What we do
Walk 1: Thursday, 4th July 2024 - Wimbleball Waters, 12.5 miles
Start time: 11:00, estimated finish time: 16:30
Start point: Haddon Hill Car Park (Exmoor Park Authority), Haddon Lane
Grid reference: SS 96928 28494; nearest postcode: TA4 2DS; What3words: gossip.homecare.ripe
This moderate, circular walk begins near Dulverton, c 45 minutes’ drive from Porlock on the south side of Exmoor. It begins later to allow those arriving on day 1 from Dorset (allow min. 2 ¾ hours from Bournemouth) a chance to make it without waking up the larks!
We leave the high car park with immediate views of the lake, making our way down to the lakeside path, following the shore contours through heath, woodland and open grassland. On generally solid and mostly level paths after a couple of hours we’ll reach our northernmost point on the lake, crossing at Bessom Bridge and will find a lunch spot soon after. Leaving the western shore, we break away for a short climb before meeting two river runs - the little Pulham River and the more substantial River Haddeo, which we track along Hartford Bottom. There’s a significant sting in this tail, as on leaving the waterways we then make a very long and steady ascent, rewarded by an excellent viewpoint at Hadborough and an easy return to the car park.
Booking link: https://buytickets.at/walksfordorset4050ramblers/1104580
Toilets: available at the meet point and an activity centre roughly halfway.
Parking: Exmoor National Park authority, a large car park costing £5 per day, accepting card and cash.
Post walk refreshments: on our return to Porlock.
Walk 2: Friday, 5th July 2024 – Parracombe to Lynmouth via SWCP, 10 miles
Start time: 10.30 (Porlock) or 11.00 (Lynton). Estimated return time to Lynmouth: 16.00
Meet point: from Porlock village by private cars (arrangements and contribution to be agreed)
Grid reference (for Porlock meet point): SS886466 or postcode TA24 8LA (St Dubricius Church - TBC);
OR meet at start point in Lynton, Bottom Meadow (Castle Hill) Car Park, postcode EX35 6JD.
This is a moderate, linear walk, timings given include the short bus ride to/from Lynton to Parracombe.
The journey begins in Porlock village, where those who have pre-booked will take a private vehicle (to be arranged within the participants’ group) to Lynton.
We then take a short bus ride to the high village of Parracombe. We follow tracks down the combe, passing through a pretty crossing point in the valley where Hunter’s Inn is located and could offer a quick and cheeky refreshment. From here we trace our way down the remainder of the valley to meet the South West Coast Path, turning north-west at that point. We follow the SWCP the five or so miles back, through Woody Bay and the wonderfully rugged and renowned Valley of Rocks in the closing stages before arriving in Lynmouth. The walk ends here, giving an opportunity to linger for an hour or so in Lynmouth and browse the shops and cafes.
Booking link: https://buytickets.at/walksfordorset4050ramblers/1104581
Toilets: at the start point in Lynton; potentially at the Hunter’s Inn en route and on our return to Lynmouth and Lynton.
Parking: In Porlock village or Lynton, Bottom Meadow (Castle Hill) Car Park, as above.
Post walk refreshments: in Lynmouth or back in Porlock.
Walk 3: Saturday, 6th July 2024 – Tarr Steps Circular, Barle & Exe, 14.2 miles
Start time: 10:00, estimated finish time: 16:30
Start point: Car Park at Tarr Steps
Grid reference: SS 87260 32408; nearest postcode: TA22 9PY (Tarr Steps near Liscombe village); What3words: beginning.boats.madder
This moderate, circular walk begins at Tarr Steps car park, 30 minutes’ drive from Porlock and towards the south side of Exmoor.
We leave the car park and head down to the famous Tarr Steps, a series of ancient broad stones spanning the river Barle. From here we climb high onto the moorland following trails to the village of Winsford. Here we turn west again, now tracking a long stretch of the river Exe before finally turning south and dropping quite steeply off the moorland peaks into the village of Withypool, then closely following the wind of the River Barle a good way along the valley to our start point.
Booking link: https://buytickets.at/walksfordorset4050ramblers/1104582
Toilets: at Tarr Steps at start and end.
Parking: Exmoor National Park, a large car park costing c£5 per day.
Post walk refreshments: may be available at The Tarr Farm Inn, next to Tarr Steps, or instead on returning to Porlock.
Walk 4: Sunday, 7th July 2024 – Porlock, Hawkcombe & Horner, 11 miles
Start time: 10:00, estimated finish time: 14:30
Start point: St Dubricius Church, Porlock
Grid reference: SS 88617 46698; nearest postcode TA24 8LA; What3words: pounds.yard.glimmers
We begin this moderate, circular walk by the church in the centre of Porlock, then leave the village immediately, finding a high path up the beautiful wooded valley known as Hawkcombe. We eventually level out, then cross the A39 on the famously steep Porlock Hill. We edge deep stretches of high woodland that hug the coast here, before turning south, re-crossing the A39 into Hawkcombe Woods and Shillett Combe and breaking out above the treeline into wide expanses of rugged heathland. Topping out at 420 metres we drop past Tarr Ball and finally join the green, lush and hauntingly ancient deciduous stretches of Wilmersham and Horner Woods, following burbling Horner Water all the way down past Packhorse Bridge. A last major climb out of the valley to regain high ground takes us back into Porlock, through a landscape recently transformed by the striking effects of a far-sighted major land restoration project by the National Trust estate.
Booking link: https://buytickets.at/walksfordorset4050ramblers/1104594
Toilets: only about three-quarters of the way round at Horner.
Parking: in the village.
Post walk refreshments: for those able to stay on, one of Porlock’s pubs beckons.