3.4 of 5 (49 votes)

Dunkery Beacon

A moderate walk (moorland) in national park Exmoor in Somerset, England, about 14.60km (9.07 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 5:30h. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 469m (1538ft)
Descent 452m (1482ft)
Max. Elevation 510m (1673ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 921m (3020ft)
Start & End
Distance 14.60km
Duration ~5:30h
Ordnance Survey Map
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 11 May 2009
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.

Walk Functions


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Walk Map

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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.
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 1.64 km (~1.02 miles) from
OS Grid SS866451
The footpath leaves the wood and heads towards Lucott Farm. Pick up the bridleway heading up Tarr Ball Hill.
About 0.92 km (~0.57 miles) from
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 2.70 km (~1.68 miles) from
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 2.84 km (~1.76 miles) from
OS Grid SS907427
Veer north off the hill and down the slope towards the Dunster Path and Horner Wood.
About 1.92 km (~1.19 miles) from
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 2.01 km (~1.25 miles) from
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!
About 2.15 km (~1.34 miles) from

5 comments... join the discussion!

25 Aug 2018
Enjoyable Walk

Thanks for the route. The GPX was pretty off. Was on route for about 2 minutes on the whole walk. Followed the descriptions and used view ranger too. Great walk though.

Will H
05 Aug 2012
Dunkery Fun

Great walk, leaving from porlock a treat, top of dunkery beacon is gorgeous, thank you for well thought out route

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.

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.

11 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.

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