Lynton to Porlock via Dunkery Nature Reserve

A lovely drive to Porlock through the Dunkery and Horner Wood Nature Reserve.

This is a really gorgeous drive, with the potential for seeing Exmoor’s Highland Cattle grazing by the roadside.  There are plenty of places to park up and take in the stunning views and vastness of Exmoor.

Highcliffe to Porlock via Exford & Dunkery. This image belongs to Google Maps.

This image is taken from Google Maps. Click here to view the full directions in Google Maps 

    1. Leave Highcliffe House and take the main B3234 to Barnstaple, driving through Lynbridge and Barbook.
    2. When you reach the T-junction where the B3243 joins the A39, turn left towards Simonsbath.  Check if you need fuel, this will be the last fuel station you will see for a while.
    3. Follow the A39 towards Hillsford Bridge, then cross the bridge onto the B3223 towards Simonsbath.
    4. Drive along the B3223 through this beautiful part of the moor until you reach Simonsbath.
    5. Stay on the B3223 following signs to Exford.
    6. In Simonsbath, at the junction, turn right on to the B2234 heading to Exford.  Once in Exford you may want to take some time, there are some lovely pubs here.
    7. To continue your journey, turn left at the Crown Hotel on to Park Street, continue on Park Street to become Edgecott Road.
    8. Follow Edgecott Road until it becomes Mill Lane and continue driving, follow signs for Porlock / Cloutsham and keep driving enjoying the scenery until you reach the A39.
    9. Shortly after leaving Exford via Edgecott Road, drivie along Mill Lane, after crossing the cattle grid immediately watch out for signs to Stoke Pero / Cloutsham. Turn right here.
    10. Keep driving along this road, with the National Trust ‘Dunkery’ moorland on the left.
    11. A few hundred yards along this road, at the fork in the road see signpost marked ‘Porlock Post’ take the left turn.
    12. Continue along this narrow moorland road. The road will get narrower and at times you may think you’re heading to the middle of nowhere, but keep going, this is a stunning part of Exmoor.
    13. The road will keep weaving and dipping through moorland and woodland, but keep going, there are lots of places to park up and enjoy the breath-taking views.
    14. Once you arrive at the back of Porlock, you will face a T-junction, left will take you to Porlock village.  Turning right will lead you to a triangle junction where turning left will lead you to Porlock/Minehead on the A39.

Once you reached the A39 in Porlock you can turn right towards Minehead, or you can head back to Lynton by turning left.

Return Via A39

If you’re heading back to Lynton the most direct route home is the A39 all the way back to Lynmouth / Lynton, signposted to Countisbury / Lynmouth.

Porlock to Highcliffe House Direct. This image belongs to Google Maps.

Alternatively, you could drive back through Malmsmead which is a longer drive, but very pretty.

Return Via Malmsmead, then A39

  1. Head towards Lynmouth.
  2. Once you’ve driven up Porlock Hill, take the 3rd left turn (the first left is tarmac, the 2nd left is a track, the 3rd left is a tarmac road), to Hookway Hill, this is a narrower lane than the A39, so take car.
  3. Continue driving along Hookway Hill crossing over Robbers Bridge.  This is a cute spot to stop and take photos.  Robbers Bridge is an old masonry arch bridge, with its name taken from legends of bandits and features in Lorna Doone.
  4. Keep driving on, through Oare and on to Malmsmead.
  5. On arriving in Malmsmead you will see both a bridge and ford in front of you.  On the right after the bridge/ford is a delightful tea shop with pretty gardens by the river.  Drive through the ford, or over the bridge (depending on the depth of the river).
  6. At this point, either,

A/ Follow the road ahead, this is now Leeford Lane and will take you through to Brendon.

B/ Turn left on to Post Lane, please note that although pretty this road is rather narrow.  Take the next available right turn, towards Brendon, Lynmouth & Lynton.

Once in Brendon you can follow any of the signs back to A39, Lynmouth or Lynton.

Return Via Malmsmead, via Hillsford Bridge

Alternatively, if you choose to carry on straight, through Rockford, you will pass two pubs, these are both great options for food and drinks.

1) The Staghunters

2) The Rockford Inn

If you continue driving on through Rockford will bring you back to Lynmouth via Watersmeet or Lynton via Barbook at Hillsford Bridge.


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