4 Safari with knowledgable local guides. See local wildlife such as horses, deer and birds of prey, soak up dramatic landscapes, traverse fords and byways, and discover magical hidden valleys across the moors and valleys. Contact us for more details about booking. Cost not included in price.
1. Day one
Arrive in Lynmouth
Our friendly host will meet you at Barnstaple station if you're arriving by train and transfer you to your hotel in Lynmouth. Once you've settled in, your host will brief you on the routes and answer any questions you have. The rest of the day presents an opportunity to explore historic Lynmouth and Lynton, which are connected by famous Cliff Railway. Both are wonderfully attractive small coastal towns, the former with a small harbour, and the latter on top of the cliff. Ride the railway and enjoy a light lunch at the Cliff Top Cafe whilst taking in stunning views of the North Devon coastline and Exmoor National Park.
2. Day two
Circular walk from Lynmouth
Today features spectacular coastal walking west from Lynmouth to the rather amazing Valley of the Rocks. Enjoy stunning views, the wind in your hair and fabulous cliff top walking. The longer distance takes you to Heddon’s Mouth and inland along the Heddon Valley, where there is a good lunch stop at The Hunters Inn. The walk loops back past Woody Bay and Lee Abbey and onto the Valley of the Rocks, with a pretty amble into the town of Lynton. The ascent and descent from Lynmouth can be made on foot or by taking the Cliff Railway.
6.5, 8 or 13 miles (10.5, 13 or 21 km)
3. Day three
Circular walk from Lynmouth
The route for today also follows much of the South West Coast Path but this time to the east, taking in some more strenuous sections. Begin with a charming amble inland along the pretty East Lyn river valley to the National Trust's Watersmeet House for a drink. Then head towards the sea with a typical Devon pub a nice lunch option. As you reach the sea, your reward is some spectacular views of the Bristol Channel and Wales too on a clear day. Follow the coast path with a steep descent past Countisbury Hill back to Lynemouth.
7 miles (11 km)
4. Day four
Circular walk from Exford
This morning you and your luggage will be transferred to Exford village where you will stay tonight. The route for the day begins right from your hotel's front door and takes you to the highest part of Exmoor. Leave the village via a steep lane, which leads you up onto the moorland heights and to the stony top of Dunkery Beacon. The views are stunning in all directions, from the peaks of Dartmoor in the south, to the Bristol Channel across to South Wales and the Black Mountains to the North, and Exmoor all around. Stags can often be viewed to the south of the walk as they inhabit this part of Exmoor all year round. The landscape is wonderfully wild, unspoilt and unpopulated. The walk loops back to your hotel, a traditional hunting and fishing inn beside the river, in the heart of Exford.
9 miles (14 km)
5. Day five
Exford to Tarr Steps
Today your route leads you on a strenuous but rewarding walk. Take in glorious views of Exmoor and stop for lunch at the Royal Oak Inn where Roosevelt once stayed, in the beautiful village of Withypool. Then it's onwards to Room Hill, before the route joins the River Barle, leading all the way to Tarr Steps. You'll need sturdy and waterproof walking boots for today's walk. Your luggage will be awaiting your arrival at the cosy inn where you stay for the next two nights, a former farm set in another stupendously unspoilt and rural location, beside the Tarr Steps river crossing.
7 or 10 miles (11 km or 16 km)
6. Day six
Circular walk to Dulverton and back
The final day of walking takes you on yet another very pretty route with a whole host of wildlife. Take in the village of Hawkridge, before descending to the River Barle to reach Dulverton, with some dramatic steeply wooded sections along the way. Dulverton is a fascinating small Somerset town, with independent shops and award-winning restaurants as well as interesting architectural features and a museum championing Exmoor life. There is the option to return by taxi (not included in the price) from Dulverton back to Tarr Steps, or take the circular route back on foot.
7 or 13 miles (11 or 21 km)
7. Day seven
Depart Tarr Steps
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Tiverton station, or back to your car in Lynmouth.