Exmoor National ParkWhere wild ponies roam moorland and coast.
Exmoor National Park in the UK has wild landscapes, woods, and lots of wildlife.
Exmoor National Park, covering parts of Somerset and Devon, is an attractive landscape that has the highest cliffs in England. It spans an area of 693 square kilometers (267 square miles) and offers visitors a mix of rugged moorland, dense woodland, and rolling valleys. The park is home to wildlife, including the native Exmoor pony and the hard-to-find red deer.
Established in 1954, Exmoor is full of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers can walk the South West Coast Path, which provides striking views of the Bristol Channel, while the Tarka Trail is suitable for both cyclists and walkers. Rivers like the Exe and Barle cut through the terrain, offering calm places for fishing or kayaking.
The culture within Exmoor is rooted in rural life, seen in local events like the Dunster Show and Simonsbath Festival. The region's history is rich, with old sites like Tarr Steps, a clapper bridge dating back to the Bronze Age, and the medieval village of Dunster, which includes a castle that has stood for over a thousand years.
For those seeking a quiet atmosphere, Exmoor's International Dark Sky Reserve status means stargazing here is excellent. Visitors should bring warm clothing and a telescope for a night under one of the UK's clearest skies. Additionally, the park's villages offer cozy pubs and tea rooms, where one can enjoy traditional cream teas or local ales.
When visiting, it's important to respect the delicate ecosystem. Stick to marked paths to protect plant life, and take litter with you to keep habitats clean. Plan for weather changes by wearing layers and waterproof gear. Most importantly, the moorlands can be tough to navigate, so carrying an updated map and compass is essential.
In conclusion, Exmoor National Park is not just a place of natural beauty but also a cultural history woven over time. It calls for adventure, reflection, and a deeper appreciation for England's landscapes and history. Whether you're looking at the view from Dunkery Beacon—the park's highest point at 519 meters (1,704 feet)—or exploring the historical villages, Exmoor offers a rewarding escape into nature.