Aspects of Exmoor

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We would suggest that these notes are read in conjunction with
the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 9 Exmoor 1:25000 map.

Walk P3: Selworthy-Selworthy Cross-
Selworthy Beacon-Lady Acland's Hut

Selworthy Beacon

Notes: A walk mixing woodland with open moor and passing two pieces of Acland memorabilia. Selworthy is a National Trust village, part of the Holnicote Estate. Worth seeing is the church roof and the village green. The walk is usually fairly dry, except for a patch near Lady Acland's Hut which can be quite muddy after wet weather.

Distance: 3½ miles.

Time: 1½ -i¾ miles.

Start point: Selworthy. This village is about 4½ miles west of Minehead and just north of the main A39. Parking on Mondays-Saturdays is allowed in the church car park (GR 921467). There is also a National Trust parking area about 100 yards beyond the church. Bus services 39 (Minehead-Porlock Weir) and 300 (Minehead-Lynmouth) pass Buddle Hill at the foot of the lane leading to the village. The green is about 10 minutes walk from this corner.

Directions: Walk back past the church and, at the end of the church wall, turn right through a gate onto a rough bridleway. After 30 yards, turn down a narrower track to a wooden footbridge across the stream continuing straight ahead through another gate. There are several narrow tracks in this area but keep straight ahead. Your track climbs a very short, steep section before widening out. It continues to rise gently until it reaches a wide track on the right signposted for Bury Castle and then levels off.

Keep along this track for the next 20 minutes or so. At intervals, you are joined by two tracks coming up from the left, then cross Holnicote Combe, pass the top of a T-junction before reaching a substantial wooden shelter with seats. 50 yards beyond this, at a crossing turn right. This bridleway (Sleigh Path) climbs quite steeply and after 5-6 minutes watch for a tree on the right-hand side of the track which leans back very noticeably and has its root structure partly exposed. Just beyond this tree, a narrow track crosses the main bridleway. Turn right onto this track and follow it up for about 350 yards to reach Selworthy Cross.

The Cross is a wooden structure about 25 feet high mounted on a stone block on which are inscribed Latin words from one of the Psalms, now sadly rather illegible. A new wooden board has been erected here with the transcription of the Latin inscription on it. Turn left up the track behind the cross and follow it for 100 yards to a gate leading you out onto the open moor. Continue along the green track immediately in front of you until you reach the parking area at the end of the scenic road from Minehead.

Walk through the parking area and take the level path swinging off to the left by the barrier which skirts the top of Lynch Combe. After a 5-6 minute walk, you reach a T-junction with the South-West Coast Path. Turn right and follow this path. After passing a track on the left, it runs alongside a large field at the end of which, the Coast Path bears left. Your track continues straight on, heading for Selworthy Beacon, the high point visible just ahead of you. When you reach the OS trig point column, stop to enjoy the view - best from the top of the cairn.

Continue on in the same direction and begin to descend gently towards the road. Stay with the right hand fork to bring you onto the road. Follow it round a long curve and watch for a track angling off to the right, signposted for Dunster and Selworthy. Follow this path and at a T-junction, turn right and then, after a further 100 yards, turn right again at a crossing. This is the top of Selworthy Combe. Notice lower down the hill what appears to be a small cottage; this is Lady Acland's Hut, our next landmark. Head down the combe, and when the stony track swings to the left near the bottom, continue straight on along a grassy track which can be muddy after rain. At a fork in the track, take the right fork and climb the short hill to the hut. There is a small information board inside the building telling you a little of its history.

Walk on round the hut and stay on the level track as it skirts the top of a small combe and becomes a pleasant woodland path. Cross a wooden footbridge spanning a dry stream bed and follow the track round to the left. This continues parallel to the stream bed for 150 yards before dropping down to join a wide bridleway (Folly Combe). Turn left and follow the combe down. After 400 yards, it joins Selworthy Combe at a T-junction with a wooden barrier. Bear right and continue down this track until you reach the gate by the church and return to the car park.

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Information © Geoff Bannister 2004-2008