Valley of Rocks
Rough Guide Authors Pick Michelin Guide 2013

St. Vincent House 01598 752720 M 07502 161514/3

Walkers are welcome


Exmoor National Park is arguably the most stunning of the three moors in South West England.  Whether you plan to explore by car, on foot or by bicycle, the beautiful countryside cannot fail to impress.  The scenery is varied and the views over the Bristol Channel are breathtaking.  The moor supports the famous Exmoor wild ponies, herds of red deer and a many species of birds including birds of prey.

Places not to be missed on Exmoor

Valley of Rocks

A 15 minute walk from St. Vincent, via North Walk and the coastal path, will take you to the famous Valley of Rocks.  It may also be reached by car along the road towards Lee Abbey, out of Lynton.  This amazing area is an absolute must to visit and is unique in that it is a dry valley running parallel to the sea.  There are strange rock formations and this area has some of the most stunning views of the rugged Exmoor countryside.  The ‘dry valley’ was probably formed during the ice-age. Evidence has been found of Iron and Bronze Age settlements and also the remains of stone circles. Wild ponies can often be seen grazing and the feral goats can be seen balanced precariously on the steep slopes. It is difficult to describe and do justice to the Valley of Rocks; it is just somewhere that has to be seen.


Watersmeet is reached after a walk of about 40 minutes from the car park near the river bridge in Lynmouth.  The beautiful riverside walk follows a deep gorge where the slopes are covered in woodland of sessile oak and rare varieties of whitebeam trees.  Herons, dippers and grey and yellow wagtails can often be seen along the path.  At Watersmeet you will reach the place where the East Lyn and the Hoaroak or Combe Park Water join.  Watersmeet House, which was built as a fishing lodge in 1832, is now owned by the National Trust, and from Spring through to Autumn is open for refreshments.  

Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

The narrow-gauge railway runs for a mile through the beautiful scenic Exmoor countryside.  Owned by a charitable trust, the railway is to be extended over the next few years the line will be extended further, with plans for it to eventually run from Barnstaple to Lynton again.

Dunkery Beacon

Dunkery Beacon is the highest point on Exmoor and rugged paths lead to the cairn at the top from several directions.  The walk is worthwhile for the spectacular panoramic views.  The surrounding slopes are home to ponies and red deer.  The Exmoor pony is the nearest breed to the original wild horses of Europe. It is still classed as rare breed and even though the numbers have increased from 50 in the 1940’s to 1000, only 200 roam free in herds on Exmoor. The largest numbers of red deer in Britain are to be found roaming wild on Exmoor, as they have done since pre-historic times.

Arlington Court National trust)

Arlington court, on the edge of Exmoor has an interesting period house, gardens and tea rooms. There is a fascinating collection of horse drawn carriages.

There are exciting opportunities for outdoor activities at West somerset adventures in Minehead.  Click for details.