South West Coast Path: Minehead To Combe Martin
This walk takes in the entire coastline of Exmoor National Park providing spectacular views across the Bristol Channel to South Wales, with its mix of quaint villages, lonely moorland, rugged cliffs and dense coastal woodlands.
Explore the unique landscape of Exmoor – much of which has remained largely unchanged since smugglers plied the lonely coastline and romantic poets strode out across the moors in search of their muse.
North Hill gives panoramic views with a chance to see Exmoor ponies and maybe the Exmoor red deer, then a walk along the ridge finishes by dropping steeply down through Bossington to the villages of Porlock and Porlock Weir. Visit Culbone Church, reputedly the smallest in England. The final day begins with a steep climb out of the Heddon Valley, where wonderful vistas open up and the path climbs up and down through combes, passing the highest point on the coast path: Great Hangman, before dropping down to Combe Martin – the final point of the Exmoor section of the Path.
All along this walk there are fantastic views across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coast and Lundy Island. After many ups and downs, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement on reaching Combe Martin.
The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.
Moderate to Challenging
History / Coastal / Culture
By Water / Rolling Countryside
South West Coast Path: Minehead To Combe Martin
Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.
This itinerary has been created by Exmoor Walking Holidays based in the village of Dunster at the heart of the Exmoor National Park. The tour includes dinner bed and breakfast accommodation with packed lunches for the walking days. For the guided walking package, an experienced guide will lead you along the route and transport is provided to the start and from the end of each days walking, with options for a pick up along the route in case of any problems.
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This itinerary includes Selworthy Beacon – with spectacular views over the moor and on to Hurlstone Point overlooking the magnificent Porlock Bay. You’ll also pass Hollow Brook – one of the highest waterfalls in Britain, dropping 200 metres to the sea. On the final day, you’ll tackle Great Hangman: the highest point on the Coast Path at 1043 feet above sea level.
Day 1 - Arrive at Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster
Day 2 - Minehead to Porlock Weir
Day 3 - Porlock Weir to Countisbury
Day 4 - Countisbury to Hunters Inn
Day 5 - Hunters Inn to Combe Martin
Day 6 - Depart Day
Accommodation in a twin or double room (if sharing) or a single occupancy room, at the Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster – a 28-bedroom hotel in the heart of the medieval village of Dunster. The hotel is inspected by Visit Britain and given a ‘3 Star Hotel’ rating with ‘Walkers Welcome’ accreditation.
Air / Rail
The route is described as moderate to slightly challenging. Suitable outdoor clothing and walking boots are necessary for the walk, any time of the year would be suitable but popular times are February/March/April and September/October/November when the mild climate is ideal for walking. The scenery is fantastic all year round, but Autumn is especially dramatic when the vast swathes of heathland become a purple haze of heather and the wooded combes turn golden brown.
Food & Drink
Expect to find fresh seafood at pubs and restaurants in the larger towns and some refreshing local ales from local breweries like Quantock and Exmoor Ales, whose celebrated Exmoor Gold was one of England’s first refreshing golden ales. The restaurant at the Yarn Market Hotel uses local ingredients in its home-cooked food wherever possible. The bar stocks a good selection of local beers from Cotleigh and Quantock breweries, and ciders by Sheppy’s plus ‘Wicked Wolf’ Exmoor gin. Recommended watering holes along the Path include: The Old Ship Aground, Minehead; The Ship, Porlock Weir; The Blue Ball, Countisbury, Hunters Inn, Heddons Mouth; The Dolphin Inn, Combe Martin.
Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise
The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.
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