The Little Book of Walks is a beautiful compilation for those considering walking holidays in the UK. Here we bring you a cluster of breathtaking, memorable wanders around our particular slice of charming English coast and countryside – beautiful Exmoor.
The inspiration behind our book
During the summer of 2019 photographer Julia Amies-Green and I started work on a project we’d long talked of, a book of Exmoor wanderings.
In addition, Julia has an enviable library of images that bring this beautiful national park to life as no other map or guide can. She’s been walking Exmoor, photographing its landscape and wildlife for two decades. A book therefore seemed the perfect way to share her images.
A book that captures the spirit of Exmoor
As you’ll see from the Little Book of Walks, Julia has a unique way of capturing Exmoor’s essence in her photographs. You can quickly see why this area offers some of the best walking holidays in the UK. As a result you can feel the spongy grass beneath your feet, imagine the cool mist on your skin, and taste snowflakes on your tongue. Your imagination can float away to the gurgling of streams and waterfalls – just by looking at her work. Having first collaborated in 2018, I wanted to share as many of her wonderful images with other people as possible. As a result, these are photographs to be savoured and shared, and I think the finished book of 12 self-guided tours achieves that beautifully.
Researching these spectacular paths (and the tea rooms and watering holes!)
The initial intention was to self-publish and share with guests at my four self-catering cottages in Minehead and Dunster. Therefore, during the Autumn and Winter of 2019, a friend and I walked the intended routes most weekends. In addition, we checked the directions, sussed out logistics and sampled local tea rooms and pubs – purely for research purposes of course! If I already thought I loved Exmoor, I fell totally under its spell during this time. For instance, during the research phase I uncovered information on ancient and modern history, geography, geology and nature. The day trips revealed windswept coastline, lush fields, picturesque villages and mossy woods.
Above all, for me this book really is a love story.
A walk for every month of the year
These curated outings make for perfect walking holidays UK-style. They are organised as one per month, printed as a leaflet in our folder. Thus, walkers can take one or two with them on day trips. In addition, we have given you the following, for instance:
- level of difficulty
- details on parking
Unlike some of the maps we relied on, they’re laminated to protect them from the Exmoor weather – something we encountered on the Horner Wood walk where we got lashed by torrential rain and spattered in mud. However, drying off in front of a roaring fire at the nearby tearoom is a cherished memory.
Dog walking holidays
What’s a holiday without your loyal pooch? Exmoor Character Cottages warmly welcomes our four-pawed guests (please let us know when you make your booking). Our advice will help you create memorable dog walking holidays here in Exmoor.
Solo walking holidays
The great thing about many of these meanders is they make for perfect solo walking holidays. Of course, you should always ensure someone knows where you are going when, but Exmoor National Park makes for a particularly impressive companion. Alone in your own company can often lead to some of the most rewarding, memorable walks, don’t you think?
Walking holidays for beginners
Please don’t think this is a book for elite-level hikers! There is something here for everyone, so those contemplating walking holidays for beginners will feel very comfortable with this selection. Equally, however, there are some heart-starting challenging walks that should keep those more advanced walkers feel very rewarded!
Our top 12 self-guided walking holidays
We believe these 12 walks offer some of the best self-guided walking holidays the UK has to offer. We hope you’ll get to experience one or two of them. Moreover, we similarly hope that some of the magic of Exmoor, encapsulated in Julia’s wonderful photographs, will conjure up happy, treasured memories for you too.
- January – Dunkery Beacon – the highest point on Exmoor
- February – A spring spectacle in Snowdrop Valley (closed in 2021)
- March – Romance and drama in Lorna Doone Country
- April – The awe-inspiring Valley of Rocks
- May – A sub-tropical experience in Dunster Castle’s gardens
- June – Walking in the footsteps of poets in Porlock Weir
- July – Panoramic views from the South West Coast Path
- August – Coastal panoramas at Bossington
- September – Picture perfect thatched cottages in Selworthy Green
- October – Ancient oaks and lime green lichen in Horner Woods
- November – 4000-year old ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps
- December – Christmas spirit in the medieval village of Dunster
Follow us on Facebook to see Julia’s photographs.
Order your copy of The Little Book of Walks from our friends at Not Two Deer in Dunster village and plan your walking holidays UK-style, starting here in spectacular Exmoor.