Selworthy - Allerford - Bossington - Selworthy

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Selworthy - Allerford - Bossington - Coast Path - Selworthy Beacon - Selworthy

The walk starts from the village of Selworthy (the name means 'settlement near sallows or willows'). There has been a settlement here since medieval times but the village was rebuilt as a 'modern village' in 1828 by Sir Thomas Acland, the then owner of the estate, to provide accommodation for his retired estate workers. The thatched cottages have a distinctive deep yellow limewash. All Saints Church, Selworthy, was open when I visited. It is a Grade I listed building, the oldest parts being 14th and 15th Centuries. Its white, limewashed walls make it a prominent landmark when seen from Dunkery Beacon over the valley.

Allerford has a much photographed pack-horse bridge thought to date from the 18th Century. The old schoolhouse there now accommodates the West Somerset Rural Life Museum and Victorian School. There is also a reading-room, again funded by the Acland family for their estate workers' further education.

From Bossington the route continues along the coast towards Hurlestone Point, a good viewpoint out to sea, where there is a ruined coastguard station, but before reaching this turns right and ascends quite steeply for the initial 150m. The route continues along the SW Coast Path, marked by acorn signs, until Waymark 12 where it bears right to the summit of Selworthy Beacon, a prominent coastal hill with 360-degree views, from where it returns to Selworthy via Selworthy Combe. This extensive area of rare coastal heath is part of the Holnicote Estate and home to red deer, Exmoor ponies, common lizards, stonechats and buzzards. Rarer inhabitants include Dartford warblers and nightjars.

The route is dog-friendly; no stiles and no direct contact with livestock, but be aware of the quiet minor road at the top of the ridge.

England - South West England - Somerset - Exmoor


Birds, Church, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Museum, Public Transport, River, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Woodland
9/22/2021 - Douglass David Shadwell

My wife and I walked this on 18/9/21 and rate it the best of the 6 walks we did in the area that week. The first part has picturesque villages and the second section has superb views. I found the long steep climb to Selworthy Beacon taxing but maybe my 76 years has something to do with that. The overgrown path at point 9 mentioned in a previous review is now perfectly visible. The tea rooms at Bossington and Selworthy appear to be just that; they serve cakes, scones etc. but there was nothing on the menus about light lunches. At the start of the walk it's not necessary to divert through the NT garden - you can just continue on the road to the Selworthy Farm turning.

3/20/2013 - Angela Argent

Walked this route 20.03.13. Found instructions clear, only slight problem as we missed the narrow path described in point 13, did see the path but dismissed it because looked rather overgrown. No problem though soon got ourselves back on right path! Found climb out of Hurlestone Combe, point 9, very hard work, quite a long steep climb, needed several rest stops but perhaps that's down to our fitness levels, still feel it's worth mentioning! Really enjoyed walk, thank you.

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Distance away
18.7 Miles