visit exmoor

Attractions

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Great Days Out

Exmoor's many and varied places to visit keep visitors more than happy. There's an endless choice of historic sites and glorious gardens, colourful family attractions and steam railway rides, craft workshops and wildlife parks as well as the acres of unspoilt countryside and coastline.

History and Heritage

A visit to the mysterious Tarr Steps is a must. Made of huge stone slabs and set in a shady valley carved by the river Barle, it is Britain's largest clapper bridge probably part of a prehistoric trackway or medieval route.

Seek out Somerset's hidden jewel, the serene Cleeve Abbey at Washford. This English Heritage property is one of the few 13th century monastic sites left with such a complete set of cloister buildings.

Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey on the edge of the Quantock Hills has recently been refurbished. It is a 17th Century cottage where Samuel Coleridge lived and was inspired to write some of his best poetry.

The National Trust is well represented in these parts. Arlington Court, south of Combe Martin, is an intimate Victorian mansion set in extensive parkland and gardens. In the hills above Lynmouth you'll find Watersmeet, an enchanting meeting of two rivers with a maze of woodland and gorge walks.

Knightshayes Court, south of Dulverton, is a lavish Victorian Gothic masterpiece with beautiful gardens and grounds and a delightful walled garden. Pride of place on Exmoor goes to Dunster Castle, a fascinating feudal stonghold and family home, perched on a hilltop with views over the village and across to the sea.

Family Fun

For a great day out, whatever the weather, take the family to Butlins in Minehead. It's packed full of attractions, rides and shops. Or for some retail therapy pick up the Minehead shopping guide for some inspiration from the Minehead Visitor Centre! Just outside Watchet is Tropiquaria, an all-action animal and adventure park. At the opposite side of Exmoor you'll find family attractions at Ilfracombe Aquarium, Watermouth Castle and the Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, and there are daily falconry displays at the Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre near Porlock.

Moving Adventures

The steam powered West Somerset Railway runs for 20 miles through stunning countryside between Minehead and Bishop's Lydeard, near Taunton, is one of the most relaxing ways to discover Exmoor.

Its smaller sister is the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway based at Woody Bay. This narrow-gauge steam railway runs through impressive countryside near Parracombe on the A39. For more information visit their website at www.lynton-rail.co.uk.

You might like to try a Land Rover safari over Exmoor to see the wildlife with their experienced drivers, giving you a much better chance of seeing the red deer and Exmoor ponies.

For a seafaring adventure take a trip on the Waverley - the world's last sea-going paddle steamer - or on the motor cruiser Balmoral, either along the Exmoor coast, over to Lundy Island or across the Bristol Channel to Wales.