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.

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.

Glen Lodge Luxury B&B

Luxury B&B and self catering, set amongst garden, woods and streams. Walks from the door, coming back to a hot fire, cakes and a hot tub.

Exmoor Country House

Beautiful Guest House within Exmoor National Park in the enchanting village of Porlock. Evening dinner every night except Sunday.

Anchor Cottage

Warm, cosy, well equipped 2 bed 17th century Fisherman's cottage near Minehead Harbour. Start the Path from the doorstep.

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.

Reines House B&B

Benefitting from a peaceful location, yet a short walk from Porlock's numerous shops, pubs and restaurants. Locally sourced produce from sausages to tea and coffe.  Packed lunch on request.

Tudor Cottage

15th century Licensed Farmhouse B&B offering a hearty breakfast with beautiful views. Evening meal, packed lunch & afternoon teas by arrangement

The Cottage B&B

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

Myrtle Cottage

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

Sea View B&B

4 Star B&B, en suite. TV/free wi-fi. Breakfast Award: gluten free/vegetarian, local produce/homemade bread/preserves. Drying facilities.

Quarry Cottage

Quarry cottage is a family and dog friendly 3 bedroom cottage sleeping 6 people. It has spacious living spaces and an enclosed garden.

The Parks Guest House

Georgian grade 2 listed guest house in a quiet area of Minehead 5 mins walk from town. Rooms en-suite, private car park, single night stays & dogs welcome

Sunfield B&B

A delightful family-run guest house tucked away in a quiet corner of Minehead. Delicious home cooking and a warm welcome awaits.

Montrose Guest House

Situated in a tree lined road, few minutes walk to shops,restaurants & beach. A perfect base for exploring wonderful Exmoor coast or starting the Coast Path.

Ash Farm B&B

We are a working farm just off the Coast Path. Porlock Weir pick up if required. Packed lunch on request.
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.

Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster

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.

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.

Minehead Information Centre

Maps and Guide Books for sale. FREE accommodation booking service

Westcountry Walking Holidays

We specialise in delivering flexible, great value self-guided walking holidays and short breaks on the Path. Standard package includes B&B accommodation, baggage transfer, maps and guides.

Exmoor Rambler

Exmoor Rambler stocks a large range of outdor clothing & equipment-waterproofs,walking boots, walking guides,etc. Ideally suited for South West Coast Path.

Interactive Elevation

Highlights

  • 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.

Parking

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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