GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Dunkery Beacon Walk

5 miles (7.5 km)

This walk climbs to Dunkery Beacon on Dunkery Hill, the highest point inExmoorand Somerset. From the 1,703 feet (519metre) summit there are fabulous views over Exmoor, theBrecon Beacons,Bodmin Moor,Dartmoor, theSevern Bridgesand theBristol and English Channels.
The walk starts at the Dunkery Hill car park taking you up the hill to the beacon before heading into the delightful Dunkery and Horner Wood National Nature Reserve. The reserve covers 4000 acres/1604 hectares and is owned and managed by the National Trust. It consists of upland heath and woodland with a variety of wildlife includingpied flycatcher, wood warbler, lesser spotted woodpecker, redstart and dipper. It also supports 14 of the 16 UK bat species, including barbastelle and Bechstein bats. You should also see several Exmoor Ponies and Exmoor's Iconic Red Deer. At the hill summit there's a handy toposcope where you can see all of the landmarks that are visible.
If you would like to continue your walk you could head to the nearby Selworthy Beacon in the Holnicote Estate. Here you can enjoy more fabulous views of the Exmoor coast.
The long distance Coleridge Way also passes close to the hill. You could pick this up and head north to the coast and visit Porlock and Porlock Weir.


TA24 7AT - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Dunkery Beacon OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Dunkery Beacon Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


About a mile or so south east of the car park you'll find the little village of Wheddon Cross. Here you can enjoy refreshments at the splendidly named Rest and Be Thankful Inn. The 19th century coaching inn has an interesting history having originally been a staging post for travellers on their way between Dunster and Dulverton about 200 years ago. The bar area has a traditional country pub atmosphere, with log fires in winter and a good menu. There is a skittle alley and a pool table here too. You can find the inn at a postcode of TA24 7DR for your sat navs. The pub is nicely positioned in the Snowdrop Valley with tours and walks to the valley accessible from the bus leaving right from the door.They also provide good quality accommodation if you need to stay over. Wheddon Cross is notable as the highest village in the Exmoor National Park.
The beacon is also not far from the popular Tarr Steps where you will find the wonderful Tarr Steps Farm. The 16th-century riverside inn is located in Dulverton at postcode TA22 9PY. There's outdoor seating with lovely views and a great menu here.

Dog Walking

Fit dogs will love the climb to the beacon. There's also some nice woodland trails south of the hill top which are perfect for exploring with your four legged friend. The Rest and Be Thankful Inn mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Head south from the beacon to Dunkery Bridge and there's some nice footpaths along the River Avil to try. They head east through Mansley Combe, Blagdon Wood and Little Quarne Wood towards Cutcombe and Wheddon Cross.
Just to the west you'll find Nutscale Reservoir. The small reservoir is actually part of the Holnicote Estate with the fishing rights owned by theNational Trust. It's in a remote and scenic location with some nice trails to follow around the adjacent Wilmersham Common.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Exmoor Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Toposcope on Dunkery Beacon (geograph 2611079)

Toposcope on Dunkery Beacon.

Dunkery Beacon - - 237582

Cairn erected to commemorate the handing over of Dunkery Hill to the National Trust.
The site has been frequented by humans since the Bronze Age and features several burial mounds, including cairns and bowl barrows. Sweetworthy, located on the lower slopes, is home to two Iron Age hill forts or enclosures and a deserted medieval settlement.

Cutcombe, nearing Dunkery Beacon - - 519961

Cutcombe: walkers nearing Dunkery Beacon on the bridleway from Dunkery Gate, a climb of 100m or so. Looking north-north-west

Ponies, Dunkery Beacon - - 1283136

Ponies on the Beacon. A pair of ponies graze close to the summit. The hill formed part of Henry II's "Royal Forest of Exmoor".

Path junction near Dunkery Beacon - - 1283220

Path junction near the beacon. A path across Goosemoor Common diverges from a larger path which connects Dunkery Beacon to the Rowbarrows.

Ponies near Dunkery Beacon - - 1283116

Beautiful view of the path, the ponies and the Exmoor hills in the background

View across Bagley Combe towards Dunkery Hill - - 2563370

View across Bagley Combe towards Dunkery Hill

Wheddon Cross , The Rest and be Thankful Inn - - 4435064

Wheddon Cross , The Rest and be Thankful Inn


GPS Files

GPX File

Dunkery Beacon.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Dunkery Beacon.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)