Take on a challenge & explore the great outdoors in Exmoor National Park

Have you committed to keeping fit and getting active in 2022? Perhaps you are considering what challenges will help to keep you focussed. Whether you’re lucky enough to live near Exmoor National Park or are planning a holiday away from home, Exmoor has some of the most treasured and varied landscapes in the UK. Every year thousands of visitors come to explore the 800 miles of footpaths over rugged moorland, inspirational wooded river valleys and spectacular coastline.

There are expert walking guides, outdoor activity organisers and a range of self-led routes packaged and ready for you to discover.

If you’d like to set yourself a real challenge and participate in a large, organised event with likeminded walkers, joggers, runners or cyclists – then you won’t be disappointed with the range of events taking place throughout the year on Exmoor.

Many national event organisers recognise the unique experience Exmoor offers to participants and there are now many new and established events taking place in 2022 for all levels.

By taking part in these larger events not only will you experience the exhilaration and satisfaction of completing a tough challenge, you will also be supporting the countryside. Many event organisers support the work of Exmoor National Park Authority by making a contribution to CareMoor for Exmoor fund which helps enable the authority to maintain and improve the rights of way allowing everyone to safely enjoy the stunning landscapes.

Exmoor event specialists Channel Events run a large number of walking, running, cycling and kayaking challenges throughout the year. Whether you’re new to outdoor events and want shorter distances or an experienced participant with a host of event medals under your belt, event leaders in this Community Interest Company have extensive knowledge of the very best Exmoor landscapes and can keep you busy all year!

For serious runners there’s also the Maverick Exmoor – not for the fainthearted – there is a choice of four distances from 15 to 58 km on 21st May – The route starts at Caffyns Farm and heads along the coast path at Lynton, you will be met with towering cliffs and stunning sea views across to South Wales. Soak up the stunning sounds of seabirds nesting on the cliffs. As you venture along the coast you will enter the valley of rocks, a superb section of coast path well known for its herds of feral goats.

On 6th August you could join a brand new event – the South West Coast 50 challenge takes in the initial section of the stunning and famous Coastal Path, starting in Minehead, and close to the extensive event ‘base-camp’ in the shadows of the impressive Dunster Castle. The 50 km loop heads over Exmoor with ups and downs and some magnificent views with over 1600 metres of climb. You’ll get full support all the way to the finish, and with three 25 km options also, plus a family friendly 10K event – along with camping options and festival style hospitality at basecamp across the weekend – this could make a memorable holiday on Exmoor. For shorter distances why not sign up for the 10k, 5k or 3k fun run at Dulverton on 9th September? With a gentle route in the Barle Valley and a Vintage Fair to enjoy over the weekend, this could be the ideal time for a weekend away in this attractive Exmoor town.

The Exmoor Explorer walks are a series of 10 shorter self-led walks that showcase the best landscapes, wildlife and history that Exmoor has to offer. Each route is easy to follow, with relatively gentle terrain and range from taking less than an hour to about two and a half hours for the longest. You can view a video preview and access digital mapping for each route. Tough, water resistant route guides with added info for each walk a can be purchased online or from Exmoor National Park Centres at Dulverton, Dunster and Lynmouth.

Exmoor also has several iconic long distance walking routes.

Walk 51 miles along the Coleridge Way in the footsteps of the Romantic Poets through the stunning Somerset and Devon countryside of the Quantock Hills, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor, a landscape that inspired Coleridge to produce some of his best known work. Or ride 34 miles from Nether Stowey to Exford. Visit the excellent new Coleridge Way Website for all the details and an interactive route guide.

Walk the superb Exmoor coastline on the South West Coast Path. The heritage, wildlife, geology and scenery along the way are truly inspirational and every day walking it brings stunning new experiences. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll to take you to a beauty spot, or to embark on the challenge of hiking the entire route from Somerset’s Minehead on the edge of Exmoor around to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset.

The Two Moors Way (also known as the Devon Coast to Coast) is a long-distance walking route between Ivybridge on the southern edge of Dartmoor National Park and Lynmouth on the North Coast of Exmoor National Park, comprehensively way-marked except on the open moorland sections. It has a total length of 102 miles (163 km), making it an ideal week’s walk.

Katrina Munro, Exmoor National Park Authority (Jan 2022).

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