Walk: Porlock Bay, Somerset

A 8.5-mile coastal walk along the pebbled storm berms, coastal cliffs and saltmarshes of Porlock Bay in Exmoor National Park

Hills and coastline
Published: April 7th, 2021 at 2:18 pm
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The coastline between the tiny harbour at Porlock Weir and rugged Hurlstone Point comprises wildlife-rich salt and freshwater marshland, dramatic storm beaches and gnarled cliffs.


With such a variety of environments to be discovered, this reasonably long walk will be over before you know it. Not to worry, you can relive the wonders of the path as you relax among books, sofas and firelight at Porlock Weir's quirky Millers at the Anchor inn.

Pebble beach and sea
A section of weathered wood beach defences on Porlock beach, Somerset/Credit: Getty

Porlock Bay walk

8.5 miles/13.6km | 5 hours | moderate

1. Sea air

From the car park at Porlock Weir, drop straight on to the beach and make your way along the pebbles. There are a number of footpaths that wind through the saltmarshes inland, but for a closer encounter with the sea, stick to the beach.

Steep storm berms run parallel to the water, often strewn with large pieces of driftwood and evidence of what dwells beneath the sea's surface.

Pebble beach and sea
The Somerset coast and Exmoor at Porlock Weir/Credit: Getty

2. On to the cliffs

After about 2.5 miles you will reach a turn off, a clear trail leading to the right away from the sea. Follow the track as it turns into a road. Once you reach a cluster of houses at Rossington, cut across the village car park, pass through a gate and continue uphill along the path. You are now on the South West Coast Path, heading east towards Minehead.

Leave the official coast path for a smaller trail, hugging the shoreline until you reach Hurlstone Point.

3. Broad horizons

Hurlstone Point affords spectacular views to the west and east. Spend a while soaking up the scenery, then continue on the path, heading steeply uphill. In a few hundred metres you will reach a crossing of paths. Step over the South West Coast Path and follow a trail, contouring south and then east around the back of Bossington Hill.

4. Forest to Village

You will soon reach Lynch Combe. Cross the small valley and enter a section of forest, dropping gradually down to the village of Allerford. Pass the museum before returning to the coast along a narrow country lane.

Picturesque pack horse bridge Allerford Somerset England UK on a beautiful summer day
The pretty Somerset village of Allerford/Credit: Getty

5. Marshland meander

Pass back through Bossington, but instead of heading straight down to the beach, turn right a little way before, rejoining the waymarked South West Coast Path. Walk parallel to the sea. This area is rich in wildlife, and a keen eye will spot grey herons, little egrets, lapwings and curlews among the marsh.

Stay on the coast path and continue back to Porlock Weir. There are options for food, drink and beds at Millers at the Anchor and the Ship Inn.


Porlock Bay map

Porlock Bay walking route and map

Porlock Bay map


Daniel Graham of COuntryfile magazine on a hike with wet hair and blue coat and hills in background
Daniel GrahamSection editor, BBC Countryfile Magazine

Danny is the Section Editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, responsible for commissioning, editing and writing articles that offer ideas and inspiration for exploring the UK countryside.


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