The best destinations are often the ones that hide in the shadows of noisy neighbours…

Valley of Rocks and Dunkery Hill
An alternative to: Dartmoor
Exmoor must be jealous. Its more southerly neighbour Dartmoor is getting all the attention. With Steven Spielberg claiming it is the most beautiful place he has ever filmed (for War Horse) and the consequent plenitude of Sunday supplement articles, it looks like Dartmoor will never be so popular. We suggest heading to its overlooked fellow moor to the north, and the Exmoor National Park. It is 267 square miles of moorland, mires, farmland, woodland and valleys, criss-crossed with more than 600 miles of coastal walks, peak-linking paths and half a dozen long-distance trails, including a dramatic part of the South West Coast Path. The highest point is Dunkery Hill at 519m/1702ft. There are also opportunities for mountain biking, climbing along the coastal cliff and Valley of Rocks, horse riding and canoeing. Regular walkers in the area will attest to the wildness of the landscape and weather.
Hubs: Lynmouth, Dunster and Minehead
Tourist information: National Park centres in Lynmouth, Dunster
and Dulverton, 01598 752509
Map: Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer sheet OL9 (Exmoor)
Image from Exmoor National Park Authority