The home of Sir Alfred Munnings and the setting for Lorna Doone, subtitled A Romance of Exmoor, by RD Blackmore, Exmoor is indeed a romantic and breathtakingly beautiful landscape of sometimes bleak moorland, deep combes (valleys) cut by fast-flowing rivers, and the highest cliffs in these islands.
It is the smallest of the National Parks, sparsely-populated and totally unspoilt. The Exmoor Forest Estate, in the parish of Exmoor – the second largest in England – is at the very heart of the moor.
The area has sensational wildlife: otters in the river, sea eagles in the air, enormous red stags roaming the combes, and much more.
Wheal Eliza and Cow Castle
Walk out the front door of the Inn and take the footpath about a mile downstream from Simonsbath and you’ll find a historic tin mine, called Wheal Eliza, before you arrive at the imposing Iron Age hill fort of Cow Castle.
The pioneering Mr Knight, who bought this estate from the Crown in 1818 and set about trying to farm it and mine for metals, dammed the headwaters of the River Barle to make Pinkworthy Pond (known as Pinkery Pond). It is a 3 acre lake with wonderful swimming in the summer. It is about two hours’ walk from the pub.
Extremely picturesque Medieval clapper bridge consisting of stone slabs weighing each 1 -2 tonnes over the River Barle. Very good ice creams available from our friend and neighbour, Paul.
Lynton and Lynmouth, Valley of Rocks
Charming Victorian seaside, harbour town, with excellent fish and chips at the Esplanade Fish Bar, and a delightful cliff railway.
Porlock and Selworthy
Porlock is a pretty Exmoor costal village. Carry on the short distance to the beach at Porlock Weir. Visit nearby Selworthy Church in the same trip for a wonderful view across Porlock Vale of Dunkery Beacon.
Charming medieval town surrounding Dunster Castle. Fun Christmas shopping evenings lit by candlelight.
Charming Exmoor market town with small, independent shops.
The highest point on Exmoor, with superb views across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coastline.
Where the East Lyn River meets Hoaroak and Farley Waters. Dramatic, fast-flowing moorland river with deep pools and beautiful beech and sessile oak woods. Watersmeet House is a charming Victorian cottage orne. Look out for elusive otters in the river and for herons on low-hanging branches over the water.
The Doone Valley and Oare
The Doone Valley starts on the north side of the farm and follows the beautiful Badgworthy (pronounced Badgery) Water to Malmsmead, where it meets Oare Water (fresh from Robber’s Bridge). A wonderful day’s walk from the pub.