Exford Walks

There are many good walks from Exford. This of about 6 miles gives me good views and bird-watching starting at the village car park, near the Exmoor White Horse Inn. Pass the National Park depot on the left and walk the river bank to Court Farm bridge, turning right to cross the River Exe.  Follow the sign to Room Hill passing through Court Farm buildings, then left and right and left again and through a gate into a lane running along the side of the field.  The sunken lane goes upward and through a gate into a corridor of hedge and fence before curving right and through another gate.  I then go right and forward onto an enclosed track, through a hunting gate and across a stream to climb a steep stone track.

A small wood is to my left and looking right across open hill, I have seen Buzzards soaring in rising circles.  Exford church shows to the left and Dunkery Beacon comes into view to the right whilst below me the remains of Road Castle, an Iron Age fort, looks across the river.  Cross the field through a gate I progress up Road Hill along the hedge following the bridleway sign.  Then over two fields and at a second gate, a wild combe sprawls down to the River Exe from Room Hill.  I find this a good spot to stop a while and was lucky to see a Song Thrush, not common here or back at home.  Straight ahead, another gate and into fields until a three-way bridleway sign to fork left around the head of the combe passing gorse bushes and a sign to Winsford.  Stonechat and Whinchat like this upland area, dropping to the ground in search of insects and seeds.

Pass a fenced marshy combe towards Nethercote Farm.  A steep track down to the river to follow downstream to a ford and yellow waymarks to Nethercote Bridge.  I am very fond of the next couple of miles of riverbank walking with Dipper, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail resident.  I cross the river at Nethercote Bridge taking a left where a gate is marked ‘Permitted path to Exford’.  Follow the river then through three fields then half right to diagonally cross the next field and through a gate to cross a track down to the ford.  High above the track in this lovely valley are two small huts and the path curves up to meet an old stone lane to Lyncombe Farm.  No right of way over the packhorse bridge but access is through the farmyard keeping straight and left at the next junction and up to Higher Combe Farm.  I take the public footpath for Exford before the farm, down to and over the bridge and stile, then climb up out of the combe.  Two fields to cross and a gate gives a track back down to Court Farm and the riverbank return to Exford car park.  I have not timed this route as the bird-watching opportunities vary for me but I can recommend it as a good walk.

Sherryl Woods

Written by Peter