Walking festival covers the best of Exmoor

THE North Devon and Exmoor Autumn Walking Festival from October 1-4, will feature 32 guided walks including several foodie outings linking with the Exmoor Food Festival, which takes place from October 2-10r. Planned to suit a range of abilities, the wal

THE North Devon and Exmoor Autumn Walking Festival from October 1-4, will feature 32 guided walks including several foodie outings linking with the Exmoor Food Festival, which takes place from October 2-10r.

Planned to suit a range of abilities, the walks will vary from 10-mile, full day hikes to more gentle strolls of around four miles. Guides will include local enthusiasts, landowners, wardens and rangers from Exmoor National Park and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

Events linking with the Exmoor Food Festival include a circular, 7.4-mile moorland walk on Friday, October 1, which then drops down to the River Barle for lunch at Tarr Farm beside the famous Tarr Steps clapper bridge.

A more strenuous walk over Selworthy Beacon on Monday, 4October 4 stops at Hindon Organic Farm for a delicious Exmoor Brunch and a chance to sample the farm's own award-winning sausages, bacon and Aberdeen Angus beef.


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Other foodie outings include a coast walk with a break at Hunters Inn for a ploughman's lunch with local Exmoor cheese or home-made game p�t�, and a more challenging hike to some of Exmoor's highest points with lunch at Exmoor House. Two further walks finish with delicious cream teas at Brendon House in the East Lyn valley and the Fox & Goose at Parracombe.

The walking festival also coincides with the West Somerset Railway autumn steam gala; enthusiasts can take a ride on the impressive railway from Dunster to Washford and then walk back to the start point.

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The North Devon walks include several within the North Devon AONB, which covers the beautiful coastal strip, plus additional scenic inland outings. For the first time on Saturday, October 2, a warden from the Quantocks AONB is also giving a 7.6-mile, guided linear walk along the Ridgeway giving excellent views across to Exmoor and over the Bristol Channel to Wales. It finishes in the attractive Quantock village of Holford with minibus transfer back to the start.

Prices range from �5 per person up to �16 (to include a two-course lunch); dogs on a lead welcome on most walks.

For further details visit the North Devon & Exmoor Walking Festival website at www.exmoorwalkingfestival.co.uk, while to discover more about the Exmoor Food Festival go to www.exmoorfoodfestival.co.uk. Information about accommodation, attractions, activities and other events can be found in the Exmoor and West Somerset visitor guide; for a free copy call 01643 702 624 or see www.visit-exmoor.co.uk.

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