Walk - Porlock Weir to Lynmouth / Lynton

12.5 miles (20.2 km)

Porlock Weir Lynmouth / Lynton

Challenging - Moderate with some more strenuous ascents

In this section the Coast Path, some of which is managed by the National Trust, journeys over dramatic cliff paths, along farm tracks, through fields and beautiful wooded combes with seasonal waterfalls and streams. Leave the open harbour of Porlock Weir and climb the steep slopes into Yearnor Wood.

From Culbone you can choose to follow the clifftop route with spectacular views over Exmoor and across to the Welsh coast, or take the more direct path through ancient Culbone Woods. Either way, this is a dramatic landscape which was almost certainly the inspiration for the descriptions of the wild coastal settings in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan and The Ancient Mariner, both written whilst staying on Exmoor.

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Highlights

  • Visiting Culbone Church of St Beuno, whose main structure dates back to the 12th century and is apparently the smallest complete parish church in England at only 35ft long.
  • Following the permitted path through the ancient oaks and rare whitebeams of Culbone Woods. This area was once used for burning charcoal and apparently the original burners were a colony of lepers who were forbidden from entering Porlock. Remains of their huts can still be seen in the woods.
  • Sisters Fountain, a small holy well or spring beneath a 19th century stone structure and cross, said to have provided Joseph of Arimathea with refreshment when on his way to Glastonbury.
  • Enjoying the fantastic names, such as the wooded gully of Pudleep Gurt, Goat Rock and Twitchin Combe.
  • For amazing panoramic views, Exmoor National Park ranger Tim Parish recommends Sugarloaf Hill, which can be reached by taking a permitted path at Guildhall Corner. Please take note of the signs here.
  • Crossing the stream at Coscombe which forms the county boundary between Somerset and Devon.
  • Sir Robert’s Chair – the rocky outcrop below Windgate Combe, popular with coastal climbers.
  • The view of Lynmouth harbour and Lynton. Lynmouth marks one end of the Coast to Coast route if you fancied changing direction!

Places of interest

  • Remains of Iron Age coastal defences on Wind Hill. This is supposedly the site of a battle which took place in 878AD in which Odda the Saxon defeated a large Danish force and is the only occasion when the Saxons ever captured a Danish Raven banner.
  • Walking through the Pinetum from Yenworthy Combe and standing underneath the Giant Redwood, before having a picnic on Glenthorne Beach.
  • Walking to Devon’s most northerly point: the lighthouse at Foreland Point, established in 1900. Take care along the western side of Foreland Point as the path is narrow and exposed.
  • Riding the cliff railway connecting the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, first opened in 1890, using water to power the motors.

Shorter option

Lack of accommodation makes it difficult to alter this walk. You could walk a distance and then return to Porlock Weir, alternatively walk to the County Gate Visitor Centre where there is a bus stop.

Longer option

It is not easy to lengthen this walk without finding accommodation inland.

Nearby refreshments

Porlock, Lynmouth and Lynton have a large number of pubs, shops, restaurants and cafes between them, but there are few options along the route. You may find refreshments near Culbone and there is an inn slightly inland at Countisbury.

Public transport

Taunton is the nearest mainline railway station. The First 28 bus service runs from Taunton to Minehead.

Parking

Porlock Weir (Postcode for Sat Navs: TA24 8PB), County Gate, Black Gate, Watersmeet.

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