Porlock Weir and Culbone

Before I left home I mentioned to a friend that I was heading to Minehead to do some walking on Exmoor and she asked if I had ever walked to Culbone church from Porlock Weir.  Despite my many visits to this area I confessed to never having visited Culbone so today I plan to rectify that.

The starting point for my walk is the National Trust car park in Bossington (TA24 8HF) (Grid Ref: SS898479).  From the car park I rejoin the road and turn right and then at a junction continue on a right fork to head along a dead end lane that passes Bossington Farm.

I stay with the tarmac lane until it becomes a track and then continue towards the coast, ignoring two footpaths leading off to the left.

On reaching the pebble beach I take a moment to look to the right at Bossington Hill.  A few days ago I had a cracking walk up there and it has been added to my list of places to walk again on a return visit.

My route now follows the path along the coastline heading towards Porlock Weir and I soon reach a World War II pillbox.

Soon after the pillbox I arrive at a cracking old disused lime kiln.  This is the last remaining one of four kilns on this beach and is thought to have been built in the early 1800’s.

The path now goes through a gate to enter an area of marshy pasture and then at a junction of paths I turn left and follow a raised walkway heading inland.

As I head across the walkway there are stunning views in both directions.

At a junction of paths I turn right and follow the route of the South West Coast Path heading to Porlock Weir.  I soon reach a memorial to the crew of an American Liberator bomber that set off on 29th October 1942 from Holmsely airfield in the New Forest as part of an anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay.  On its return flight it encountered bad weather and  clipped Bossington Hill.  The plane crashed on the marshland and eleven of the twelve man crew lost their lives.

I continue on the path through an area of ancient woodland on the marshes which form part of a submerged forest.

I stay with the coastal path way markers and soon follow a shingle bank as I near Porlock Weir.

As the path reaches a road I turn right and wander into Porlock Weir passing the Ship Inn to reach the harbour.  

It is the first time I have been here and I am sure by normal standards it is quiet, but after months of avoiding people there are more folk around than I am comfortable with so I decide not to hang around and continue on the route of the coast path.  This passes a converted barn housing shops and food outlets and then at a junction of paths goes right up some steps before heading along the edge of a field.

The path reaches a minor road where I turn right and continue down to the gates of the private toll road at Worthy.  This toll road on the Porlock Manor Estate was built in the 1840’s to provide work for local people following the Napoleonic Wars.  Originally the tolls were collected at the Ship Inn in Porlock Weir, but these days they are collected at the gates.

My route continues on the coastal path through the arch to the right of the main gate and then goes steadily uphill passing through tunnels.

The South West Coast Path now goes up through Yearnor Wood. There are warning signs to follow a diversion as the cliff has eroded and the original path is no longer considered safe.  This is an attractive path through woodland.

As I near Culbone the path descends to reach a cottage by the church.  I go through a gate into the churchyard to visit the church of St Beuno.  This is said to be the smallest church in England and seats just 30 people.  

It is a cracking little church dating back to pre-Norman times, the porch was added in the 13th century.  It is surprising that on this pleasant afternoon at the end of October I am the only person here.

I leave the churchyard by a gate that leads to a footpath besides a stream and turn right following the way-marker to Silcombe Farm.

This path goes besides a cottage and then continues up through Withy Combe on a clear way-marked path.

After going through a gate I continue along a track besides a field of pasture to reach another gate and then join a minor road near Silcombe Farm.

I turn left along this lane, Yearnor Mill Lane, and pass a series of entrances to farms, Parsonage Farm, Ash Farm and Yarner Farm.  Along the way there are stunning views of the coastline.

I ignore a road to the right to Lynmouth and stay with Yearnor Mill Lane to a junction with Pitt Lane, then turn left going steadily downhill to reach the entrance to the Worthy Hill Toll Road.   The toll road is not accessible to walkers so I take a footpath on the right signed to Porlock.

Since joining Yearner Mill Lane I have been on the route of the Coleridge Way. This is a 51-mile walk from Nether Stowey on the east side of the Quantock Hills to Lynmouth and is said to follow a route through the countryside that inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s writing.  The section I am on leads through the trees of Worthy Wood.

Where the Coleridge Way veers off to the left I stay on the main track at the southern edge of the woods.  Then at a fork in the path I go left and continue downhill to a junction of tracks and turn left.  At the next junction of tracks I turn right and rejoin the Coleridge Way and follow the track to the Community Hall at  Porlockford.

At the Community Hall I turn right up a track and then cross a stream, still following the route of the Coleridge Way I stay with the way-markers through an area of woodland with occasional glimpses of the coastline.

The path leads into Porlock where I turn left and wander through the village to pass the church of St Dubricius with its interesting spire which appears to have had the top cut off.

From the church I continue along the High Street and then take a left turn into Sparkhayes Lane and follow this out of the village towards the coast. At a junction of paths I turn right to join the route of the South West Coast Path and follow this back to my starting point in Bossington.  It has been a cracking 12 mile walk and by the time I get back to the car it is dusk.  I am heading home tomorrow so need to get back to the caravan to start packing up for an early start.

You can view this 12 mile walk on OS Maps and download the GPX File Here

To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map OS9 Exmoor

31st October 2020

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2020)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.

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