A quick guide to Exmoor National Park

Exmoor National Park is a unique landscape of moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland, shaped by people and nature over thousands of years. Where high cliffs plunge into the Bristol Channel, and cosy pubs and tearooms offer delicious local produce.

What makes Exmoor special?

Dunkery Sunrise - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Dunkery Sunrise - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Exmoor National Park is a unique landscape of moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland, shaped by people and nature over thousands of years. Where high cliffs plunge into the Bristol Channel, and cosy pubs and tearooms offer delicious local produce.

On Exmoor, it is still possible to find tranquility and peace as well as rediscover your sense of adventure; to catch a glimpse of wild red deer, be amazed by dark skies full of stars, and explore villages full of character.

Lynmouth - Image: ENPA Exmoor Pony in Heather - Image: ENPA North Devon coast - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone
  • 71% of Exmoor National Park lies within Somerset and 29% within Devon.
  • The highest point on Exmoor is Dunkery Beacon at 519m above sea level.

An inspiring landscape

Walkers at Dunkery Beacon - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Walkers at Dunkery Beacon - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Within its 267 square miles Exmoor National Park contains an amazing variety of landscapes that provide inspiration and enjoyment to visitors and residents alike. Large areas of open moorland provide a sense of remoteness, wildness and tranquillity rare in southern Britain, while spectacular coastal views, deep wooded valleys, high sea cliffs and fast flowing streams all combine to form a rich and distinct mosaic.

Prayway Head - Image: ENPA/Matt Sully

Prayway Head - Image: ENPA/Matt Sully

Heddon's Mouth from Lime Kiln - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Heddon's Mouth from Lime Kiln - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

  • Exmoor has the longest wooded coastline in Britain.
  • The Exmoor coast has the highest and lowest tides in Europe.
  • Exmoor has the highest sea cliffs on the British mainland.

Treasuring the past

Dunkery - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Dunkery - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

The landscape of Exmoor tells the story of how people have lived in, exploited and enjoyed Exmoor over the last 8000 years. Burial mounds on high ridges, unique and ancient patterns of standing stones, cliff top Roman forts, astonishingly preserved medieval villages and incredible Victorian industrial engineering are all there to be explored.

Exmoor Ponies Above Porlock -  Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Exmoor Ponies Above Porlock - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Larkbarrow - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

Larkbarrow - Image: ENPA/Nigel Stone

  • The Exmoor Coast is the most remote in England.
  • Exmoor ponies are Britain’s oldest native breed of horse.

A wealth of wildlife

Goats at Valley of Rocks -  Image: ENPA

Goats at Valley of Rocks - Image: ENPA

The moorland, woodland, streams and farmland of Exmoor support a great diversity of wildlife including herds of wild red deer, rich lichen communities, rare butterflies, bats, and other species uncommon in southern Britain. Salmon still return from years at sea to travel up rivers such as the Exe and Barle to the same spawning grounds they hatched from.

Dorhouse Handling Training  -  Image: ENPA/Heather Lowther Sea Campion - Image: Matt Sully/ENPA Goldfinch -  Image: ENPA/Heather Lowther
  • Exmoor has plants that grow nowhere else in the world, including two species of whitebeam tree.
  • Beech trees grow at greater altitudes on Exmoor than anywhere else in Britain.
  • Exmoor is home to England’s tallest tree, a Douglas fir near Dunster.

Looking to the future

Blagdon Cross Startrails - Image: ENPA/Adrian Cubitt

Blagdon Cross Startrails - Image: ENPA/Adrian Cubitt

Exmoor is a deeply traditional place, where rural skills and knowledge are still valued, and locally distinctive breeds such as Exmoor Horn sheep and herds of free-living Exmoor Ponies are a common sight. But Exmoor is also a place with an exciting future, where “green” tourism and sustainable energy is encouraged and our moorlands are valued for their ability to provide clean water and store carbon in deep peat.

  • Britain’s longest footpath, The South West Coast Path, begins on the Exmoor coast.
  • Exmoor National Park has some of the darkest skies in the UK, and is a great location for stargazing.
Walkers at Valley of Rocks - Image: ENPA Startrails, Dunkery Beacon - Image: ENPA/Adrian Cubitt Walker on Valley of Rocks - Image: ENPA/Dan James

To discover more visit www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/ or tell us your favourite thing about Exmoor in the comments!

View all #GetOutside Guides