Bampton in Devon

Bampton in Devon

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Further Afield
 

Exmoor National Park

Exmoor logo

Bampton is about 3 miles from the boundary of the Exmoor National Park - this national park, being one of the smallest at 170,000 acres, is therefore very easy to explore by car. One third of Exmoor lies in Devon, the other two thirds in Somerset. The highest point on the moor, Dunkery Beacon, is only 20 miles from Bampton.

Exmoor pony

The park contains a wide variety of countryside from rolling farmland to the high moorland; Exmoor meets the sea with craggy cliffs and wooded valleys, and the rivers are fast flowing and picturesque.

 Much of Exmoor is farmed - the wild moorland accounts for about a quarter of the area, and about one tenth is woodland.

Exmoor is rich in wild life. Perhaps the most famous are the unique Exmoor ponies which frequently graze along the sides of the road (or even stand in the road!) - they are of stocky build and a very attractive chocolate-brown colour.

Exmoor pony

Red deer grazing

Less frequently one may see herds of red deer in the distance - they are shy of humans, but if not disturbed can remain visible for some time. At night time one may come upon significant numbers of them by the roadside. Overhead there is a rich bird life, the most captivating of which are the buzzards, circling high and sending smaller creatures diving for cover.

 

Exmoor-autumn

It can be explored by car, on foot, or by bicycle, and there are plenty of opportunities for riding and pony trekking. The picture on the left shows the road running along the Barle valley from Dulverton to Winsford Hill. On the right is the view from Dunkery towards the Bristol Chanel. Wales in the background!

View from Dunkery

There is such a plethora of places to visit that it is difficult to select just a few, but here is a sample:

 

 

Dunkery Beacon - the highest point on Exmoor (519 metres), giving extensive views across the moor and the Bristol Channel.

Tarr Steps - a very old stone footbridge across the river Barle.

Simonsbath - a pretty village close to the middle of Exmoor.

The huge cairn on the top of Dunkery Beacon

Exford - another delightful village, and there is a bridge as well as the ford across the river Exe.

Winsford - yet another ford (and a bridge) and the famous inn, the Royal Oak.

Porlock and Porlock Weir - on the northern coast. Near here there is also Allerford which boasts a picturesque bridge and ford.

Tarr Steps

Lorna Doone country - if you saw the 'made for TV' drama or have read the book, you will know that this tale is set on Exmoor. There is a statue in Dulverton, and the 13th century church of St Mary the Virgin, Oare, in 'Doone valley', where the shooting of Lorna took place, may be visited. R.D.Blackmore's grandfather was Rector of Oare, and the story may not have been entirely fictional.

Porlock Weir

 

Explore Exmoor

Explore Exmoor is a new initiative by the National Park Authority - information can be found by clicking on the logo as to how to explore Exmoor without using a motor car. A greener and more sustainable method of tourism.


Exmoor Producers Association

Across Exmoor, there are additionally a number of shops and workshops specialising in a wide variety of crafts: for instance, art galleries, wood carving, glass blowing, metal forging etc.

 

There are also a number specialising in produce - you can find more information by linking to Exmoor Producers.


Devon Wildlife Trust

Devon Wildlife Trust works for a Devon richer in wildlife by protecting wildlife, campaigning for threatened species, giving expert advice, and increasing understanding of wildlife issues via an educational programme. They care for about 40 nature reserves in the county, most of which are open to the public at all times.

Link to Council for national Parks website

The Concil for National Parks website - a great deal of useful information about the national parks of England.


The Exmoor Society is an organisation which works with the national park authority to preserve the historic countryside.

The Exmoor National park has a very wide range of wildflowers.

The National Park has a Visitor Centre in the pretty village of Dulverton, just 4 miles from Bampton. There is another at Dunster.

The Macmillan Way West is a walk across Exmoor from Castle Cary to Barnstaple, 102 miles in all. Every mile walked could raise money for Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Information on books on Exmoor topics can be found from Halsgrove Publishing.

 

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