We would suggest that these notes are read in conjunction with
the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 9 Exmoor 1:25000 map.
Notes: Dunkery Beacon is the highest point in Somerset and is easily recognisable at a distance by the large cairn on the summit. Most of the tracks around Dunkery Hill are rough and stony but there are no hidden precipices or chasms on the heights of West Somerset. The view from the summit is not good although a few steps to the north will open up an excellent vista.
Distance: 3½ miles (short variation 2¾ miles).
Time: 1¾ hours or 1 hour 25 mins.
Start point: Webbers Post (GR 904440). Turn south off the A39 at Red Post which is about ½ mile on the Minehead side of Porlock, signposted for West Luccombe and Horner. Follow the road past Burrowhayes camp site and the cottages at Horner and about ¾ mile further on, at Chapel Cross, turn right uphill (signposted for Cloutsham and Dunkery Beacon). The road climbs steeply through a pleasant wooded section arriving at a fork at the brow of the hill. This is Webbers Post. Take the right fork and after 50 yards, turn onto a wide parking area on the right.
Directions: Walk through the car park, paralleling the road you have just left, passing a telegraph pole and then cross over the Cloutsham road onto a narrow opening opposite. This narrow path then crosses over a wide track and swings slightly right. At the next crossing, turn left towards the Dunkery Hill road along a short track which is blocked by large rocks to stop cars entering.
Turn right and walk up the road round the double bend. Just beyond the double bend, watch for a narrow track angling off to the right through the bracken and gorse. This begins to parallel the road and climbs steadily up the hill. It reamins fairly narrow and quite stony in places. On your right, you will get an increasingly wide view of the woodlands in the East Water and Horner Water valleys.
As you approach the top of the hill, you will meet with another narrow, level track. Turn right onto this track and follow it as it gradually follows the curve of the hill to the left and Dunkery Beacon comes back into sight. At the head of a narrow stream bed, you meet with another path climbing up from your right. (A) Continue straight on and this track brings you to the top of the Beacon, turning left on the last few yards of approach.
To return, retrace your steps to the path junction at (A). Fork left and follow the track down the right hand side of the stream bed. When you reach a crossing with a wide level path, turn right. Follow this track as it drops into woodland. The tracks on this section can be wet after rain. Cross a stream dropping down a steep, heavily wooded combe and the path moves back out into the open to cross the shoulder of the hill. At a clear fork in the track, take the left path and follow this. It will finally bring you to the point where you turned off to reach the road at the beginning of the walk. Continue down, swinging left to cross the rough track, continuing straight ahead along the narrow path to cross the Cloutsham road back to the car park.
Short variation. When you reach (A) on outward leg of the main walk, turn right down the stony track, missing out the walk to the summit and return.