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Towns of Exmoor and surrounding
North Devon and West Somerset area

On this pageBarnstaple, Dunster, Ilfracombe, Lynton & Lynmouth, Minehead, Porlock, Simonsbath, South Molton, Taunton, Tiverton, Watchet

Barnstaple – Devon  – Giving the feeling of being busy, the town is a mix of old and more modern. A place to shop, eat, drink and be entertained. This is one of the larger towns in the region and so has something to offer almost everyone. In easy reach of the beaches of North Devon and the hills of Exmoor.


Dunster – is an ancient town, the octagonal wooden yarn-market in the centre of Dunster dates from  1609. Dunster castle (NT) sits above the town on its wooded hill. The town is situated on the main road dissecting the Eastern section of the  Exmoor National Park and is a gateway to Exmoor and all it has to offer. The Dunster Estate is part of the Crown Estates see their website for details of walks etc. Nearby you can find the West Country’s finest working water mill, built in 1680 – see


Ilfracombe – Set on the North Devon coast to the west of Exmoor this is one of the larger tourist centres in the area. Though a Victorian resort it has a modern feel and has its unusual tunnels beaches. Tourists are well catered for with abundant accommodation and activities available. A favourite with families, walkers, and those seeking an activity break. A short drive to the west finds sandy family beaches or to the east you will find rugged Exmoor. Ilfracombe is a “Walkers are Welcome” town.


Lynton & Lynmouth – are to be found on the North Coast of Exmoor, Lynton set high above its neighbour Lynmouth, they are connected by a Victorian Cliff Railway, a reminder of their time as a popular Victorian resort. Lynmouth with its river and a pretty harbour add to the picturesque quality of the place.  Take North Walk from Lynton to the Valley of the Rocks to see the wild goats.


Minehead – On the northern edge of the Exmoor National Park, it is one of Somerset’s most popular seaside resorts. A typical family holiday destination with a promenade, sandy beach and harbour with the South West Coast Path beginning on the quayside. There is a good range of accommodation and activities in the area.


Porlock – situated at the end of Porlock Vale set back from the sea Porlock is a popular base for walkers and cyclists wanting to explore Exmoor or take part in the many other outdoor activities available. The village is almost surrounded by hills with the exception being to the north, which in a short distance leads to the sea and harbour at Prolock Weir.


Simonsbath is a small but village, popular for walks along the river and picnics in the meadow by the river.  It is situated in the eastern (Devon) section of Exmoor. 


South Molton – The historic building in the town hark back to its wealthy days as a wool town, today much of the local economy depends on tourism. As one of the larger towns in the region it is an ideal base for exploring Exmoor and North Devon.


Taunton – the county town of Somerset, a market town and busy shopping centre where high street shops have not yet been replaced by a glass and steel Shopping Mall. The town is just off the M5 motorway and sits on the main roads to the North Coast, North Exmoor and The Quantock Hills and the main road to the Southern edge of Exmoor. Taunton racecourse will be known to any follower of horseracing.



Tiverton – This is a busy market town just south of Exmoor in Mid Devon. Its two rivers the River Exe and the River Lowman, once powered the mills that made the town a prosperous wool town. Today it is a busy commercial and tourist centre with an active Pannier Market. The Grand Western Canal Country Park and Local Nature Reserve runs from Tiverton for 11 miles to Lowdwells. The town is ideally situated as a base for exploring North and South Devon Exmoor and Dartmoor. 


Watchet – a little north of Exmoor and is a typical Somerset coastal town. It has its share of historic buildings and narrow streets and has a station for the West Somerset Railway it also has a modern marina where boats and yachts of all descriptions can be seen . It is within easy reach of Exmoor and the Quantock Hills.


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Barnstaple, Dunster, Ilfracombe, Lynton & Lynmouth, Minehead, Porlock, Simonsbath, South Molton, Taunton, Tiverton, Watchet

Return to the top of the page              Last updated Jan 6th 2013
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