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 M1: North Hill-Jim's Path

Bold letters in brackets, for example (A), refer to check points on the shorter walks mentioned at the end.

Notes: A walk at the Minehead end of the hill, covering woodland and open moor. Some steeper paths, mainly downhill. There are two short cuts included.

Distance: 3½ mile. Shorter routes: 2¾ and 2¼ miles.

Time: 1½ -1¾ hours (shorter routes 1¼ -1½ and 1-1¼ hours).

Start point: Near the North Hill campsite. Take the North Hill road out of Minehead centre. After crossing the cattle grid about ½ mile after passing St.Michael's church, the road begins to curve slightly right after about 150 yards. Watch for a circular gravel area in the gorse on the left hand side and park here.

Directions: Walk up the hill along the rough track at the rear of the parking area, go straight ahead over a crossing after 60 yards. After 4-5 minutes walking, turn on to a wide track on the right, cross straight over the road to a farm track directly opposite. Follow this until it reaches a cattle grid and take the narrow track immediately to the left of the cattle grid, which parallels the farm track. Continue past a kissing gate on the right linking you to the track. The path then begins to swing slightly left away into the trees and when you reach another crossing, continue straight ahead to meet a T-junction after a further 50 yards. Turn right to follow this main track; it heads slightly downhill and leftwards reaching a gate after 6-7 minutes.

Go through and immediately turn left down a fairly steep track which after 3-4 minutes will bring you down onto the South West Coast Path. Turn through the gate and continue along this path, initially in woods. After 10-15 minutes, the trees begin to thin and you come out onto the open moor with fine views across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coast. At the next crossing, at the top of Burgundy Combe, turn left and follow the path which brings you to a parking area after a short climb.(A) Turn first right, following the Coast Path waymark.

Continue along the track until you reach a right fork signposted as the Rugged Coast Path.(B) Take this fork as it drops down from the main path and, just after passing a seat, stay with the right fork at the junction. The route drops down a path where walkers' feet have worn flat steps. At the bottom follow the path as it swings to the left to parallel the coast. After a further dip, it climbs to reach a seat at the corner of a fence. Follow the track as it turns to follow the fence line up the hill, passing a stile. Keep following the edge of the field on your right; when it reaches a crossing with the Coast Path again, go straight across and remain with this path until you reach the side of the scenic road by a cattle grid.

Turn left and follow the track alongside the road until you reach a wide crossing, which is a former parking area. (C) Turn right and walk through this area and out onto the scenic road. Turn left and follow the road. After a few minutes, you will see a parking area ahead. About 100 yards before you reach this, turn right onto a track signposted for Woodcombe. (D) The track starts level but very soon begins to descend the combe and follows a narrow line of rowan trees on its right. After passing a track on the right, the wooded area gets denser and after 150 yards, turn left up a wide, steep track and then after 40 yards turn right onto a narrow level track. This is Jim's Path.

Follow this track along the side of Woodcombe. As you reach the outer end, you can see the hamlet of Woodcombe, which is now really part of Minehead, below you and as the path swings round the hill, a panoramic view of Minehead and the hills on the south side of the town opens out. Remain with the contour path and you reach a small water company building surrounded by a wire fence. At the end of the compound, go straight ahead over the crossing. 50 yards further on, turn right an follow this track for 70 yards to the parking area.

Short version 1: When you reach the car park at the head of Burgundy Combe - point (A) on the notes - go straight across the car park to the road, bear right and follow the road for about 100 yards until you reach a signposted path on the left. This is point (D) on the itinerary.

Short version 2: When you reach the junction at (B), keep to the left fork following the main Coast Path. After 250 yards, turn onto a wide track on your left and continue along this until you reach a wide crossing of tracks after 3-4 minutes. This is point (C) in the notes. Continue straight over to pick up the track in the main description.

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Information © Geoff Bannister 2004-2008