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Coast Of Britain Exmoor National Park

By Steven Cronin

Surrounded by undulating, verdant countryside, as well as diminutive, charming hamlets, Exmoor is justifiably acknowledged as the land of cottages and combes. Located on the north Devon coast, Exmoor National Park is residence to a plethora of chocolate box villages along with magnificent landscapes.

Exmoor is the smallest National Park in Britain, although the scale of grandeur is by no means less. Wildlife flourishes throughout the impressive expanse of rural area. Exmoor ponies graze the vast spread of summer meadows and red deer still roam unbound. Modest rural communities operate their commerce, as farmers persevere to make hay while the sun shines.

Travelling eastwards along the A39, we enter Exmoor National Park at the northwestern corner and meet the wonderfully named Valley of Rocks. One of the showpieces of the area, Valley of Rocks is a glorious cliff top gorge, soaring above the shoreline resembling titanic sentries. Toothed peaks penetrate the sky as the rocks stand watch over the coast.

Barely east of Valley of Rocks are the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. From its prominent position high on the north Devon coastline, Lynton is home to some of the most dramatic views across the Bristol Channel. Beneath Lynton, at the mouth of the river, sits the quaint fishing village of Lynmouth, scene of the dreadful flooding of 1952. The two villages were united in 1890 by the cliff railway.

A further eastward along the A39 rests the beautiful little village of Oare. Positioned two miles inland, Oare lies in a picturesque valley, bathed in stunning surroundings. At the heart of the village is Oare Church, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. When constructed, the church would have accommodated approximately twelve people, however in recent times capacity has increased.

To be found amid the rolling sea green coastline, the tiny rural community of Culbone is home to the smallest parish church in England. The church rests deep in the woody hills and features a bell dating back to the 14th century.

The village of Porlock lies in the northeastern region of Exmoor Heritage Coast. Formerly a significant port, Porlock now sits one mile inland as a consequence of rising land levels and receding sea.

Located in the outermost northeastern corner of Exmoor National Park, Minehead is a modern, active town and serves as the western terminus of the West Somerset railway. Amid pleasant climate and fresh amenities, Minehead operates as a contemporary seaside resort. The stone quay, built in 1616, was once an essential trading port with Africa and North America, while today works primarily leisurely pursuits.

About the author:
Steven Cronin writes articles, poetry and short stories predominantly concerning travel as well as issues that influence the world in which we live. For further literature visit

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