Walks in the Quantock Hills

Walks in the Quantock Hills

When it comes to idyllic places to roam and shake off the everyday, there are few places more arresting than the heather-topped Quantock Hills, which promise golden mornings and sun-soaked days amidst coast, combe, and heath.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Quantock Hills offer many alluring scenes to choose from. Get lost between the crooked branches of the wooded combes and soak up the coastal wiles that combine the heady scents of lavender-flecked brush with the salty tang of the sea. Truly, this peaceful landscape is an endless treasure trove of spectacular backdrops for your wander, whether you want a short stroll to fill an afternoon or a proper romp to whet the appetite. Here are just some of our favourite walks in the Quantock Hills to tempt you into a pair of well-loved walking boots during your enchanting stay in Somerset.

Will’s Neck

The highest point in the Quantock Hills, Will’s Neck rewards walkers with incredible 360-degree views, reaching all the way to the towering heights of Dunkery Beacon on Exmoor, the Mendips, and Blackdown Hills on a beautiful clear day. This rich assortment of views ensures you don’t have to walk very far to see some of the greatest sights Somerset has to offer. There is a lovely 5-mile circular route you can follow, starting at Lydeard Hill, which takes you past the fascinating Triscombe Stone that’s said to grant a wish to any who sit upon it. You’ll also pass the welcoming glow of The Rising Sun Inn, a dreamy country pub where traditional food and a soul-warming interior beckons.

Ramscombe Forest

Best enjoyed in autumn when the ancient and bronze-tipped oaks stand side by side with the towering and evergreen Douglas firs, Ramscombe Forest is a magical spot to stretch your legs and inhale deeply the intoxicating scent of pine. The delicately shaded paths here are great for families, with grassy glades promising blissful picnics and shallow streams offering curious feet and paws a place to splash and play. During your wooded wander, you might even glimpse some of the red deer or near-mythical nightjars that call this lush haven home. There’s a 2.5-mile circular route around the heart of this enchanted woodland, as well as lots of winding trails to explore so your walk can be as short or as lofty as you wish.

Quantocks Hills Coast

Set at the foot of the Quantocks Hills, the coastal stretch of the Quantocks Hills marries Jurassic treasures with striking rock formations that lead you into a whole new world. There are some leisurely, signposted circular routes you can follow, such as the easy-going four-mile circular between East Quantoxhead and Kilve, or you can simply amble along the coast and see where your feet take you. If you would like to go looking for some particularly spectacular spots, St Audries Bay with its magical cascading waterfalls is always a captivating pause during your walk. Or, further down the dramatic coastline you’ll find Kilve beach, a hidden gem of the most sensational kind thanks to waves of yellow, brown, and blue lias, which hide countless prehistoric secrets.

Cothelstone Hill

Known for the group of beech trees that gracefully stand upon its brow, Cothelstone Hill boasts an iconic view, regardless of which direction you face. The trees are fondly known as the Seven Sisters and stand guard over three ancient, bronze-age burial mounds, as well as the scant remains of a folly tower. When you reach the lofty summit of the hill after a simple one-mile walk from the car park, you are likely to be met by a peaceful herd of grazing Exmoor ponies, the likes of which have been keeping this reaching landscape neat and tidy for thousands of years. Cothelstone Hill makes for a stunning destination throughout the year, with summer providing rich backgrounds, spring bringing carpets of bluebells, and autumn and winter blending russet hues with purple skies for a wash of other-worldly colour and beauty.

Holford Combe

In the 1790s, two Romantic poets spent a year walking the many winding trails around the Quantock Hills, marvelling at the ever-changing, yet quietly withstanding landscapes that surrounded them. Today, you can walk in the unhurried footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth as you too discover the undemanding beauty of the Quantocks. A 7-mile circular route leads you through a rural kaleidoscope of different scenes, from peaceful thatched cottages and babbling brooks to wild heathland and woods that add a stunning touch of drama (quite literally, as Holford Combe was the setting for Sherwood Forest in Prince of Thieves and the music video for Bryan Adams’ accompanying smash hit song). You’ll also get the chance to walk part of the Coleridge Way, 51 miles of breathtaking English countryside that stretches from the Quantock Hills to Exmoor National Park.

Beacon Hill

With peace, quiet and heather-topped views that wrap around you like a blanket, Beacon Hill is another giddy locale to escape to in the Quantock Hills. A short one-hour loop takes you up and across a magical stretch of heathland, which culminates in staggering views at the top. From the lazy patchwork of field and copse to the gently gleaming swathe of sea, there’s always a captivating backdrop to draw the eye or fill up the camera roll throughout this spectacular saunter. Finish your circuit off with a roaring fire and heart-warming meal at The Plough Inn – it’s the perfect way to truly soak up the charms of the countryside.

Dunster Castle

Tucked away amidst a rustling woodland and boasting dizzying views out over the Quantocks, Dunster Castle beckons to all who want a tranquil stroll through history. The ancient castle, country home, and working Victorian watermill provide a fascinating tour, while the terraced Mediterranean garden welcomes you into a sub-tropical paradise right in the heart of Somerset. The Grade II listed parkland continues your route further, taking you down to a peacefully winding river that’s frequented by salmon, kingfishers, and even an otter or two. A particularly beautiful 4-mile circular route takes you from Dunster over stone bridges and along past the towering castle. Stop by the Watermill Tearoom for a decadent piece of cake or the 17th-century stables for a spot of indulgent retail therapy.

Fyne Court

With bird song and dappled sunlight adding a touch of magic to your visit, explore the charming walled garden at Fyne Court, an idyllic place to stretch your legs with the dog in tow. One of the Quantocks’ many hidden gems, this Georgian mansion can’t help but charm you with its Arcadian landscape and easy access to the moss-covered woodland and heathland beyond. It’s an idyllic place to explore if you love getting lost in nature, with only the birds and squirrels for quiet company. There’s also a second-hand bookshop and café, so you can utterly escape reality through the pages of a much-loved book over a piping hot coffee – sheer bliss.


Feeling inspired? Explore our luxury cottages in Somerset and start planning your blissful stay amidst the Quantock Hills.

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