The Exmoor Landscape

Prayway Head

Exmoor is a unique place shaped by people and nature over thousands of years and is recognized as one of the UK's finest landscapes.  Large areas of open moorland provide a sense of remoteness and tranquillity rare in southern Britain. Spectacular coastal views, deep wooded valleys, high sea cliffs and fast flowing streams all combine to form a rich and distinct mosaic.

It is a landscape that has inspired poets writers and artists for hundreds of years and continues to inspire people today.

The unique character and diversity of Exmoor’s landscape is described in the Exmoor Landscape Character Assessment.  Published in 2007, the document identifies nine distinct Landscape Character Types, within which are 26 Landscape Character Areas.  Key characteristics of each type are set out in the document, along with more detailed descriptions of the Character Areas. An update of the Exmoor Landscape Character Assessment has been carried out and is in the process of being adopted as a supplementary planning document - a copy of the updated Landscape Character Assessment has been prepared and made available for  public inspection during normal office hours at our main office: Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset TA22 9AN, and at North Devon Council offices, Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple EX31 1DG and West Somerset District Council offices, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton TA4 4QA.

Have a look just at some of the art inspired by Exmoor on this Pinterest board or enjoy just enjoy a selection of our favourite landscape views in the gallery below.

Exmoor Seascape

Exmoor Seascape

Exmoor National Park has a beautiful and dramatic coastline, stretching from Minehead in the East to Combe Martin in the West. This spectacular coast, with the highest sea cliffs in England, was one of the reasons why in 1954, Exmoor was designated a National Park.

In December 2015 the North Devon and Exmoor Seascape Character Assessment was published.  (download here from North Devon DC website - large file 57MB opens in new window)

Seascape is defined by Natural England in the terms of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) as: 

An area of sea, coastline and land, as perceived by people, whose character results from the actions and interactions of land with sea, by natural and/or human factors

The report was commissioned by a partnership of the National Trust, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Exmoor National Park Authority, North Devon Council, Torridge District Council and Natural England.  It was prepared by Land Use Consultants.  It covers the North Devon and Exmoor coasts from Marsland Mouth on the Cornish border to the boundary of Exmoor National Park near Minehead, including the Taw/Torridge Estuary and its fringes. It extends offshore to the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, including Lundy and its surrounding waters at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean

The report describes the many, valued natural, cultural and perceptual aspects of both land and sea.

It should help provide the evidence to support a number of important planning, management and policy activities by the project partners and others. It should also assist developers and planners in making informed decisions about offshore developments, including renewables.

Download the Seascape Report here from North Devon DC website

Here are some upcoming events where you can expect to see great views of Exmoor. Or you can browse all events here


Exmoor Running and Walking Festival

Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning
20th Jun 2020 6:00am - 21st Jun 2020 6:00pm
We've combined two of our fantastic events to create the Exmoor Running and Walk...
Read more

Man vs Moor

Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning
21st Jun 2020 8:30am-4:30pm

Mystery walk on Exmoor

Phone/email for details, within Exmoor National Park
1st Jul 2020 10:30am-12:30pm

Hawkcombe Butterfly Walk

Car-park on south of A39, 400m west of cattle grid at top of Porlock Hill. SS 861 460
1st Jul 2020 1:00pm-3:00pm

Lynmouth Boat Trip

Lynmouth Harbour
2nd Jul 2020 3:30pm-5:00pm

Discover Porlock Marsh

Meet outside Porlock Visitor Centre
3rd Jul 2020 10:30am-12:30pm