Exmoor National Park is a national park situated on the Bristol Channel coast of Devon and Somerset in South West England. The park is 693 km² (267 mile²) of hilly open moorland. Exmoor is one of the first British National Parks, designated in 1954, and is named after its main river, the River Exe. Several areas of the moor have been declared a Site of Special Scientific interest.
Exmoor has 55 km (34 miles) of coastline to the north, which is some of the highest coastline on the British mainland. The highest cliff is Great Hangman, at 244 m (800 ft). The dramatic scenery of rocky headlands, ravines, waterfalls and towering cliffs gained the Exmoor coast recognition as a Heritage Coast in 1991. The Exmoor Coastal Heaths have been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the diversity of species present.
Exmoor is unique for its coastal woodlands, including 16 km (10 miles) of cliff between Porlock and Countisbury where the trees spread right down to the beach in places. The South West Coast Path, at 1052km (630 miles) the longest National Trail in England and Wales, starts at Minehead and runs along all of Exmoor’s coast. Small harbours can be found at Lynmouth, Porlock Weir and Combe Martin. Once important for coastal trade, their primary use now is for pleasure sailing and fishing.
There can be up to 2000 mm (80 inches) of rainfall per year on the higher ground, thanks to clouds formed by warm damp air from the Atlantic Ocean. The high ground forms the catchment area for numerous rivers and streams. There are about 483 km (300 miles) of rivers on Exmoor.
Rivers in Exmoor include the Exe, Avill, Barle, Bray, Heddon, East Lyn and West Lyn.
Places of interest
Lynmouth, where the East and West Lyn rivers meet, is particularly connected to the 1952 flooding disaster. The cliff railway connects Lynmouth to neighbouring Lynton.
Porlock is a quiet coastal town with adjacent salt marsh nature reserve.
Dunster Castle can be found in Dunster, which also boasts a priory, dovecote, yarn market, inn, packhorse bridge and mill. The West Somerset Railway also stops here.
Tarr Steps has an ancient clapper bridge constructed from large unmortared slabs of stone.
Woody Bay, just a few miles West of Lynton, is home to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, a narrow gauge railway which connected the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth to Barnstaple, some 20 miles away.
Snowdrop Valley is a picture with a sea of snowdrops in February. The bluebell display that follows is worth visiting Text in part provided by our friends at wikipedia