Meeting Place
May 2, 2018
Taunton Train Station
Taunton, England

Tour price
$3200 per person
based on double occupancy
$3650 for a private room

Ending Date/Place
May 9, 2018
Taunton, England Train Station

Tour Price Includes
everything except airfare, 2 dinners
1 lunch, beverages, tips

This trip is full; email to be added to wait list.

Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England

Exmoor, England
May 2 - 9, 2018

Exmoor, England

Exmoor, located in west Somerset, England just across the Bristol Channel from Wales, covers an area of 267 square miles and was declared a national park in 1954.
( Exmoor has 34 miles of coastline including the highest sea cliffs in England.

The Southwest Coast Path at 630 miles is the longest National Trail in England and Wales. There are several small harbors along the route that were once busy with coastal trade but are now for pleasure boating and are non-commercial.

Exmoor, EnglandFor our May week we are based in Porlock, a small coastal village of about 1500 people located in the National Park. ( The village and area have links to the Romantic poets: Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley and to R.D. Blackmore, author of Lorna Doone. Our hikes will average about 8 miles per day and will explore moorland, coastal paths, small villages and ancient sites.  Porlock is surrounded on three sides with Exmoor hills…heather covered moors cut by deep and wooded combes(valleys)…and the sea on the north side. Porlock Weir, some few miles away, is the harbor for Porlock as the village itself has no direct access to the sea.

Exmoor, EnglandOur hikes are day hikes, leaving around 9 each morning and returning about 5 pm in afternoon.  Be prepared for hill walking as well as valleys, interesting small villages, and beautiful views. Our hikes will be through Selworthy, Horner, Watersmeet, Valley of the Rocks, and Colborne—home of Britain’s smallest church. Each evening we will return to hospitality of The Oaks Hotel, located just above Porlock with views to the sea. ( ) You will have one free day mid-week to explore on your own.

Our guide is Ian Bullock who has been my guide for the Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales trips for over 10 yrs. He is a naturalist for several sea-going expedition companies. He is as knowledgeable about flora and fauna as anyone I have ever met and is delightful company. We are in the hands of an exceptional guide!

  Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England
Exmoor, England

Day by Day Overview

Wednesday, May 2 – Meet Karen at the bus pick up area of the Taunton Train Station at 2:00PM. We will have a minibus to take us to Porlock to The Oaks Hotel. Get settled and explore the lovely village of Porlock. Meet at 6:00 PM in the hotel sitting room for refreshments and preview of our week. This will be followed by dinner at our hotel at 7:00PM.
Lodging: The Oaks Hotel -

Thursday, May 3 - Selworthy Beacon. We walk out of Porlock village and across fields to the hamlet of Bossington with its stone cottages, chimney stacks and bread ovens. We follow a footpath along the edge of Allerford Plantation and a bridleway to Selworthy village. This village is the epitome of an English country village with lovely thatched cottages set around a village green and a beautiful old church. After our picnic lunch we have a steady climb up Selworthy beacon rewarded with fine views north across the Severn Estuary to Wales. Our return is a downhill walk to the coast at Hurlstone and back into Porlock. There is a chance for cream tea today. Distance today: 7.5 miles; elevation gain: 1000 feet

Friday, May 4 - Horner Wood. We have a minibus from Porlock to Dunkery Hill. Our starting point is Easter Hill, the site of ancient cairns from prehistoric burials. Following a path along the edge of a moor to Stoke Pero church, we drop down into Dunkery and Horner Wood National Nature Reserve— an ancient woodland and one of the largest Nature Reserves in England (1604 hectares) owned and managed by the National Trust. . We follow the Lang Combe stream through oak woods to Horner. There is a welcome tea room in Horner. After crossing a pack-horse bridge we follow the Coleridge Way footpath back into Porlock. Distance today: 8 miles; elevation gain: 200 feet.

Saturday, May 5 - Free Day (kind of). This is a day to do whatever you want; however, we have planned a couple of things for our morning that we think will interest you. At 10:00 we have a guided tour of the Dovery Manor Museum, ( a small 15th century manor house that contains artifacts, photos, and maps all relating to the Porlock area. Following the museum visit we are offered a walking tour of the very small village of Porlock. Your afternoon is free.

Sunday, May 6 – Lorna Doone Walk…tracing her story. This morning we take a minibus to the Doone Valley. Our footpath will drop steeply down to the river at Malmsmead. We will walk the Doone Valley south to Badgeworthy Water and to the site of a medieval village. We return via a moorland path to Lankombe Ford and then around Malmsmead Hill. The Lorna Doone Farm is at Malsmead. (Read Lorna Doone a 19th century novel by R. D. Blackmore, also on video). Return by minibus to Porlock. Distance today: 7.5 miles; elevation gain: 450 feet.

Monday, May 7 - Watersmeet and Valley of the Rocks. We will have a minibus today to take us west toward Lynmouth. Our goal is the Watersmeet Valley and the meeting place of the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water. Watersmeet ( is part of the North Devon coast managed by the National Trust. Watersmeet House and Tea Garden is said to be the most beautiful in Devon! We follow the path along the river into Lynton and then to a very different topography at Valley of the Rocks. A dry valley that runs parallel to the coast of North Devon, the Valley of the Rocks has formations carved by the Ice Age. The views from our path are dramatic with an open expanse to the Bristol Channel. In 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth came together to this valley and set some of their writing here. The poet Robert Southey visited and got writing inspiration here also. Minibus back to Porlock. Distance today: 7 miles; elevation gain: 650 feet.

Tuesday, May 8 – Coast Path to Culbone. Cross the ancient marsh and fields of Porlock Vale to Porlock Weir with its galleries, old boats and quaint pubs (this is the tiny harbor area that serves Porlock). We climb the hill above Porlock Weir through woodland and onto the Southwest Coast Path ( to Culbone Church. This church is said to be the smallest in England and is recorded in the Domesday Book. We return on same route to Porlock Weir with time there to look at the little museum and galleries or to have a drink in the pub. Distance today: 7 miles; elevation gain: 800 feet.

Wednesday, May 9 - Breakfast and departure to Taunton train station. Arrive at Taunton train station in time for any train from 10:00 AM forward.

Please Note: The above schedule is subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.

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Photographs © Karen Davis and Kristen Wittstock.