The county of Somerset comprises two national parks, towering coastal cliffs, crashing waterfalls and high moorland.
Discover this diverse landscape with or guide to the best hikes in the county.
Horner Valley, Somerset
Water on the Horner River Exmoor ©Getty
Spot wood warblers and a host of other wildlife in Horner Wood ©GettyThe Horner Valley and its surroundings, including the Vale of Porlock and Exmoor’s highest point Dunkery Beacon, lies within the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate, once owned by the Acland family. nestles by Horner Water, ideally situated for excursions on horseback or foot. This wonderful four-mile bridle trail explores Exmoor’s ancient oak woodlands – the perfect walk for wildlife-spotting.
Dunster Castle, Somerset ©Alamy
High on a hill in north-east Exmoor, medieval Dunster Castle glows above lantern-lit houses, music-filled streets and bustling gift shops. It’s a magical scene best enjoyed after a winter walk.
- 2.5 hours
Route and map
Montacute House, Somerset
Visitors on the drive to the west front at Montacute House, Somerset ©Getty
The towering walls, glorious gables, Tudor artwork and fragrant gardens of Montacute House provide the perfect starting point for a six-mile walk through south Somerset’s ancient countryside.
- 10.2km/6.3 miles
- 4 hours
Route and map
Tarr Steps, Somerset
Tarr Steps, Exmoor ©Getty
Tarr Steps is one of Exmoor’s true hidden treasures and a firm favourite with visitors – once you’ve discovered it you’ll find yourself drawn back time and time. This gentle seven-mile ramble meanders alongside the river before looping through Withypool and climbing for gorgeous views over Exmoor.
Porlock Bay, Somerset
View from Selworthy Beacon to Porlock Bay Somerset England UK near Exmoor and west of Minehead on the south west coast path with purple heather ©Getty
A nine-mile coastal walk along the pebbled storm berms, coastal cliffs and saltmarshes of Porlock Bay in Exmoor National Park.
Polden Hills, Somerset
A wonderful sunset over Dundon Hill with the Somerset Levels stretching out beyond ©Alamy
Between the Mendip and Quantock Hills, the Somerset countryside is famously flat. But, running parallel with these well-walked ranges is a lesser-known ridge quietly crossing the otherwise-level landscape. Enjoy this 12-mile hike along the hills’ main ridge through beautiful woodland and grassland.
- 14km/11.2 miles (return)
- 3 hours
Main image ©Getty