Route Highlight

Dunster

Catch Dunster at a quiet time and you’ll see why it can be one of the most popular and busy visitor spots along this whole stretch of coast. The romantic towers of a National Trust castle peep from trees above half-timbered cottages, cobbled streets and a much-photographed medieval market hall.

 

Dunster’s popularity means parking can be tricky but the compensation is the range of decent antique, gift and craft shops – and a good choice of food, drink and places to stay.

Proper attractions include the castle, historic mill, steam train, and beach (which is surprisingly wild and windswept), although just have a simple potter around the back alleys and lanes is worthwhile too.

During your trip

Other Route Highlights

Recommended Detour

Drive west from Lynton or, even better, take the short walk to the Valley of the Rocks. This coast path winds between wild flowers and bare rocky outcrops with plunging views across the sea.

Porlock Bay

Follow the A39 as it sweep across the curves of Exmoor and down the steep bends of Porlock Hill. The heather-swathed shadow of Dunkery Beacon, Exmoor’s highest peak, overlooks the wide sweep of this quietly unspoilt bay.

Lynton and Lynmouth

The road winds down steep, wooded cliffs into the old fishing village of Lynmouth. At the rocky mouth of an Exmoor River that becomes a torrent during storms, Lynmouth’s magical location makes it a popular tourist day-trip from the North Devon resorts – but it’s usually easy to avoid the crowds.

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