Exmoor National Park
A View from the Top
National parks are found throughout the world and each one has its own set of unique traits. These traits are generally dependent upon the layout of the land and the natural elements therein, but none seem to be as spectacular as Exmoor National Park. The 267 square miles that make up the park were first established by the National Park of England Registry in 1954. Since that time park rangers and volunteers have painstakingly managed the park as a whole to ensure that every visitor has the experience of a lifetime each and every time they visit.
The first thing that you are going to notice about Exmoor National Park is its most famous feature. It contains the highest cliffs in England and is perched right on the coast. These cliffs are spectacularly beautiful to view, but visitors are not simply going to be taking pictures. Many of the trails that run throughout the park wind their way along these high cliff faces. If you have children or possibly are not so stable on your own feet, you may not want to attempt hiking along the cliffs. There are no barriers to hold to and therefore the risk of a fall is quite high. Great care should always be taken along these trails and never play around with your safety at all while in Exmoor National Park.
Take in the Night Sky
Not all of us are able to take full advantage of the spectacular beauty that surrounds us on a clear night. The artificial light that makes our everyday lives easier, often hides the stars from view even on the clearest of nights, but here at Exmoor National Park you will not have to worry about anything interrupting your view of the night sky. Camping within the park is a wonderful experience in itself, but when you combine the night air with the ability to see every constellation and star imaginable, the experience becomes other worldly. Those that have had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of stargazing in Exmoor National Park claim that it is a truly remarkable thing to behold.
A Gentle Walk
Some national parks are known for having hiking trails that range in difficulty level. Exmoor National Park is certainly no exception to that rule. You can hike on some of the more difficult trails within the park, but if tranquility and raw nature is what you are after, there is no better way to experience an amazing and gentle hike quite like a visit to the Tarr Steps. The bridge is quite famous to visitors and the ancient walkway leads hikers down to the valley inside the park. The walk is very gentle and recommended for all visitors that are simply looking to take things a little slower during their visit.
Take the Family Fishing
There is nothing quite as relaxing as fishing on a hot summer day. Both adults and children can enjoy a day of fishing at Exmoor National Park. The best of the fishing spots in the park is at Wimbleball Lake. Finding a fishing spot along this lake is sure to bring you an ample supply of fish of all types. A fishing license if required for individuals over the age of 12, so be sure to procure the appropriate license for the fish you intend to catch. Boats are allowed along the lake, but be sure to understand all rules before embarking on your fishing trip.
Things to Know
Exmoor National Park is a wonderful place to visit, but like with all national parks, there are always some things to keep in mind before you arrive. One of the first things to think about is the type of visit you plan on making. There will not be a lot of planning involved if you are only planning on a day visit, but if you plan on staying overnight, you will need to make a reservation in advance. No matter what type of trip you plan to this national park, you will be able to find appropriate accommodations.
Some national parks only provide a place for primitive style camping or, at best, hookups for an RV, but at Exmoor National Park you can camp at the campgrounds, as well as sleep in a comfortable B&B. The accommodations do not stop with those two options. There is an endless stream of different hotels and areas to rest for the night throughout the park. With a little research and planning, you can have the place to stay that will make your trip perfect for you. As with all national parks, be sure to follow the rules in regards to parking and keeping the park clean. The rangers make a significant effort, but we can all do our part to keep Exmoor National Park in pristine condition.
Moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland, high cliffs that plunge into the Bristol Channel, and cosy villages offering delicious local produce.
Key areas of interest
- Ancient woodlands and swathes of bluebells
- Wild red deer and Exmoor ponies
- Burial mounds, standing stones, Roman forts and medieval villages
- International Dark Sky reserve
- Less than an hour from Exeter