visit exmoor

Wilderness Coast - Itinerary 2

Poetry, literature and bandits among England’s highest coastal hills

Morning

Eat a hearty breakfast and pack a lunch for a challenging walk - the 7.3-mile (11.7km) Robbers Bridge route (10.6 miles/17km from Minehead by car, taxi or Moor Rover). Named after real-life bandits who inspired characters in RD Blackmore’s novel, Lorna Doone, this trail climbs and descends deep wooded ‘combes’ amid England’s highest coastal hills. This area has other strong literary connections because Ash Farm, also on the trail, is where Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously conceived the lines of his epic poem, Kubla Khan. The romantic poet was a keen hill walker, who was known to tramp for miles while working on his poetry. His influence here gives name to the Coleridge Way, a long-distance footpath which cuts across Exmoor and the Quantock Hills from Nether Stowey (where the poet lived for several years) to Lynton.

Afternoon

If you have energy left after the morning’s trek, there’s a short walk up Dunkery Beacon - Exmoor’s highest hill at 519 metres (1,703 feet). Stroll 0.6 miles (1km) uphill from one of the parking spots on the road above Webbers Post. You’ll soon be on open moorland with panoramic views of hills, forest, coast and the Bristol Channel. Look out for the remnants of Bronze Age settlements which line the ridge to the top. Stop for dinner in one of the ancient village pubs, before retiring to your accommodation in Porlock for a much-needed rest.

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