Exmoor National Park
The majestic cliffs plunging into the Bristol Channel along Exmoor’s northern coast are interrupted by lush, wooded valleys carrying rivers from the high moorland down to sheltered fishing coves. Inland, wild rolling hills are grazed by sturdy Exmoor ponies, horned sheep and local wild red deer. Buzzards wheel over the bracken-clad terrain looking for prey. Situated at the point where the East and West Lyn rivers meet the sea, Lynmouth is a picturesque fishing village. Above Lynmouth stands hilltop Lynton. The two villages are connected by a water -powered funicular railway which since the 19th century has shuttled 263 m up a steep bank. Then short ride offers impressive views of the spectacular Jurassic Coast.
Lynmouth is an excellent starting point for walks on Exmoor. There is a gorgeous 3-km trail that leads southeast to tranquil Watersmeet House, a former fishing lodge that is now a fabulous tearoom with a splendid garden. Set in a wooded valley, this is the spot where the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water join together in a tumbling cascade.
East of here are charming Porlock village, with winding streets, thatched houses and a lovely old church, and Minehead, a major resort built around a pretty quay. Dunster is one of the Exmoor’s oldest villages, within an ancient castle, parts of which date to the 13th century.
On the Western edge of Exmoor, the village of Combe Martin lies in the sheltered valley. On the main street, lined with Victorian villas, is the 17th century Pack o’Cards inn, built by a gambler to resemble a pack of c ards, with 52 windows, one for each card in the park.