Walk - Wood Combe

2.4 miles (3.9 km)

Burgundy Chapel Combe car park - TA24 5SG Burgundy Chapel Combe car park

Moderate - Tracks, footpaths, some uphill walking including one steep climb

A short walk that is nonetheless strenuous in places. following a delightful path around the southern edge of North Hill with spectacular views down over the tranquil green pastureland spread out below the woods. In the valley below some of the houses and fields date back to medieval times.

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.

Rosanda House Holiday Flats, Minehead

Comfortable self-contained self-catering flats yards from the start of the South West Coast Path. Great base from which to walk and explore Exmoor & West Somerset.

Baytree B&B, Minehead

Spacious Victorian house in a quiet central location, 5 minutes walk from the seafront and Coast Path. Extensive breakfast menu.

Sunfield B&B, Minehead

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

Exmoor Country House, Porlock

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

Sparkhayes Farm Campsite, Porlock

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, Porlock

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.

The Cottage B&B, Porlock

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

Hillside

Bedroom with view of Hurlestone Point. Double bed, private bathroom and downstairs toilet. Can provide mattress for child. Use of kitchen for DIY breakfast. Sunny back patio.

Glen Lodge Luxury B&B, Porlock

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.

Sea View B&B, Porlock

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

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, The Beach Hotel

We offer a FREE accommodation booking service for Minehead.   We can also assist with booking accommodation in Porlock, Lynton or Lynmouth.  Our Coast Path maps and guides start from £2.00.  

Exmoor Rambler, Porlock

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

Route Description

    1. The walk starts in the car park above Burgundy Chapel Combe (on the right as you approach it from Minehead, about half a mile after the car park at the top of Moor Wood). From the car park travel north a few yards on the path towards the coast, to the junction of paths beyond. Joining the Coast Path here, travel downhill with it a short way – still northwards, towards the coast – to where it turns abruptly to the right.
    2. Turn right with it, and follow it gently downhill for about a mile, ignoring the path to the right halfway, until you come to the bench and the gate.
    3. Leave the Coast Path here, and take the steep path uphill for a hundred yards or so through the trees.
    4. Carry on over the path which crosses yours here and follow the track downhill to the gate into Moor Wood.

Poet and composer Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in nearby Nether Stowey, and his Rime of the Ancient Mariner refers to the “hermit's abode … in that wood which slopes down to the sea” - the woodland around here, on North Hill.

Coleridge's friend and fellow poet William Wordsworth had a place in Alfoxden, a few miles away, and the two would often take long night walks together up here over the hill and around the coast. This caused local gossips to accuse them of being spies for the French (this being at the end of the eighteenth century, when the French Revolution triggered a series of conflicts in Europe), and a government commission was sent to check them out. However, it didn't take the commission long to conclude that they were “mere poets” and were therefore of no threat whatsoever to national security.

Another of Coleridge's fellow poets and walking companions, however – Robert Southey – was indeed a French sympathiser, and Coleridge shared some of his political visions, so maybe the commission was a little hasty in its dismissal of him!

  1. Going through the gate, go right for just a few yards and then take the bridleway to your right through the woods. Before long it will join a track which curves to the left. When the track forks, a little way beyond, take the left fork, and follow it to the road.

Hill Road runs the length of the five-mile ridge from Minehead to Porlock, having been built during World War II for tank training by American and Canadian troops (see the North Hill walk). Much of it is open heathland, covered in heather and bracken, interspersed with vivid banks of gorse and scattered, stunted trees. Exmoor ponies grazing along here help to preserve the delicate balance between species, and the area is rich in wildlife as a result of this and other conservation measures taken here by the Exmoor National Park. There are three nationally rare species of beetle, and adders and lizards, as well as unusual birds like Dartmoor Warblers and nightjars, while red deer can sometimes be glimpsed in the woods below.

    1. Cross the road and find a path onto the main track downhill. Turn left onto it and follow it for about a quarter of a mile, until another path crosses yours. Turn right onto this new path and walk to the reservoir a little way beyond.

    This was the camp reservoir for the tank troops here in World War II, and its position defines the southern boundary of their military training ground.

      1. At the reservoir pick up the bridleway to your right, which will lead you around the side of the hill and gently downwards into Wood Combe.
      2. After about half a mile, the path is joined from the right by another higher up the hill, and both continue down the combe to another junction of path just a few yards beyond. Ignoring the bridleway to your right, which descends with the combe, take the path straight ahead of you and climb steeply with it, back up to the road. At the road turn right to return to the start of the walk.

    Public transport

    This walk is several miles from a bus stop.

    Parking

    Fot sat nav users, the approx postcode of the car park in Burgundy Chapel Combe is TA24 5SG.

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