Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
The Quantock Hills were England’s first AONB, protected for the quality of its rare heathland, wooded combes, geological coastline and rich wildlife.
Did you know?
- The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in the Quantocks at Nether Stowey when he wrote his most famous poems including, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Frost at Midnight
- Dawn and dusk are the best time to see the iconic red deer that roam the Quantocks
- The highest point is Wills Neck at 384m
- The music video for Bryan Adam’s Everything I do was filmed in Holford
- Kilve beach is a wonderful place to find fossils, dating back 200 million years from the Jurassic period
Loads to do
Coleridge Cottage: Explore the house that ST Coleridge lived in, expertly refurbished by the National Trust www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleridge-cottage
Great Wood, Ramscombe: Fabulous woodland trails with a central area at Ramscombe with BBQs and toilets and a beautiful forest stream, run by the Forestry Commission www.forestry.gov.uk/greatwood
Fyne Court: A National Trust property with wonderful easy access trails and picnic spots, with café and facilities www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fyne-court
Cothelstone Hill A herd of Exmoor ponies can be found at Cothelstone Hill where you can see magnificent 360 degree views www.quantockhills.com/resources/cothelstone_walk_1.pdf
Find out more: www.quantockhills.com
WWT and the Environment Agency have created Steart Marshes to help people and wildlife adapt to climate change. It is one of the UK’s largest new wetland reserves. Hundreds of hectares of saltmarsh and freshwater wetlands buffer homes and businesses from rising sea levels, and provide habitat for a rich mix of wetland wildlife including otters, egrets, owls waders and wildfowl.
Admission is free and it’s open all year round. There are car parks and paths for walkers, mobility scooters, wheelchair users, pushchairs, cyclists and horse riders, subject to a few local restrictions. It’s also a beautiful spot for a picnic.
For more information, go to: www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/steart-marshes
Landacre Bridge spans the River Barle upstream from Withypool. It is a Grade II listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument with five arches. Its sheltered position and sheep-clipped grass makes it a perfect area for picnics or a dip in the shallow river. It is a popular spot for seeing Exmoor ponies.
For how to get there, go to: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/point-of-interest/landacre-bridge
Explore this extensive ancient wood pasture where you will see ancient oak pollards, an impressive oak tree over 500 years old, as well as a variety of wildlife that make their home amongst these magnificent trees. Once you’re done, Horner is also a fantastic place for a cream tea!
For details of an easy, and beautiful, hour long walk, go to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/holnicote-estate/trails/horner-wood-ancient-trees-walk
Part of the Crown Estate, Nutcombe Bottom is just outside of Dunster, and has picnic areas and plenty of walks leading from a car park. There is an easy walk to the Tall Trees Trail where you will find the tallest tree in the British Isles. There’s also a small stream and children’s play area amongst the trees. For more details and directions, go to: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/point-of-interest/nutcombe-bottom
Watersmeet, Linton and Lynmouth
A beautiful seaside town with funicular, streamside walk, cream teas and ice-creams a plenty. See www.visitlyntonandlynmouth.com
Voted the best picnic spot in Britain and Ireland by the Sunday Times, Tarr Steps is a must visit area for walks, wild swims and cream teas. For more information, visit: www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/enjoying/tarr-steps