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A twelve minute introduction to Exmoor National Park released in February 2014

Everything Exmoor is a non-commercial community website with a vast array of information about Exmoor: encyclopaedia pages, photos, business listings, tourist information, news of the area and an events calendar.

Exmoor is the moor on which the River Exe rises. It is essentially a high moorland plateau which falls away gradually at most edges, except to the north, where it drops abruptly and dramatically to the Bristol Channel. Since 1954 Exmoor has been a National Park - an extensive area of relatively wild open and unspoilt countryside suitable for quiet enjoyment. It is situated in the northern part of Devon and West Somerset and covers 267 sq miles extending from the Brendon Hills in the east to Combe Martin in the West. Exmoor has one of the finest stretches of unspoilt countryside in England.

Along the dramatic coast are England's highest sea cliffs. Inland, wild heather moorland, heaths and deep wooded coombes of ancient oak forest offer a chance for solitude, which you can share with the famous wild red deer and Exmoor ponies. Walkers and horse riders love Exmoor - the footpaths and bridleways are well maintained and signposted - there are facilities for hacking, jumping or trekking. Exmoor is a naturalist's paradise with a huge variety of habitats and a great diversity of plants and animals.

Everything Exmoor is a community website that gathers information on a wide variety of aspects of the Exmoor National Park. All this information is sent in by people and businesses so please contribute information if you can.

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Adding information is totally free so please send in anything you think will be of interest. You might send in text about your village or activity, interesting anecdotes, photos, details of your business for the business listings , information on upcoming events for the Exmoor calendar.

Original plans were for the Park to extend to the Quantocks, which has similar rocks and character. Although the Quantocks were considered a landscape of National Park quality, the area between them and Exmoor was not, and the Quantocks were considered too small to he a separate National Park. It then became one of the country's first Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The National Park does, however, extend beyond the moorland plateau and includes the Brendon Hills, ridges around Minehead and the Vale of Porlock.

The Exmoor National Park is named after its main river, the River Exe.

Exmoor offers peaceful, open spaces and has one of the finest stretches of unspoilt countryside in England, with wide expanses of wild heather moorland and deep wooded coombes of ancient oak forest set against small patchworks of farms.

  • Both the park’s heather and grass moors are internationally important for their wildlife and scenic beauty and are home to species including red deer and the wild Exmoor ponies.
  • There are also 162 Scheduled Monuments and more than 1,000 building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (listed buildings) on Exmoor. Monuments include prehistoric remains such as standing stones, stone circles, barrows, forts and packhorse bridges.
  • It boasts some of the highest cliffs in England and is an area of stunning landscapes and rare wildlife.
  • The main settlements are Lynton and Lynmouth, Dulverton, Porlock and Dunster.
  • There are numerous fast flowing meandering rivers and charming villages to explore.
  • Exmoor is one of the few truly wild and beautiful places left in England.
  • Exmoor offers clean air, glorious scenery and a friendly welcome. Natural woodland covers almost one tenth of the moor, mostly in the valleys. The tranquil wide open spaces have herds of wild red deer and Exmoor ponies. There are also diverse visitor attractions.
  • As a National Park Exmoor has has retained a charm that gives you the opportunity to see England in a traditional light.
  • Exmoor has over 600 miles of way-marked walks.
  • The Park is is 30 miles north of Exeter and 13 miles west of Taunton.
  • For its size, Exmoor contains a huge variety of habitats and hence a great diversity of wildlife.
  • About two thirds of which lies in West Somerset and one third in North Devon
  • It is an unusually high area for southern Britain, supporting both arctic and mountain varieties of plants and animals usually found further north and many less hardy species. In all, it is a naturalist's paradise.
  • Around half of the population of Exmoor live in towns and villages and the other half in scattered hamlets, farmhouses and cottages.
  • Farming is not the dominant industry it used to be, and many more people nowadays are employed in service industries, particularly tourism.

Often described as one of England's best kept secrets the Exmoor National Park makes an excellent destination for a visit or holiday all year round. It is said that Exmoor is the quietest, least problematic and least spoilt of all the National Parks.

Some facts about Exmoor:

  • Exmoor covers not one, but two Counties. Devon (29%) and Somerset (71%)
  • Exmoor has the largest concentration of Red Deer in England
  • Exmoor has the highest coastal cliffs in England - 800ft/244m
  • 1000 different flowering plants and grasses
  • There are in excess of 1200 kms/750 miles of way marked "Rights Of Way"
  • Exmoor has 69,280 hectares/267 sq. miles of wonderful countryside
  • Exmoor has inspired writers the like of Coleridge, Shelley, Southey, Wordsworth, R.D. Blackmore, Ted Hughes, Henry Williamson, Margaret Drabble, James Herbert and Dick Francis
  • There is a wealth of local folklore, legends and seasoned tales including the Beast of Exmoor, a phantom cryptozoological cat that is reported to roam Exmoor
  • The longest stretch of naturally wooded coastline in the British Isles
  • The start of the South West Coast Path is in Minehead - Britain's longest national trail, which extends all along the Exmoor coast
  • There are more than 750 miles of way marked "Rights Of Way".
  • The second highest tidal range in the world
  • England's tallest tree
  • There are over 1000 different flowering plants and grasses
  • The man who was responsible for writing the famous children’s book ‘Tarka the Otter’, Henry Williamson, once lived on Exmoor

Exmoor abounds in tranquil villages. Allerford, mentioned in the Domesday Book, is famous for its much-photographed sandstone packhorse bridge.The largest villages are Dulverton, Exford, Lynton, Lynmouth, Porlock, Simonsbath and Wheddon Cross.

Allerford - Bampton - Barbrook - Blackmoor Gate - Bossington - Brendon - Brendon Hills - Brompton Regis - Brompton Ralph - Brushford - Bury - Challacombe - Clatworthy - Combe Martin - Cutcombe - Dunkery Beacon - Dunster - East Ilkerton - Elworthy - Exebridge - Exton - Furzehill Common - Kentisbury - Hawkridge - Highercombe - Horner - Huish Barton - Huish Champflower - Jury - Liscombe - Luccombe - Luckwell Bridge - Luxborough - Malmshead - Martinhoe - Minehead - Molland - Morepath - North Molton - Oare - Parracombe - Pixton Park - Porlock Weir - Radworthy - Roadwater - Rodhuish - Sandyway - Selworthy - Shallowford - Simonsbath - Stickle Path - Tarr Steps - Treborough - Trentishoe - Twitchen - Upton - Winsford - Withiel Florey - Withypool - Wiveliscombe - Woody Bay - Wootton Courtenay - Archaeology - Blue Anchor - Bicknoller - Bishops Lydeard - Carhampton - Chipstable - Cider - Cleeve Abbey - Cloutsham - Coombe Florey - Culbone - Countisbury - Crowcombe - Devon and Somerset Staghounds - Doone Valley - Dunster Show - Exmoor Ponies - Minehead Hobby Horse - Kingston St. Mary - Lydeard St. Lawrence - Milverton - Monksilver - Morris Men - Nether Stowey - Railways - Raleghs Cross, Quantock Hills - Quantock Common - South Molton - Stogumber - Taunton - Triscombe - Torre Cider Farm - Washford - Watchet - Weather - Wellington - West Bagborough - West Somerset Railway - Williton - Wimbleball Lake - Winsford - Withycombe - Exmoor Self Catering