Central Exmoor Drive


Take this leisurely drive to experience the bleak and raw beauty of Central Exmoor. Continue on through the intriguing Horner Wood, explore the Doone Valley before heading back to Lynton & Lynmouth.

Start your journey in Lynmouth in the Lyndale Car Park.

  1. Drive from Lynmouth to Hillsford Bridge along Watersmeet Road, passing the Watersmeet Car Park on the right. At Hillsford Bridge follow signs to Simonsbath along the B3223.
  2. The B3223 is splendid drive through some beautifully stark open Exmoor moorland. Drive carefully and look out for the cattle, sheep and Exmoor ponies that graze at the roadside. There are some convenient places to pull over and stretch your legs.
  3. As you near Simonsbath this is home to an area called “The Chains” and Pinkery Pond, an important ecological and historic part of Exmoor. In Simonsbath, there are some lovely walks to be done along the River Barle.
  4. Driving through Simonsbath head to Exford, a delight village located along the River Exe. There are a couple of nice Inns providing refreshments and food, along with a charming tea room. It’s a busy walking, fishing and horsey village with lots of activity going on. Exford is a great place to start an Exmoor safari.
  5. Before you leave Exford, turn left on Park Street / Edgcott Road, near the Crown Hotel Exmoor. Slide right on to Mill Lane towards Cloutsham / Luccombe. This is when the landscape will change and become moorland. Follow signs to Cloutsham through Dunkery & Horner Wood National Nature Reserve. To the right you will see Dunkery Beacon.
  1. Drive through Cloutsham and head towards Horner Wood. Webbers Post is a beautiful spot to park up, there are some excellent woodland and river walks in this area. There are two delightful tea rooms in Horner, close to the River Horner, they’re well worth checking out. There are public toilets in the main Horner car park.
  2. Leave Horner and head to Porlock, a delightful village on the A39, where there are lots of local shops and places to eat. A short detour from Porlock to Porlock Weir will bring you to a charming coastal village situated around a quaint old harbour.
  3. Back on the A39, head towards Lynton & Lynmouth, but turn off the A39 shortly after leaving Porlock, just before you see the sign “Lynmouth 8, A39”. This road is called Hookway Hill towards Oare & Malmsmead.
  4. This is a beautiful, narrow stretch of road that takes you first over the ancient Robbers Bridge, through to Oare then on to Malmsmead. This whole area is steeped in intrigue and romance from R D Blackmore’s famous novel Lorna Doone. The Doone Valley is owned by the National Trust, who will ensure this picturesque and historic site will be preserved for years to come. Stop off for refreshments in the charming hamlet of Malmsmead on the edge of Badgeworthy Water, its delightful.
  5. After leaving Malmsmead head towards Brendon, then turn back on to the A39 and head back to Lynton & Lynmouth.
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Route Start

Lynmouth, Lyndale Car Park