Explore Exmoor from Riscombe Farm Holiday Cottages
BBC TV’s Autumnwatch has focussed on Exmoor, describing it as “An amazing place” … “One of the wonders of the West Country” … “very special” … “magical” and “… it just makes you want to get in the car and head for Exmoor”.
Here is a video produced by Exmoor Tourism:
Whilst staying in Riscombe Farm self catering holiday cottages, you will be in the centre of Exmoor National Park, situated in the northern part of Devon & West Somerset, covering an area of 267 sq. miles (692 sq. km) extending from the Brendon Hills in the east to Combe Martin in the west. Exmoor offers peaceful, open spaces, a spectacular coast, clean air, beautiful oak forests, glorious scenery and a friendly welcome. It has one of the finest stretches of unspoilt countryside in England. We have England’s tallest tree and four species of tree that are found nowhere else in the world.
Exmoor’s coast and countryside has so much to offer that you’ll want to return again and again to enjoy a unique Exmoor experience … it’s a very special place whatever the season!
Throughout the year, Exmoor offers variety … crisp winter days and roaring log fires; February’s drifts of snowdrops; picnics in cool shady woods beside clear streams; rock pools on a hot summers day; rolling moors cloaked in purple heather and yellow gorse; the crescendo of Autumn colour from the beech trees and hedges.
Our nearest village is picturesque Exford, 1.5 miles (2.4km) away. It has two pubs, a general store which includes a Post Office, a curio shop, a tea room and a lovely village green with play equipment (including a zip wire!). Provisions, good meals, local ales and local crafts are all available. See our Riscombe Farm location map. Please note that ‘The Exmoor Stores’ in the village are very happy to put together a basket of provisions for you which will be in the cottage ready for your arrival – please email Trevor & Sally Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 01643 831244.
Activities in and around Exmoor National Park
There are activities for young and old, active and less active! Whether it’s walking, cycling, horse riding, mountain biking, sailing, fishing, messing about in rock pools, lying on the beach, relaxing in a pub, refreshing yourself in a tea room or restaurant, shopping for local produce, visiting an historic castle or abbey, or a water mill, or pretty village or quayside.
Discover the abundant wildlife: Exmoor is home to the largest number of wild red deer in England, as well as the unique, rugged Exmoor ponies and wonderful birdlife. These have been highlighted in BBC and ITV television series by local man Johnny Kingdom.
Walking: On the moors, in the valleys or along the coast, there are over 600 miles of way-marked paths to try. If you have a dog, then this is the place for you!
Riding: Exmoor offers some of the best riding in England, on the moors, in the valleys or along the coast. Either bring your horse on holiday with you (see our Stabling page) or hire a horse locally (click for local horse hire stables).
Visit the many beautiful National Trust properties and gardens, including Dunster Castle, the Holnicote Estate, Watersmeet, Knightshayes Court, Arlington Court, Heddon Valley, Killerton House and Morte Point … and even catch a ferry to Lundy Island.
Re-live Exmoor’s history: Prehistoric barrows, stone circles, hill forts, a medieval ‘clapper’ bridge at Tarr Steps, mines, museums, water mills and medieval villages, such as Dunster with its fine castle in a wonderful setting.
Cycling: Ride the Tarka Trail, or just tour the country lanes … but look out for Porlock Hill! Tour on the roads or do some mountain biking off-road. You can hire bicycles locally – click the link for more information.
Fishing: In the sea, rivers, reservoirs or stocked ponds. Click link for more information on fishing in the Exmoor area.
Just tour by car and explore the country lanes and coastal roads, visit the historic villages and their pubs and shops.
Travel back in time …… treat yourself to a ride on the West Somerset steam train which runs to and fro from Minehead to Bishops Lydeard (with eight stations en route). Click to see the West Somerset Steam Railway timetable and special events. Also click this link to see details about the narrow gauge railway which runs between Lynton and Barnstaple. There is also the Victorian water-powered funicular railway on the cliff linking Lynton and Lynmouth.
Family attractions for all weathers. Spend a day at one of the wildlife & farm animal centres; experience heart-stopping displays of birds of prey; cuddle a tarantula or take a dawn or dusk safari to seek out the red deer. See this link for more details on Exmoor attractions. In the summer months there are large and small country shows with farm animals, horse competitions, entertainment, food and drink.
Food & Drink and Local Markets: There are many good (dog friendly) local pubs serving good, local food and drink. Click to see details on the nearest pubs to Riscombe Farm . There is a farmer’s produce shop in Minehead (Stuart Lowen, TA24 5BZ, near Tesco) and a local farmer’s market on The Avenue in Minehead on Fridays between 8.30am and 2pm. There is also a local market in South Molton every Thursday and Saturday, 8am until 1pm.
Exploring Exmoor without a Car: The public transport for central Exmoor in particular is not extensive, but click the link if you want to investigate what is available or get ideas for a car-free day in the Exmoor area.