Walk - Minehead to Porlock Weir
12.5 miles (20.0 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.