Walk, Cycle, Fish, Play Golf

Walk the Coleridge Way: In the Footsteps of the Romantic Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 -1834).

A 36 miles walk through the stunning Somerset countryside of the Quantock Hills, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor, a landscape that inspired Coleridge to produce some of his best known work.

From Nether Stowey on the Quantock Hills, where Coleridge lived for three years, walk:

  • The quiet and unspoilt northern fringes of the Quantock Hills through the villages of Holford, West Quantoxhead and Bicknoller
  • The little known Brendon Hills through the villages of Monksilver, Roadwater and Luxborough, across Lype Hill to Wheddon Cross
  • The remote Exmoor moorland fringes of Dunkery Hill to the woodland village of Horner
  • To reach Porlock, the end of your route, on the spectacular South West Coast Path

You will travel through a variety of landscapes: heath land, moorland, deciduous & coniferous woodland, farmland, deeply wooded valleys and historic villages with expansive views over to the North Somerset Coast and Wales. Every village has at least one pub to provide you with welcome refreshment. There are also a number of delightful tea rooms and village shops to visit.

Fishing from the beach is popular at Blue Anchor Bay. Frozen bait can be purchased from the Driftwood Cafe.

Excellent sea fishing is also available for free (except for lost tackle!) along much of the coast with catches of bass, cod, whiting, conger and skate all reported. Some of the stony beaches and rocky headlands are limited by the state of the tide and is often hard on tackle. Joining an escorted boat fishing trip can be a more reliable way to catch sea fish and there are many trips to choose from at very reasonable prices. Boats run from Minehead, Combe Martin, Porlock Weir, Watchet and Ilfracombe.

Cycling: There are many wonderful cycle rides to discover in West Somerset. The more energetic can experience North Hill, Minehead, Exmoor, or the Quantocks for off road cycling, or just gentle cycling through the country lanes. Why not use the Steam Railway, which always welcomes cyclists. They offer a large safe area to store cycles during the rail journey, with ten different stations spaced out along the twenty mile line, where you can alight and cycle back.

Golf: Minehead and West Somerset Golf Club is a great classic links course set against the rugged backdrop of the Brendon Hills with captivating sea views.  If you’re seeking a great round of golf, in a superb location, this is the place. www.mineheadgolf.co.uk

Walking: Britain’s spectacular South West Coast Path runs all the way from Dorset to Minehead. Spectacular coastal walks in and around Porlock, Lynton and Lynmouth and around the Valley of Rocks. Whether you are an experienced walker or someone who prefers a short stroll, there are many places which will suit you.

Riding: There are plenty of opportunities to go riding either on Exmoor. Horses and ponies can of course be readily hired, by the hour or longer, from one of the many riding schools or trekking centres. Some centres arrange special picnic or pub day rides, or week-long holidays which are particularly suitable for children. Most centres offer some kind of tuition, this can vary from very basic to more advanced lessons depending on the rider’s needs and ability. All breeds and sizes of horse and pony are normally available to cater for every type of rider from the beginner to the more accomplished rider. Whether you just want a quiet hack through woodlands hoping for a glimpse of the wild deer, or an exhilarating canter over the heather-clad open moorland, the choice is yours.

The Quantock Hills: Designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with excellent moorland trails, which rarely get too boggy, even in winter. Fine forest tracks and great views across the Bristol Channel. Great for walking and cycling or just have a picnic and look at the views.

Moor to Sea from an Exmoor Bus

If you don’t want to drive and want to sit back and enjoy Exmoor, why not catch the Steam train at Blue Anchor station (only 50 yards away) to Minehead, catch a bus and enjoy some of Exmoor’s finest landscapes without having to concentrate on the roads. Using buses can make your visit simpler as Exmoor’s more popular areas can be difficult to park in, and can be congested in the high season. You can use buses to walk on linear routes by catching the bus and walking back, or vice-versa, and you can indulge in Exmoor’s real ales accompanying a traditional pub lunch!