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2008 Your free guide to outdoor activities and sporting events



>Active Guide 2008

>Major Events 2008

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Foreword from Sir Ranulph Fiennes Walking Climbing Mountain Biking Canoeing Horse Riding Fly Fishing Wimbleball Lake Sailing, Rowing, Windsurfing Exmoor Outdoor Group Exmoor

2008 Event Calendar UK Ironman 70.3 triathlon Coastal Trail Series West Molland Team Tetrathlon Golden Horseshoe endurance ride Tour of Wessex Tour of Exmoor cyclo-sportive Exmoor Explorer mountain bike marathon Exmoor Beast cyclo-sportive Tour of Britain international cycle race Walking Festival 2008 The Perambulation of the Royal Forest of Exmoor Endurancelife: Coast 2 Coast

For more information call 01398 324 599

>Your Exmoor 30 Exmoor Events 33 Exmoor’s Special Qualities Exmoor Survival Guide

>Essential information 29 Map of Exmoor 31 Planning Group Visits 32 Outdoor Activity Providers


Foreword from Sir Ranulph Fiennes Having travelled to the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth, I still find adventure on Exmoor. I find my 2 ½ hour runs over the hills most invigorating, not just for the scenery but also the topography.

This magazine provides an insight into all that Exmoor has to offer, should you wish to pay it a visit. Exmoor is hosting some fantastic sporting events such as the Coastal Trail Series, the Ironman and the Tour of Britain. Sport is something that keeps us all alive and provides the opportunity to discover ourselves.

I would highly recommend anyone searching for unspoiled adventure to head for the hills of Exmoor.

Good luck in your own adventures!

To find out more visit



on Exmoor

>Events 2008 North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival 1-9th May 08 North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival in May attracts hundreds of walkers from all around, with dozens of organised guided routes to choose from.

The Exmoor Perambulation 21st June 2008

Exmoor is world famous for its variety of walks from the gentle cliff top strolls to more challenging long distance events. With over 1000km of footpaths and bridleways there’s so much to choose from!

Well trodden paths such as the Coleridge Way, the Two Moors Way and the South West Coast Path attract many to experience some of the most stunning walks England has to offer, through woodland, heath covered moorland and alongside dramatic cliffs and valleys.

The Exmoor Perambulation in June is perhaps Exmoor’s most challenging long distance event covering 31 miles of rugged moorland not normally accessible to the general public.

West Country Walks

>walks Exmoor Walks

Offer a personal guiding service.

Exmoor National Park

Run a variety of walks throughout the year. See the walking events page for further information.

West Country Walks provide a wide range of self-guided walks leaflets and cycle rides, which are downloadable from www.west

Something different - Nordic Walking Why not learn the comfortable, joint-saving and invigorating Nordic Walking Technique from an experienced International Nordic Walking Association Instructor? Visit www.


For more information call 01398 324 599

>WHere to walk


Clatworthy Reservoir

South West Coast Path

The Snow Drop Valley

The Coleridge Way

Perimeter walk – allow 2½ to 3 hours to complete this walk.

630 superb miles of coastal walking.

Wimbleball Lake

A long-distance walking route between the southern edge of Dartmoor and the north coast of Exmoor.

Each February the highest village on Exmoor, Wheddon Cross, plays host to hundreds of visitors enjoying a walk through Snowdrop Valley. The Avill Valley is covered in snowdrops and a short walk by the stream shows them at their best.

The Coleridge Way is a 36 mile walking route through the stunning Somerset countryside of the Quantock Hills, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor National Park: a landscape that inspired Coleridge to produce some of his best known work.

374 acres of water, a magnet for walkers and watersports lovers.

The Two Moors Way

Cloud Farm Walk from the doorstep of this riverside farmhouse into the heart of Exmoor’s beautiful Doone Valley. Our s/c accommodation, campsites, stables, tearoom, shop, off-licence and gardens provide an idyllic base for exploring the wildlife and nature of this tranquil and unspoilt landscape. Visit

To find out more visit


Exmoor has some of the UK’s highest sea cliffs on its North coast with the most spectacular scenery. The Valley of Rocks in Lynton is a popular spot for climbing, with some graded routes. Other coastal cliffs provide perfect areas to practice rock climbing skills in a bouldering environment, as well as there being a variety of climbs along the Exmoor coast. These areas are not for the faint-hearted, requiring experience and advanced climbing skills, as well as tidal knowledge. If you’re looking for a guide or fancy learning some new skills and techniques on a specialist course, then contact Mountains & Moor, or The Mill Adventure Centre. The more experienced climber can find out route information from the Exmoor Coast Group website.

Climbing >CLimbing centres The Mill Indoor Climbing Centre

The Mill is the biggest dedicated indoor climbing wall in Devon, situated on the edge of Exmoor. The centre prides itself on its welcoming, social atmosphere, bright modern facilities and climbing of the best quality in the region. With a convenient location, professional, friendly staff and a range of activities and courses, The Mill is all you need to get vertical! Specialist climbing courses are available at The Mill, which lead onto more advanced climbing techniques as well as off-site trips and courses to teach lead climbing on local rock. Visit

Other Climbing Walls

Other climbing walls can be found at the following centres for individual climbing or group bookings: Wimbleball Water Sports Centre The Calvert Trust The Beacon Youth and Outdoor Activity Centre K2 Adventures


For more information call 01398 324 599

>Mountain Bike Providers FAST TRACKS mountain biking: Routes aimed at the slightly more experienced rider take in the Punch Bowl, Tarr Steps and Wimbleball reservoir with its impressive dam. All tours are run with a wealth of local knowledge, utilising guides that have lived and ridden in the area for numerous years.

Mountain Biking Mountain biking on Exmoor is growing in popularity and it’s not hard to understand why with a good variety of bridleways and some of the most spectacular scenery in the South West of England.

>Courses Trail Cycle Leader Course - Simonsbath House Outdoor Centre The award consists of a two-day training course followed by a one-day assessment. The Trail Cycle Leader Award is an ideal qualification for anyone who works in outdoor centres, guiding companies, schools, and youth groups.

>suppliers Pompy’s Cycles

Exmoor provides some of the best trails in the South West, whether it’s stunning downhill descents, tricky single-track routes or just the wide open spaces that you like, there is something for everyone. 01643 704077


• New & Used Sales • Parts & Accessories • Servicing & Repairs • Cycle Hire

Exmoor Explorer Sunday 3rd August 2008:

Mart Road, Minehead, Somerset TA24 5BJ

The Exmoor Explorer is a long distance off-road reliability mountain bike trail across Exmoor’s challenging terrain. The event takes place every year on the first Sunday of August.

>graded cycle map Exmoor National Park Authority

The map for off road Cyclists includes graded routes from family rides to severe routes. The waterproof, rip-proof map, which grades the severity of off-road cycling routes on Exmoor, is available from National Park Centres or on our website.


To find out more visit


g n i e o n a C

with a r activity la u p o p a been stline. r has long o o m x cular coa E ta n c o e p g s in d e n Cano lakes a of rivers, e ic o h c In the south of Exmoor there are some excellent good

Get active, Get canoeing. Free demos at our waterside shop. Kids packages from £399.00 Starter packages from £425.00

Intro white water/ surf packages from £499.00

We can tailor packages to your needs. Haven Road Exeter EX2 8GX Tel: 01392 219600 Easy access from the M5 and Mainline railway


grade 1 & 2 paddles provided by the River Barle and the River Exe. The Upper Barle (Tarr Steps – Dulverton) season runs from 1st October to 1st April, with the Lower Barle open from 1st October to 30th April. The River Exe season starts on 1st October through to 14th February, with a spate agreement to 28th February. In the north of Exmoor, the River Lyn offers challenges to the experienced paddler, normally a grade 4 river but can become grade 6 in really high levels! The season runs from 1st November to 28th February. Wimbleball Lake provides the perfect location to learn canoeing as it offers sheltered flat water. See for further details.

Exmoor Canoe Club Exmoor has a thriving and welcoming Canoe Club offering an introduction to beginners through structured courses and fun summer evening paddles. Pool sessions are held throughout the winter along with regular river trips. We have all our own kit and membership is from just £15 per year, so come and join in the fun! Visit for more info.

For more information call 01398 324 599

Horse Riding Riding on Exmoor encompasses the dramatic open moorland, the river banks and crossings in the combes, the numerous woodlands and the picturesque villages, where it is always possible to find somewhere to stop for an ice cream during your ride.

on Exmoor West Anstey Farm Stables Ride straight onto Exmoor from West Anstey Farm Nr Dulverton, TA22 9RY. Rides are escorted and available all year, for all ages and abilities. West Ansty also has a self catering unit. Tel 01398 341 354

There are many places to stay if you bring your own horse, as well as several centres where you can enjoy an accompanied trek on a hired horse or pony. There are several highlights in the Exmoor riding calendar, one of which is the Golden Horseshoe endurance ride held in May.

Doone Valley Trekking Ride straight into the beauty and peace of Exmoor’s legendary river valleys, rolling hills and sweeping moors. Superb value holidays and breaks for all, throughout the year. • All ages and riding abilities catered for • Good quality, friendly horses and ponies • Experienced guides on all rides •E  asy and challenging terrain with no roads! •C  osy VB 4 star s/c cottages sleep 2-8 •S  hop, Off-licence, Tearoom and Gardens

The Exmoor Pony Centre • Visitor centre • Shop • Rides and taster sessions all year • New cream tea, picnic and pub rides

Open Days:

Sundays 23rd March and 26th July 10-3pm

Easter Holidays:

Crafts and Activities on Wednesdays & Sundays 2-4pm

Summer Holidays:

Crafts and Activities on Wednesdays 2-4pm

Tuesday 12th August: Pony Cream Tea 3pm

Saturday 16th August:

Western Summer Party 8pm-Late

November: Foal Month!

For more information call: 01398 323093

To find out more visit


>Fly Fishing: For the Exmoor fly fisher it is what lives within these watery realms that provides the real interest. This short article is a guide to what you will need to tackle river species such as wild brown trout, grayling and salmon. There is also general advice regarding the equipment and flies required to target the abundant rainbow trout present in the regions stillwaters. Finally the adventurous fly angler may like to head to the coast to catch a bass.

Fly Fishing Part of what makes Exmoor such a stunning place is the presence of water throughout the region. Spectacular valleys are often brought together by beautiful rivers; the coastline is constantly chewed by never ending waves while here and there a lake puts in an appearance, a natural mirror quietly hiding amongst sprawling meadows.


There are many river venues to choose from including the rivers Exe, Barle and Lyn while stillwater anglers are well catered for by small lakes such as Exe Valley Fishery or its big brother Wimbleball Reservoir high up on Haddon Hill. Day tickets are freely available from various outlets, including hotels, local farmers, tourist offices and specialist fishing agents.

For more information call 01398 324 599

>Coarse/Sea Fishing:


Coarse and Sea Anglers will also find abundant angling opportunities. Pack some basic float fishing kit, maybe a spinning rod and a beach caster. Freshwater species include carp, roach, perch and pike. Sea Fisherman can expect to tangle with bass and mullet from the shore on a regular basis, although take a charter boat trip for the chance of rays or even a conger eel!

Salmon: 1st March-30th September, (except the Exe which opens 14th February). Trout: 15th March-30th September. Coarse fishing seasons vary but effectively starts on 16th June and end on 15th March.

For a complete guide to the South West region and the venues, which it offers, pick up a copy of the ‘Get Hooked’ guide. This little booklet represents excellent value and is available in most tackle shops and some newsagents throughout the area. For a more technical guide to fly fishing on Exmoor see our website.

>Where Rivers: Exe, Lyn, Barle, Haddeo Small Stillwaters: Exe Valley Fishery, Blakewell, Bratton Water Reservoirs: Wimbleball, Clatworthy, Wistlandpound.

>Species Game: salmon, sea trout, grayling and wild brown trout Coarse: carp, roach, perch and pike. Sea: bass, mullet, mackerel, rays and conger eels.

>Costs £3-£15 for Trout and £20-£50 for migratory fish. It is the law that all freshwater anglers carry an E.A. Details of how to buy permits can be found on our website.

>Local fishing suppliers Lance Nicholson Hart Fly Shop

>Local Instructors A guide/instructor can assist with casting and provide up to the minute local fishing knowledge/advice. Nick Hart – Specialist in novice courses and guided river/saltwater fly fishing. AAPGAI certified instructor.

John Dawson Fly Fishing Involved with many aspects of local fly fishing and runs courses regularly across the region. Fly fishing tuition and guiding on the rivers and lakes of Exmoor. • Tackle can be provided. • Groups catered for.

To find out more visit


Wimbleball Lake Wimbleball Lake near Dulverton offers a variety of great activities for your day out. You can book sailing and windsurfing courses at our RYA Training Centre, go walking, fishing and canoeing and even stop for a night or two at our campsite. Follow the brown tourism signs to the lake where you’ll also find our relaxing tea room. For further details please call 01398 371460 or visit

Wimbleball Lake sits high on Exmoor and enjoys some spectacular views and offers an unrivalled choice of water-based activities, angling, relaxation and wildlife, walking and cycling. The Lake is a place where you can learn to sail, spend a day trout angling or exploring the vast number of footpaths the area has to offer. Dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, rowing and canoeing, as well as multi activity days and team building, which can include raft building, are on offer. All instructors are fully qualified to teach activities by the relevant national governing body. (Please note there are not the facilities for the launch of power crafts). Each centre is a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre and licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority.


The Angling and Watersports Centre is open for tuition in sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and rowing. Tuition for beginners and improvers is available along with equipment hire and self launch facilities. Visitors can also launch their own craft or hire from the centre. Whatever your age you could be enjoying the water in a matter of hours. A range of courses are available, all prices include the use of equipment and full instruction. Wimbleball is also a premier trout fishery offering angling from the banks and also boats, with regular tuition days for beginners and improvers. Permits are available on-site and boats can be booked in advance. The Centre also offers beginner and improver fly fishing tuition and has some pre-arranged days which can be booked in advance via the Centre.

For more information call 01398 324 599

The newly renovated facilities at this majestic Lake in Exmoor National Park offer first class facilities both on and off the water. The land surrounding the Lake offers miles of footpaths including a 9 mile walk around the perimeter of the Lake. There are many miles of paths following the shorelines, meandering through woodland and onto open moorland. There’s also a wealth of wildlife to watch and discover so whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, an active cycle ride or a more challenging walk, whatever your ability, there is something for everyone. The tea-room, adjacent to the campsite offers an indoor retreat for light lunches, beverages and snacks whilst the play area is ideal for the younger ones to burn off some energy in the beautiful Exmoor countryside.

A Recreation Ranger often organises guided walks and boat trips on the easily accessible Wheelyboat, ideal for trips on the Lake particularly for less able visitors. Wimbleball Lake also offers an introductory orienteering course suitable for children and families or for those looking for a first taste of orienteering. There are several routes laid out around the course. There are two routes to choose from: the Standard Course, usually taking 20-45 minutes, or the Quick Course, taking approximately 15 minutes. Collect the letters around these routes to spell the names of species from amongst the flora and fauna of Wimbleball Lake.

To find out more visit



Outdoor Group 2008 Welcome to Active Exmoor’s all new Outdoor Group 2008! Whether you are ‘fit as a fiddle’ and get outdoors regularly, or stuck in an office all day and wanting to make the most of your weekends, this is for you. This group provides the perfect opportunity to try new activities, meet new people and see the best parts of Exmoor, whether walking, cycling or canoeing. Working alongside the outdoor activity providers on Exmoor, we have brought together different activities ranging from archery, through to mountain biking.


For more information call 01398 324 599

• No experience needed • All equipment provided • Qualified instruction • Most weekends • Just book and try something new! • Discounted accommodation available

>2008 Activity menu:

Everyone’s welcome whether you fancy a pleasant walk on the moors, a first time experience of rowing on Wimbleball Lake, or an adrenaline fuelled experience coasteering the stunning Exmoor coastline. What’s more, you need no experience or specialist kit, as all equipment is provided. Expert tuition and support is also on hand, to help you learn new skills and techniques. Whatever your preferred activity, we have something that will tickle your fancy!

To Book:

Visit to find out more information or ring Active Exmoor on 01398 324 599. Contact Dan for an informal chat about any of the activities on offer:

• Windsurfing • Kayaking • Archery • Indoor Climbing • Exmoor Pony Riding • Dinghy Sailing • Rowing • Power Kiting • Mountain Biking • Falconry Experience • Multi Activity Day • High Ropes • Rock Climbing • Coastal Walk • Canoeing • Water Sports Day • Surfing • Coasteering • Fly Fishing • Survival Skills

01398 324 599

To find out more visit


Exmoor From its breathtakingly beautiful coastline of plunging cliffs, sheltered bays and traditional resorts to the space and undisturbed tranquility of its open moors and wooded valleys, Exmoor provides a world of contrasts. This unique destination in the South West of England offers an escape from the stresses of daily life and an opportunity to recharge the batteries.

Exmoor is ideal for a relaxing break away from the crowds. It’s great for walking, riding and mountain biking and our crystal clear rivers are perfect for fly-fishing and canoeing – or you could just relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery and wonderful local food.

Exmoor Accommodation Exmoor has an abundance of accommodation and something to suit all tastes and budgets. There are elegant country house hotels and B&B’s, cottages tucked away in secluded spots, inns and pubs in pretty villages close to the sea or open moorland and a variety of guest houses in the seaside towns. There’s also a warm welcome for pets here. Much of the accommodation is pet friendly, so it’s easy to find somewhere to stay where the dog can come too – and it would be a shame not to bring him with all the fabulous walks in the area. Many riding enthusiasts who come to Exmoor bring their own horses, taking advantage of the excellent stabling provided.


For more information call 01398 324 599

Food and Drink

Sampling local food is an increasingly important part of a holiday and Exmoor is blessed with some of the best local produce in the country. Local farmers produce lamb, beef and pork, there’s an abundance of game and fresh fish and a huge variety of locally produced preserves, as well as delicious Exmoor ice cream. Many of Exmoor’s B&Bs, restaurants and pubs pride themselves on using the finest local produce in their breakfasts and dinners. So it’s easy to sample the best food around during your visit, from a full English breakfast, to Westcountry Cream Teas in the afternoon and the finest dinners to round off the day. For more information about Exmoor and to search for accommodation, visit

Exmoor Towns and Villages From working market towns, pretty harbours and chocolate box villages to bustling seaside resorts, such as Minehead and England’s ‘Little Switzerland’ of Lynton and Lynmouth, you will find a variety of towns and villages around Exmoor. Some of the villages are tucked away and hardly ever see a visitor, but still have welcoming pubs selling excellent food. Others, like Dulverton, are thriving small towns meeting the day-to-day needs of the surrounding villages and hamlets with butchers, bakers, tea rooms, pubs and restaurants which locals and visitors alike enjoy. As life in Somerset and North Devon is more leisurely than eleswhere, people still have time to stop for a chat, so relax and enjoy some of the places where the modern world seems a million miles away.

Porlock and the Vale Accommodation on Exmoor cannot be found in more delightful surroundings than Porlock and Porlock Vale. Nestling at the foot of Porlock Hill at the western end of the Vale, Porlock is bounded to the north by its shingle ridge with breathtaking views over the Bristol Channel and to the south by the rolling hills of the Exmoor National Park. Holiday accommodation ranges from quaint, thatched Exmoor cottages and farmhouses offering bed and breakfast, to hotels and guesthouses offering the alternative of full or half board. Perhaps caravanning, camping or self-catering is your choice, but whatever you choose, you can be sure of a warm welcome in Porlock.

For all your accommodation needs call 01643 863150.

To find out more visit



Sporting Events on Exmoor

Exmoor is becoming a prominent focus on the UK sporting map and is attracting some fantastic events. Exmoor offers an appealing topography and terrain for both professionals and amateurs’.


Some of Exmoor’s terrain is amongst the most challenging in the country. However, for those of you looking to try a new activity there are some more forgiving areas. All have a fantastic and breathtaking backdrop. The next part of the magazine will give you an insight into the vast range of events taking place on Exmoor in 2008. Many of these encourage you to take part, the finer details of this are on our website There is also plenty to do in the local area if you come to any of the events to support a friend, either way we hope you enjoy the events as much as we do! If you are interested in hosting an event on Exmoor, please get in touch as we can assist with route finding, local links and accommodation providers.

For more information call 01398 324 599

>events >2008 Events calendar 12th April

Endurance Life – Coastal Trail Series

1st-9th May

North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival

11th May

The Golden Horseshoe – endurance ride

24-26th May

Tour of Wessex – cycling event

7-8th June

Endurance Life – coast to coast

15th June

UK Ironman 70.3 – triathlon

21st June

Exmoor Perambulation – endurance walk

5th July

Tour of Exmoor – cyclo sportive

12th July

Wimbleball Rowing Regatta

3rd August

Exmoor Explorer – mountain bike marathon

24th August

West Molland Team Tetrathlon

9th September Tour of Britain 25th October

Moonraker Challenge – sponsored night walk

2nd November Exmoor Beast - cyclo sportive Did you know that guided walks are organised nearly every week by the National Park? For the latest walks see our website

To find out more visit



Take the


UK IRONMAN 70.3 15th June 2008 The UK Ironman 70.3 triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run with 1,500 athletes competing for an opportunity to obtain one of the 100 qualifying slots for the inaugural Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida. Six of the Ironman 70.3 global events will carry slots for the Ford Ironman World Championship, which is double the distance and held in Hawaii each October! Qualifying events are held all around the world at venues including California, St Croix, Florida, Baja, Honu, Scandinacia, Brazil, Monaco and Cancun Mexico. Shown on TV around the world the Wimbleball Lake Ironman event offers 100 qualifying slots for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and a thrilling day out for all the family.

Coastal Trail Series: Stage 5 Exmoor 12th April 2008 The Exmoor National Park is home to the last event in the Endurancelife Coastal Trail Running Series and, as the most challenging of the 5 courses, making a fitting finale to this awesome series. The event is open to runners of all abilities over the age of 16. There are three distance categories; 10K, Marathon and Half Marathon. Visit

West Molland TEAM Tetrathlon 24th August 2008 The West Molland Team Tetrathlon consists of four activities – horse riding, mountain biking, cross country running and clay shooting. Teams of four compete against each other to be the ultimate tetrathlon winner. In aid of the Devon Air Ambulance and the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, the Tetrathlon provides a fantastic family day out with a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained including terrier racing, tug-o-war, inflatables, a hog roast and a licensed bar. The clay shoot is also open for anyone to have a go. Further details and how to enter are available on


For more information call 01398 324 599


Exmoor Golden Horseshoe Ride 11th-13th May 2008 The ‘Golden Horseshoe’ is the longest-running, best known and toughest ride on the endurance calendar, consisting of a 160K (100 mile) ride over two days (80K on each day) across the most beautiful and challenging terrain Exmoor has to offer. It is truly a marathon test of horse and rider. The venue for 2008 is the Show Field, on the B3223, just over a mile outside the village of Exford. This year’s route takes the horses and riders out across open moorland, down into wooded valleys, and through Doone Country, before returning to Exford.

Other classes on offer: The Exmoor Stag: 120K over two days (80+40) The Exmoor Experience: 80K over 2 days (40+40) The Exmoor Eighty: 80K in one day Competing at this level requires the most athletic of horses, and they are closely monitored by our panel of specialist veterinarians. Spectators can expect to enjoy seeing the horses tackling the course against the backdrop of amazing scenery, and the crews working on the horses at various points around the route and prior to veterinary inspections. For those who have never seen an endurance event before, this can be reminiscent of a ‘pit stop’ in a motor race, with the most efficient crews cooling their horse whilst delaying it for as short a time as possible. On Sunday, 11th May there is a sponsored ride offering two routes, with money being raised for the Moorland Mousie Trust and the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance. Throughout the day there will be displays of Arabian horses, dog agility and also the pre-ride vetting for the competitive horses. Access to the venue is free, so drop in and experience a little of the ‘Horseshoe’ atmosphere, whilst perusing the various trade stands.

To find out more visit




Cycling Events TOUR OF WESSEX


24th-26th May 2008 The Tour of Wessex brings the drama and excitement of a bicycle stage race to Southern England. International teams compete against the UK’s top professionals over a three stage, 300 mile race on a route that includes some of the best scenery and most well-known sites in the UK; including Glastonbury Tor, Cheddar Gorge, Exmoor National Park, and the Jurassic Coast.

5th July 2008 One of the hardest but most visually stunning cyclo-sportives takes place in Exmoor National Park. With close to 4,500m of vertical ascent in just over 100 miles riders will experience barren and windswept upland moorland and fabulous coastal climbs. For those wanting a slightly less demanding route an 85 mile option is also available.

In addition to the elite race a few thousand amateur cyclists will ride the Tour of Wessex cyclo-sportive using the same routes on the same days as the race with many participants raising thousands of pounds for charity.


For more information call 01398 324 599


Exmoor explorer

Exmoor Beast

3rd August 2008 The Exmoor Explorer is a long distance off-road reliability mountain bike trail across Exmoor’s challenging terrain. The event takes place every year on the first Sunday of August.

2nd November 2008 Just when you thought it was safe to put your bike away for the winter, the Exmoor Beast rears its majestic head. The Beast offers you the last chance to test yourself in one of the best and most challenging cyclo-sportives of the year.

Everything is unveiled online the week before the event. Each year features a new route and teastop, where you can rest and refuel, before heading to the finish. Every year around 400 participants take part in the Exmoor Explorer and have the choice between two routes on offer. The event offers a fantastic opportunity to view Exmoor’s unspoiled and breathtaking scenery on a mountain bike.

Approximately 500 participants took part in last year’s Exmoor Beast with more to return in 2008. Conceived by many as the ultimate end-of-season send-off, the Exmoor Beast cyclo-sportive was awarded 3rd place in the UK Cyclo Sportive Awards 2007. The challenging route takes in much of Exmoor’s breathtaking scenery. Along the way there are feed stations and marshals to ensure safety is prevalent. Further details on how to enter the Exmoor Beast 2008 can be found online.

To find out more visit



r u o T The n i a t i of Br

to e, brought c a r g n li c y c e umber one n ’s K 2007 for th U , in in il a c it r n B u f o o C ty The Tour oor during erset Coun m m x o E S y to b n t r s e tu the South W welcome re a e k a m l il me, w 8. very first ti tember 200 p e S f o k e we the second

Last year tens of thousands of spectators flocked to parts of the famous National Park to witness some of the world’s top cyclists tackle some of Britain’s most challenging terrain. Since The Tour of Britain was re-launched in 2004 with a mix of national and professional teams, the event has grown year-on-year to become the country’s largest spectator event and is now effectively Britain’s version of the Tour de France.


For more information call 01398 324 599


102 riders from 17 teams took part in the 2007 race, with sixteen nationalities represented, including three British teams. Spectators in Somerset particularly enjoyed seeing two of Britain’s best riders race across the county. There were big cheers for experienced veteran Roger Hammond and newcomer and Yellow Jersey holder Mark Cavendish. After a gentle introduction to the South West stage on the Somerset Levels and through Taunton, the racers had an epic time on Exmoor. As the lure and challenge of Porlock Toll Road had been too tempting for the organisers to resist, the cyclists endured its 6 mile climb before riding to Lynmouth with beautiful moor land to the left and a 400m drop to the sea on their right. This also turned out to be the perfect backdrop for the film crews following in the helicopter above, and it was captured perfectly for the global television audience.

The second challenging climb of the day followed at Watersmeet and a third at Wheddon Cross. It is testament to the fine terrain of Exmoor that five of the six hotspots (two Sprints and three e-on King of the Mountains climbs) were located along the 50 mile stretch. The professionals were exhausted as they crossed the finish line, and if you want to find out why, check out to download the route and ride it for yourself! The race returns to Exmoor in 2008 and will pass through some familiar terrain, as well as pose some new challenges for the racers to endure. For visitors, a wide range of supporting events will again be on offer to enjoy. The full race information for 2008 with routes, spectator locations, travel advice and community events can be found on the Bike Somerset website at during the weeks and months leading up to the race. Somerset County Council has committed to this exciting event for the next five years. We would like to thank you all for your magnificent support in 2007 and look forward to seeing you somewhere along the route in September 2008.

To find out more visit



Walking Events North Devon and Exmoor Walking Festival 1st-9th May 2008 This year’s festival embraces 66 guided walks so everyone can discover the region’s beautiful and diverse scenery on foot. Two-thirds of the walks are new, with many of the popular ones still included. Free outings include the Welcome Walks on the first day and the two special Celebration Days. These take place over Saturday and Sunday at RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington and at HF Holidays, one of the festival sponsors. They are hosting an open day at Holnicote House, Selworthy with four free walks led by their guides. Speciality outings include learning Nordic walking and map-reading, a wild food walk, a trip on a light railway and the Photography Walk at Rosemoor. There is also a new four-day walking holiday along the Exmoor section of the South West Coast Path from the Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster. Festival brochures are available at most Tourist Information Centres in the South West region, Millets and Blacks stores.

>Fact file Activity: 66 guided walks Date: 1st-9th May 2008 Distance: short to long Dogs welcome: on some walks Entry: variable around £5 Tel: 01271 863001


For more information call 01398 324 599


The Perambulation of the Royal Forest of Exmoor 21st June 2008 The Perambulation is one of the most challenging long distance walks in the Exmoor annual calendar. The Perambulation can be traced back to 1279 when King Edward ordained the Sheriff of Somerset to firmly observe the perambulations of the Forest of Somerset, afterwards’ called the Royal Forest of Exmoor. Some twenty or so years ago the Exmoor Youth Association revived the Perambulation, which is now an annual event taking place every June. During the 31 miles of cross country walking you will be taking in breathtaking views and accessing parts of the National Park not normally open to the public. You will also be participating in history, as the Perambulation dates back over 725 years! The weather is always a factor on Exmoor and the last few years have been hot adding an extra element to contend with, on this, Exmoor’s most challenging of walks. Details and entry forms are available and can be downloaded from or obtained by telephoning Jeff Cox on 01769 520397.

>Fact file Activity: cross country walk Date: 21st June 2008 Time: 07:00 start Distance: 31 or 16 mile options Number of participants: 200+ Age: 14+ Entry: £8 free for under 18’s Organised by: Exmoor Youth Association Bookings open from March –

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For more information call 01398 324 599


The Endurancelife Coast 2 Coast Adventure Race Series is an exciting set of challenge events in which solos or pairs navigate from one coast to another across some of the most beautiful and dramatic locations in the UK.

The format is a unique blend of multi-sport endurance and traditional adventure racing. Trail running, mountain biking, kayaking and other adventurous activities are all packed in – making exhilarating two and three day linear journeys. Participants can choose from Coast to Coasts in Devon, Snowdonia or The Lake District. The Coast 2 Coast: Devon is the original event in the series, and since 2004 has offered the intrepid adventure seeker the opportunity to traverse the county under their own steam over two days. This spectacular 120 mile journey takes place on 7th & 8th June 2008 – starting on Exmoor’s northern extremity at Foreland Point, and finishing on the rugged cliffs at the county’s most southerly tip – Prawle Point. The course crosses Exmoor National Park, Dartmoor National Park and passes through the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is the South Hams.

MST: Exmoor (26.07.08)

If 120 miles sounds a bit much but you like the idea of having a blast at trail running, mountain biking, and kayaking, then why not try the MST Exmoor? This friendly one day multi-sport trailathlon takes place on the beautiful Wimbleball Lake. Whether you choose the Lite or Classic category, you’ll be sure to test your fitness and get the adrenaline pumping! For more information on these and other exciting events, please visit or call 01548 853524.

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For more information call 01398 324 599


Exmoor Events Enjoy a festival set in the stunning scenery of Exmoor. With its moorland, spectacular seascapes and wide open skies, it’s a great place to visit all year round. From music and art to countryside fairs, traditional celebrations and village festivals, our varied events will give you an inspiring insight into the distinct culture Exmoor has to offer.

• Music Festivals

• Point to Point

• Countryside Fairs

• Vintage Farm Shows

• Hobby Horse Festivals

• Charter Fair

• Arts Festivals

• Christmas Events

• Steam Train Galas

• Food Festivals

• Walking & Cycling

• Nature Weekends

Festivals • Victorian Celebrations

• Beer Festivals ... and much more

For full events listings and information go to:

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Group Visits

If you are planning a visit for your group to Exmoor this year, you may be wondering where to start?

Simonsbath House Simonsbath House, the very first property to be built within Exmoor Forest, is an ideal location to explore the splendour of Exmoor and its spectacular coastline with over 1000km of footpaths offering almost limitless walking, riding and biking. With magnificent views of the Barle Valley, choose to stay in the hotel with 10 en-suite rooms, self catering cottages, or the outdoor centre sleeping up to 34 people. • Dogs welcome. • Guided walks by arrangement. • Group discounts available.

Contact 01643 831259 for more details E: www.


For more information call 01398 324 599

>events There are a number of outdoor activity providers operating on Exmoor that can easily accommodate the needs of your group whether it’s a school group, corporate or hen/stag party.

Pinkery Centre

The Exmoor National Park Authority’s education centre can affordably accommodate groups of about 30, as well as offering a wide variety of educational and activity-based breaks.

EBO Adventures

Offering activity days across the UK, professional training courses and expeditions.

Simonsbath House See main feature.

K2 Adventures

The Calvert Trust

South West Lakes Trust

Dynamic Adventures

A wide variety of outdoor activities ideal for groups of any age.

Operating the watersports at Wimbleball Lake, a good range of both wet and dry activities with camping, tea rooms and acres of open space.

The Mill

An indoor climbing centre – see page 7

Specialist disabled activity centre set on Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Specialises in a wide variety of outdoor adventurous activities.

Exmoor Pony Centre

Handling young ponies and discovering the Exmoor breed, this centre is ideal for a group visit.

Other Affordable places to stay for groups: Dulverton Residential Centre Exford Youth Hostel Wimbleball Lake campsite For more information on any of the above, Active Exmoor is here to help! Contact our office, details below.

Outdoor Activity Weekends in North Devon You won’t find a more spectacular place to take your group for outdoor adventure than The Beacon! Set in 280 acres on the edge of Exmoor, the centre offers climbing, archery, low ropes and a host of other activities, as part of a programme tailored to each group. Instruction, food and accommodation are included in the price. The centre accommodates up to 41, and its qualified staff are uniquely part of an international Christian Community.

Contact 01598 754206 for more details

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Exmoor Special

Exmoor is one of the 14 areas of the United Kingdom given the highest landscape protection and designated as a National Park. With high sea cliffs, open moorland and quaint country villages the diversity of scenery on Exmoor is remarkable for such a relatively small geographical area. Exmoor boasts a complex and rich historic landscape that reflects how people have lived on, exploited and enjoyed Exmoor over the past 8,000 years. As an area of such national importance we all need to play a part in keeping Exmoor special to conserve and enhance the natural beauty for future generations. The National Park Authority and businesses on Exmoor are working towards the area becoming a carbon neutral tourism destination which, even for a National Park, presents a significant challenge.

Exmoor Survival Guide Exmoor’s landscape rises from sea level to 519m in a short distance boasting the highest sea cliffs in England. High moorland areas can often be several degrees colder than areas at sea level and therefore we advise taking this into consideration, especially when walking. Even on the hottest July summer days the moorlands can be very wet underfoot due to their important water-retaining qualities so walking boots, preferably waterproof, and a good map are essential off road if you are planning on covering any distance. Mobile phone reception can be restricted over most of Exmoor, so please take this into consideration.

If you visit Exmoor this year, you may be interested to hear that you can now easily offset your carbon emissions by making a donation online at


For more information call 01398 324 599

Prize draw!

Sign up to our monthly e-newsletter for exclusive news and events happening on Exmoor this year and you could win one of the following amazing prizes: • Woodstock Reflex Trekking Bike • 1 Nights Bed and Breakfast at Simonsbath House Hotel • Garmin GPS Visit to enter.

About Active Exmoor

Active Exmoor is a sports tourism project focusing on supporting Exmoor’s outdoor activity industry. The Active Exmoor project is financially supported by the following partners. Somerset Rural Renaissance Exmoor National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund (DEFRA & SWRDA) Sport England West Somerset Council Somerset County Council Devon County Council Dulverton Town Council You can contact us on 01398 324 599, via e-mail to or by post to Active Exmoor, 7-9 Fore Street, Dulverton, Somerset, EX39 1BX. Disclaimer

All information was correct at the time of going to press, Active Exmoor cannot be held responsible for any information that is incorrect. Please contact individual providers for further information on any events mentioned within this publication.

Active Exmoor Magazine 2008 Editor: Rachel Hayes Contributing Editor: Katrina Allin Features: Dan French Project Manager: Mike Bishop Design: Qube Design Associates Active Exmoor would like to thank Aron Cody-Boucher, Heather Lowther, Neville Stanikk and Somerset Creative for use of their fantastic images. If you would like to be in the 2009 edition of the Active Exmoor Magazine then please get in touch!

e Printed on recycled paper

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a wet, cold, boring If you thought that fishing wasFis hing for some affair then visit Nick Hart Fly

! h is F d n a ir A h s e r F , n Fu Salt water fly fishing

Hourly Fly Casting Tuition

An exhilarating experi ence, casting for saltwater species including Bass.

Ideal for experienced anglers who wish to improve their skills. Learn how to cast further, more accurately and with ease.

Bespoke Fly Fishing Courses

Never held a rod? No problem, Nick Hart Fly Fishing specialises in Fly Fishing courses tailored to your every need with all equipment and permits provided.

Guided Salmon Fishing

Guided wild trout and grayling fishing Join one of our knowledgeable guides for a day on the river you will never forget. Unlock Exmoor’s fishing secrets!

Night time sea trout adventures

Pursue the elusive Sea Trout under the cover of darkness.

Your guide will book the beat and organise the tackle. Just turn up and enjoy.


Gift vouchers available

This is no ordinary gift, a day out with Nick Hart Fly Fishing could be the sta rt of a lifelong interest.

Exe Valley Fishery, Exebridge.

Unlock Exmoor’s fishing secrets! Tel: 01398 323 008

Active Exmoor Magazine 2008  

The Exmoor outdoor activities and events guide for 2008