Dunkery Beacon

Submitted by Timwoods on 10 May 2009
OS Explorer Map: OL9 - Exmoor
(14 votes)
A circular, half-day moorland walk in national park Exmoor (England) starting at Porlock , Somerset, about 15.4km (roughly 9.6 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
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This walk combines three of Exmoor's finest features - heather moorland, lush deciduous woodland and the chance to see plenty of wildlife. Starting from Porlock, the walk heads through Hawkcombe Woods, onto the moorland of Dunkery Hill and back through Horner Wood, before returning to Porlock in time for a cream tea. Perfect.
Start: Porlock , OS Grid: SS886467
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 757m (2486ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 1499m (4917ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 741m (2431ft)
Max. Elevation: 510m (1673ft)

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OS Grid: SS886467
Several bus services in Somerset and Exmoor call at Porlock. From the church in the town centre, take the road heading south. The bridleway to Hawkcombe Woods is just 200m from the church.
About 1.6 km (roughly 1 miles) from 1 OS Grid: SS873457
Follow the path into the woods. Cross the river so you walk along the south side and follow it through the woods. Keep your eyes peeled for birds in the trees and along the riverbanks in this beautiful nature reserve.
About 0.9 km (roughly 0.6 miles) from 2 OS Grid: SS866451
The footpath leaves the wood and heads towards Lucott Farm. Pick up the bridleway heading up Tarr Ball Hill.
About 2.7 km (roughly 1.7 miles) from 3 OS Grid: SS865424
The path heads out onto the moor and meets the moorland road. It's open access land so you can wander as you please! Head for the high ground, where you will pick up the path to Dunkery Beacon.
About 2.8 km (roughly 1.8 miles) from 4 OS Grid: SS892415
The highest point in Somerset! If you are lucky, you may spot red deer here, or even the famous Exmoor ponies. Follow the path on to Dunkery Hill.
About 1.9 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 5 OS Grid: SS907427
Veer north off the hill and down the slope towards the Dunster Path and Horner Wood.
About 2 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 6 OS Grid: SS898445
More spectacular woodland walking on the way home, through Horner Wood. Follow the Windsor Walk to the small village of Horner. Stop to admire the water mill and packhorse bridge.
About 2.1 km (roughly 1.3 miles) from 7 OS Grid: SS888464
Now named the Coleridge Way, the path takes you around the foot of Ley Hill and back into Porlock. Time to hunt out one of those world famous cream tea!
4 comments ...join the discussion!
Timwoods  commented on 10 May 2009
Lost on Dunkery Beacon!
This was the first place I ever got lost! Thick cloud, inexperienced Duke of Edinburgh (bronze) group, and, er...holding the compass upside down and heading west instead of east! Lesson learned.
GaryShipp  commented on 12 May 2009
Well this is where I nearly got my first taste of hyperthermia. In May! Never underestimate how the hills here can catch the weather.
patrikG  commented on 27 May 2009
Well, this is probably the place I saw from the other side of Bristol channel when I was walking along the beautiful coast of Wales.
Will H  commented on 05 August 2012
Dunkery fun
Great walk, leaving from porlock a treat, top of dunkery beacon is gorgeous, thank you for well thought out route
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