Walk - Minehead to Porlock Weir

8.9 miles (14.3 km)

Minehead Porlock Weir

Challenging - Moderate with an alternative more strenuous section

Leave the pavements of Minehead behind as you set off onto the first section of the 630 mile trail, through woodland, along steep cliff tops, farm tracks and up and down beautiful wooded combes with bracken, gorse and bubbling streams.

Exmoor boasts the highest coastline in England with cliffs rising to 250m, 820ft, therefore there are some steep climbs and descents in this section. You can choose to follow the dramatic route known as the ‘rugged’ coast path which runs closer to the coast, or stay more inland on the moor and enjoy the spectacular views from Selworthy Beacon.

There is a lot to look out for, as the Exmoor coast provides a rich habitat for many beautiful and rare species of flora and fauna, including the blackneck moth, red deer, stag beetles and whitebeam trees (relatives of the rowan or mountain ash, unique to Exmoor).

The force of the sea is really evident at the end of your journey, where it is essential to follow the sign-posted paths. In 1996 the natural 6000 year-old shingle ridge across Porlock Bay was breached by a storm, resulting in the dramatic flooding of the fields behind at each high tide. This land is now changing from farmland to saltmarsh, creating a very special habitat for marine life and birds.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Yarn Market Hotel

Situated in the medieval village of Dunster within Exmoor National Park, we specialise in walking holidays and special interest breaks. Our independent 3* family run hotel prides itself on friendly service.

Sparkhayes Farm Campsite

Family site-5 minute walk to the village and its shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. 20 minute walk down to the sea on the South West Coast Path.

Bossington Hall Luxury B&B

With breathtaking views and 9 superb rooms, Tennis and Squash within the 8 acres, and a private bar for the lazy evening.

Myrtle Cottage

A comfortable thatched cottage built over 400 years ago, bursting with character and charm. All rooms en-suite, award winning breakfast.

The Cottage B&B

A cosy, luxurious, historic and friendly B&B in the heart of the village, close to all amenities

The Beach Hotel Minehead

The Beach Hotel is the perfect place for your South West Getaway, Apprentice run social enterprise, with a little help from us!

Harbour House Coffee Shop

Next to South West Coast Path at Porlock Weir on Exmoor coast, dog friendly cafe & unique self-catering holday apartments 1 sleeps 4, 1 sleeps 2 (grd flr)

YHA Minehead

YHA Hostel including private rooms and shared rooms

Exmoor Character Cottages

Four luxury self-catering cottages in the heart of Exmoor. VisitEngland rated as family, walkers and dog friendly. Gardens. 3 hot tubs, 3 woodburners. Parking.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Harbour Gallery & Cafe

Situated right on the coastpath we sell a fabulous range of freshly prepared food and drinks.
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Porlock Visitor Centre

Porlock Visitor Centre provides a vast array of information for visitors to Porlock Vale, including accommodation booking service, maps, walks, things to see and do.

Minehead Information Centre

Maps and Guide Books for sale. FREE accommodation booking service

Interactive Elevation


  • Admiring the SWCP monument on the promenade in Minehead, which marks the beginning of the 630 mile path. The impressive bronze monument, forming enormous hands gripping a map, is based on a design by local art student Sarah Ward.
  • Seeking out the Dartford warblers and nightjars living amongst the western gorse and bristle bent heath on North Hill, plants found only in the West Country.
  • Catching glimpses of the beautiful Red deer and wild Exmoor ponies.
  • Standing upon Selworthy Beacon (summit 308m, 1013ft) and resting to admire the spectacular views inland to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor, out over the Bristol Channel and along the coast to the journey ahead.
  • The fantastic views across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coast and tiny islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm.
  • Enjoying a welcome rest at harbour side pubs in Porlock Weir and waiting for the tide to go out and reveal the submarine forest (ancient tree stumps) on the beach.

Shorter option

There isn’t an easy way to shorten this section, other than walking out a distance and then returning to Minehead.

Longer option

Continue on to the car park and bus stop at County Gate Visitor Centre (1/2 mile off the path and in total an extra 5 miles from Porlock Weir).

Public transport

Minehead can be reached by regular bus services from Taunton (nearest mainline rail station) or to arrive in style catch one of the steam trains running on the West Somerset Railway from Bishop Lydeard (close to Taunton). The 10 service runs roughly every 1–2 hours between Minehead, Porlock and Porlock Weir. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Near the start point in Minehead (Postcode for Sat Navs: TA24 5QW), off Hill Road above North Hill, Bossington, Porlock and Porlock Weir.


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