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Greentraveller's Guide to Exmoor National Park

Posted by Florence Fortnam at 12:30 on Friday 15 March 2013

The guide has been written by Paul BloomfieldThe guide has been written by Paul BloomfieldAs part of our celebration of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the UK, we've published a Greentraveller Guide to Exmoor National Park.

This guide, which has been written by Paul Bloomfield, is the latest of our online destination platforms for specific protected areas in the UK, including other National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) that are proving popular with holidaymakers looking for that special local touch.

Our team of writers has scoured Exmoor National Park for great places to stay in the area. From stately homes and Edwardian hunting lodges to moorland campsites, and just about everything in between, we’ve selected the best green options whatever you're after, be it isolation, freedom or pampering.

Dunkery Beacon. Photo: Exmoor NPADunkery Beacon. Photo: Exmoor NPAWe've also discovered great places to eat and drink, too – you'll be able to feast on local, seasonal food at the pubs and restaurants that we've listed. We've also included lots of places to visit in the park, from family days out at museums and castles, plus we've listed lots of walking and cycling routes throughout the park. Exmoor National Park is easy to get to without a car and you'll find all the information you need for travelling to and around the region by public transport.

Dan James, Sustainable Economy Officer for Exmoor National Park, says:

"For a long time, Exmoor has been leading the way in promoting sustainable tourism and was one of the first National Parks in the country to gain the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism.

"We're delighted to be working with Greentraveller to support those businesses that are working to conserve the very asset that tourism here is built upon. We hope that through this initiative many more people will visit this special place in a responsible manner and enjoy everything that Exmoor has to offer. Exmoor is one of the quieter National Parks but has so much diversity to offer once visited most people end up coming time after time again."

Here's a taster of what you'll find in our latest Greentraveller destination guide to Exmoor National Park:

Places to stay

Roses round the door. Photo: Hindon Organic FarmRoses round the door. Photo: Hindon Organic FarmTotal seclusion at Hindon Organic Farm Tucked away in a valley on a National Trust etsate, this 380-hectare farm is within touching distance of the coast. Inside, you'll find lots of lovely antiques and local art on the walls; each of the bedrooms has its own tree-themed name and individual style. No prizes for guessing where the breakfast bacon, sausages and eggs come from (just glance outside). >> See more B&Bs in Exmoor National Park

Get back to basics at Exmoor Centre This bunkhouse, hidden in the wilds of the national park, sleeps 14 people, and there’s ample space alongside for camping. It's a perfect place for groups and has a simple open kitchen and living area with a wood-burning stove. The bunkhouse sits in the wooded Hoaroak Valley on the edge of the high moor near Lynton – perfect for introducing kids to the truly great outdoors. >> See more self-catering options in Exmoor National Park

Places to eat

Great for gatherings. Photo: The CulboneGreat for gatherings. Photo: The CulboneThe Culbone This place lures locals and farther-flung food-lovers alike with award-winning fare based determinedly on locally sourced ingredients, notably beef from Devon Red cattle and fresh Brixham fish. Each of the five spacious, en-suite rooms has its own character, contemporary and chic but understated – flamboyance is superfluous when eyes are magnetically drawn to the windows and dramatic moor views. >> See more pubs and restaurants in Exmoor National Park

Torre Cider Farm Fans of adult apple juice flock to this family run farm where four kinds of traditional scrumpy ciders are produced, ranging from medium sweet to ‘mind-blowing extra dry’. Visitors in autumn watch the process in action, from harvesting the eight acres of apples to fermenting 30,000 litres of scrumpy, and there’s a host of family fun year-round, with rare-breed pigs, chickens and pigmy goats to admire. The shop stocks a wide range of local produce – dairy goods, chutneys, preserves, cheeses, country wines and Exmoor Ales, among other treats – while the tea room dishes up cream teas and fresh-baked goodies (including, naturally, Torre Cider Cake). >> See more places to pick up local produce in Exmoor National Park

Places to visit

Dark Sky Reserve. Photo: Exmoor National ParkDark Sky Reserve. Photo: Exmoor National ParkDark Sky Reserve The moor has also been designated Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, reflecting the low light pollution and its spectacular star-gazing opportunities. >> See more natural sites in Exmoor National Park

A history lesson at Dunster Castle Perched on a wooded eyrie gazing across its namesake village to the coast, Dunster Castle blends Medieval ambition – the 13th-century gateway is the oldest surviving element – with a Victorian ideal of fortified grandeur. Part fortress, part comfortable country house, it’s also a flagship green property for the National Trust, part solar-powered and maximising composting, recycling and efforts to reduce energy consumption.
>> See more historic sites in Exmoor National Park

Things to do

Coasteering. Photo: Active Adventure South WestCoasteering. Photo: Active Adventure South WestExplore the outdoors Exmoor’s truly great outdoors is a natural adventure playground: its cliffs beg to be climbed, its breezes get kites twitching and its brooks do more than just babble, offering ideal opportunities for paddling a bevy of different craft. Active Adventure South West offers a host of training courses in first aid, white water search and rescue, canoeing and kayaking. >> See more adventure activities in Exmoor National Park

See Exmoor from the saddle Thanks to the efforts of the Moorland Mousie Trust, a core stock of Exmoor ponies has been preserved and roams the moor; visit the Exmoor Pony Centre to learn more about the breed and its history, meet a small community of animals, and even head out onto the moor on a trekking experience. >> See more wildlife watching in Exmoor National Park

>> For more ideas for things to see and do, see our Greentraveller Guide to Exmoor National Park

>> See all our Greentraveller Guides to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Disclosure

Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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