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The Magnificent Seven Trails

The opportunities for long distance walking in Somerset & Exmoor simply couldn’t be better. Whether it's dramatic coastal cliffs, ancient woodlands, rolling hills, rivers and canals, open heather moorland or wetland habitats, the variety of terrain is astonishing.

Somerset, which incorporates two thirds of Exmoor National Park, has more public rights of way than almost any other county in the UK. In fact, if you joined them all up they would stretch about 3800 miles – from here to North Carolina.

No doubt because of the County’s respect for people’s right to walk on public paths and to share our fabulous countryside, Somerset has more destinations that specialise in accommodating walkers than anywhere else in the South West. These can be found on our Walkers Are Welcome page.

For those who relish a challenge there is a wealth of tempting trails. The Long Distance Walkers Association actually lists 38 trails that either start, finish or pass through Somerset and Exmoor. Here are our magnificent seven trails:

1. The Coleridge Way

51 miles from Nether Stowey to Lynton
Follow in the footsteps one of the most famous Romantic Poets from the late eighteenth century, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. During his time in the area he wrote his best works, including Kubla Khan and Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and was a renowned walker.

2. The England Coast Path

58 miles from Brean Down to Minehead
Opened in 2016, the route is the latest section of the England Coast Path National Trail. A relatively easy-going route that is well signposted, which offers stunning coastal scenery, great wildlife watching opportunities and a chance to explore the area’s fascinating Jurassic geology.

3. Quantock Greenway

38 miles circular walk
The Greenway route allows you to explore the very best of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It offers great views and passes through many small villages and hamlets with tea rooms, pubs and local shops.

4. The Mendip Way

50 miles from Weston-super-Mare to Frome
A variety of terrains and views await you on this route that begins with great views of the Bristol Channel and then heads inland over the Mendip plateau, part of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Along the way it takes in dramatic Cheddar Gorge and the historic City of Wells.

5. The River Parrett Trail

48 miles from Cheddington to Steart Point, nr Bridgwater
The route follows the River Parrett from its source at Cheddington (just over the border in Dorset), through mile after mile of tranquil Somerset Countryside all the way to Steart Marshes, the UK’s newest wetlands reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

6. South West Coast Path

630 miles (Minehead to Valley of Rocks nr Lynton 22miles)
Minehead is the start of the South West Coast Path, the country’s longest National Trail. The England Coast Path, starting at Brean Down, now links to the start of the Path, before it winds along the Exmoor coastline taking in some of the most dramatic and highest sea cliffs in England.

7. Macmillan Way West

102 miles from Castle Cary to Barnstaple
A route that traverses some truly unique landscapes from the rich wildlife habitats of the Somerset Levels and Moors to the stunning vistas of the Quantock Hills AONB and Exmoor National Park.

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