The Porlock Weir to Lynmouth walk takes in some of the most amazing views of Exmoor National Park. You’ll be able to enjoy the forest, coastal cliffs and the two settlements of Porlock Weir and Lynmouth.
This is usually the second day of the South West Coast Path (if starting in Minehead). It is a challenging day of walking, especially if you are not used to the coast path, as it traverses around dramatic cliff paths and enduring some steep uphills and downhills through coastal woods.
It is also part of the Coleridge Way, with connections to romantic poets.
Nonetheless, it is spectacular! This blog post goes into how to do the Porlock Weir to Lynmouth Walk.
Porlock to Lynmouth Walk
Firstly, I didn’t actually start in Porlock Weir – I camped in Porlock Holiday Park the night before and strolled through Porlock Marshes to reach the weir. It’s about 3 kilometres of flat walking and will take you 30-45 minutes.
Porlock Weir is a small coastal hamlet. It’s home to a few restaurants, a pub, and the Porlock oyster restaurant. It’s a lovely place to take a break if you have walked from Porlock – brace yourself for the walk ahead!
From Porlock Weir, you will need to head to The Ship Inn – there is a gap in between here and the Porlock Weir Hotel, and here you will start zig-zagging up the hill. Eventualy, you will reach a historic toll gate – cross through this on the right. Then you will reach the first of many steep hills and will enter the ancient wood.
The wooded coast path travels through the forest, and zig zags up a steep ascent. Keep following the acorns – it is relatively easy to follow.
Culbone Church is the smallest church in the UK and it’s a lovely place for a stop – about two thirds of the way. There are some benches here and you can walk into the church to see the interior. The church is surrounded by Culbone Wood. You’ve got a little more woodland walking before the coast path starts to change.
There are a few river crossings on the Porlock to Lynmouth walk, many of them just by Culbone Church. Take these slowly – if you have trekking poles they will help – but you should find them ok. It’s best if you have waterproof hiking shoes, so it doesn’t matter if you need to step into the river!
Eventually, you will turn and go down a wooded valley, full of ancient trees. After all the climbing, you end up descending down into a deep valley, before you reach another river crossing near county gate. This county boundary marks the border between Somerset and Devon – you’ve crossed counties! There is also access to a road here, should you want to do a shorter setion of the walk and arrange to be picked up.
Then, it’s time for more steep hills! Walk through the canopy of trees and climb back up to the top of the hill, before reaching a tarmacked road. You’ll go up and down a bit, but everywhere is signposted.
Beautiful Views over Exmoor National Park
You’ll likely be getting tired now, but don’t give up – this is one of the best parts of the hike. You’ll be able to take in some spectacular views over the Exmoor coastline from the cliff tops, admiring the beautiful bays and blue water.
The next step of the Porlock to Lynmouth walk is to reach a gate that takes you out to a tarmacked road. This road leads to Foreland Point, where there is a lighthouse. Foreland Point is also Devon’s most Northerly point!
You will need to walk down the road for a short distance, before you take a left up the coast path. There are more steps here, I’m afraid – walk up 40 or so steps and then a steep uphill. Then, you’ll reach Contisbury Common which you should walk across, turning right before you reach the St John the Evangelist Church.
Eventually, you’ll be on the coast path, where you’ll be able to take in wonderful views of the coastline – and finally see Lynmouth in the distance! This path runs alongside the coastal road.
Descending into Lynmouth
Finally, join the coastal road briefly before taking a right turn and walking down the wooded zig-zag coastal path which descends into Lynmouth village. Well done, you’ve finished the Porlock Weir to Lynmouth walk!
Lynmouth is a beautiful, yet touristy village – if you are visiting in the summer, it may be busy! Nonetheless, it’s one of the best places to visit on the Devon coast.
Buses from Porlock to Lynmouth
In the summertime, there is a coast bus service from Porlock to Lynmouth. The service runs seven days a week from May to October, and you can take a look at bus times here.
You could use this bus service to return to Porlock at the end of the day, meaning that you don’t need to carry much stuff – but be aware of when the last bus leaves and have a plan B incase you miss it (you could book a taxi with Riverside Taxis).
Things to do in Porlock and Porlock Weir
Porlock is a small village without a huge amount of attractions, but it is very pleasant – in fact, I consider it to be one of the best places to visit in Somerset! It’s lovely for a stroll around, and you can also walk to Porlock Weir and enjoy the beach. Watersports are available, or you could try some local oysters!
Where to stay in Porlock
We have always stayed in the Porlock Holiday Park when visiting this village (which we have done a surprising amount of times, given how small it is!). They have a large field for camping at the back, and some holiday lettings.
In the village itself, you could stay at Exmoor Country House, a Georgian property with beautiful spacious rooms. Click here for more information.
Or, if you want to stay in Porlock Weir (Porlock is a little bit out of the way if you are hiking from Minehead and then on to Lynmouth), try the Porlock Weir Hotel, which has beautiful rooms and a delicious breakfast each morning. Click here for more information.
Things to do in Lynton & Lynmouth
Lynmouth and Lynton are two beautiful villages, connected by a cliff railway. I’ve wrote a full blog post about the best things to do in Lynton and Lynmouth, but some of the options are:
- The cliff railway is the only water powered funicular remaining in the UK and connects the two villages. It’s a great way to travel between the two and admire the views as you ascend!
- Admire Lynmouth harbour, which is very picturesque – some people call it “the Switzerland of the UK” because it is set in green hills!
- Visit the flood memorial hall and learn about the devastating flood of 1952.
- Visit the Lyn model railway, which is based on British trains in 1935-40.
- Watersmeet, which is a nearby gorge.
Where to stay in Lynton & Lynmouth
We stayed in the Lynmouth Holiday Retreat in a camp pitch. This is 2.5 miles out of town, so we took a taxi there, costing around £7.
Also recommended is Rock House which is a B&B with a pub downstairs. Each room is individually styled and it is located right in the heart of town. Click here for more information.
The Lyn Valley Guest House is also highly rated, with friendly hosts and a delicious included breakfast in every room rate. Click here to read more.
Next step on the coast walk
After the Porlock Weir to Lynmouth walk the coast route continues west, on towards Combe Martin which is further in Devon. This is one. of the most difficult sections of the South West Coast Path – you’ll have to deal with more steep hills and descents! However, it’s a wonderful place to enjoy the charming coast of Devon.
If you are walking the other way – doing the Lynmouth to Porlock Weir Walk – your next stop will be Porlock Weir to Minehead.
How difficult is the Porlock Weir to Lynmouth walk?
I’ll be completely honest – we found this walk very, very tough. However, this was for a few reasons, and there are some ways that you can make it easier.
- First things first, if you’ve done lots of coastal cliff walks with steep ascents and descents, you likely won’t struggle as much as we did. This walk was right. at the start of our South West Coast Path journey, which meant that we weren’t as fit as we could have been!
- Don’t carry too much stuff. I’ll be writing a post about how to pack for the South West Coast Path, but until then my main tips would be to get the lightest sleeping bag, roll mat and tent possible, only take 2-3 changes of clothes, and to share toiletries etc with your hiking buddies (if you are hiking with others).
- You could utilize bag drop off services or stay in either Porlock or Lynmouth and get a taxi or bus back to Porlock in the evening or to Lynmouth in the morning. If you are taking a taxi, I recommend Riverside Taxis, and a one way trip from Porlock to Lynmouth with them costs abournd 35.
- If you aren’t used to this kind of walking, schedule a day off when you reach Lynmouth – and enjoy all of the attractions that I’ve listed above!
The Porlock Weir to Lynmouth Hike – exactly how to do it!
The Porlock to Lynmouth coastal walk is challenging, but it offers some wonderful views of Exmoor’s nature and pleasant walking on both the wooded coast path and cliff tops, as well as beautiful waterfalls and ancient trees. If you’re up for the challenge – or if you are completing the whole South West Coast Path – it’s well worth the trip!