We would suggest that these notes are read in conjunction with
the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 9 Exmoor 1:25000 map.
Notes: This walk follows the line of the hills from Selworthy to Hurlstone Point using two approximately parallel paths overlooking the Vale of Porlock. In addition to the short cuts described, most of the main combes will link the two paths together. It is also possible to start the walk from Bossington and follow the route round from there. Details are at the end of the main notes.
Distance: 4½ miles and 3¼ miles.
Time: 2-2¼ hours (short version 1¼-1½hours).
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 SS921467). 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.
Alternative: Bossington, which lies about 1 mile north of Minehead. Bossington Lane leaves the A39 at the top of the hill at the east end of the village. Continue straight ahead along the Lane and, just after passing the Methodist Chapel, bear left at Bossington Green continuing through the village to the car park (GR SS898480). Bus services 39 and 300 (Barnstaple-Taunton) pass the top end of Bossington Lane.
Directions: Walk back past the church and, at the end of the wall, turn right through a gate onto a rough bridleway. After 30 yards, turn down a track to a wooden footbridge and through another gate. There are several narrow tracks in this area but keep straight ahead. Your track climbs a short, steep section before widening out. It continues to rise gently and then levels off as it reaches a wide track on the right signposted for Bury Castle.
Continue straight ahead 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 and soon after reach a large shelter built of logs. Continue past straight over the crossing with Sleigh Path 50 yards further on. At two points in the next few minutes, the path widens slightly and becomes grassy. After the second section, the track is very straight until it starts to curve to the right after about 300 yards. Watch for a narrow path coming down the hill out of the trees on the right and a few yards further on take another narrow path turning downhill on the left near a tree stump cut down to a few inches off the ground; follow it down to a junction of paths by a small gate.
Go through the gate and turn left down Lynch Combe. After 250 yards, at a track crossing, (A) turn right through a gate passing a "No Riding" sign and continue along this level track through the woods for 10 minutes until you reach the top of a path signposted Bossington; continue straight ahead out onto the open hillside with a fine view of Porlock Bay to your left. You pass a seat on the corner of the hill as the path swings to parallel the coast below you. In the distance you will see the battlements of the abandoned Coastguard lookout at Hurlstone Point. The path gradually descends to cross the Coast Path at the foot of Hurlstone Combe and then climbs again finishing with a set of rock steps bringing you onto a stone platform at the lookout.
Return down the steps and after 100 yards, take a right fork. This path initially runs near the edge of the cliff joining the Coast Path by a seat at the foot of the combe. Follow the path downhill, through a gate into the woods. The path follows the edge of the fields then swings to follow the left bank of Horner Water as far as the footbridge into the car park at Bossington. Do not cross the bridge but bear left (B) and after 20 yards, go through the kissing gate on the right signposted Selworthy. The path runs along the side of the hill above the junction of Horner Water and Aller Water and then turns up some rough steps through a gate into a field. Go straight up the side of the field and after 30 yards turn right through a gate into a second field. Continue straight ahead along the top of a slight bank to another gate which leads you into the woods at the foot of Lynch Combe and crosses a small stream. (C)
Continue straight ahead at the track junctions going through a wooden barrier; the track follows a fence on the right behind Lynch House and over a crossing before climbing to Agnes Fountain, a point where six paths meet and there is a sturdy wooden seat. This is one of the best viewpoints along this route. Continue on, taking the extreme left-hand path signposted for Selworthy which climbs fairly steeply away from the seat for 150 yards before levelling off. The track continues through the woods, passing the bottom of Sleigh Path, then over two more crossings.
After the second, the track begins to run alongside fields remaining just inside the edge of the woods. At the next crossing, turn downhill on a wider track which then curves to the left. Take the second path on the right signed for Selworthy Green which drops steeply down through a gate onto the Green. Turn left and follow the tarmac path round past the National Trust shop up to the gate out onto the road by the church.
Short variation. At point (A), continue straight down the combe for about 150 yards and go through a five-barred gate. Continue for 25 yards to a gate on your right. This is point (C). Bear left and over the small stream and pick up the main notes.
Starting from Bossington: From the car park, cross the wooden bridge at the back of the cark park and go straight ahead. This is point (B) on the main walk. Follow the main walk into Selworthy and when you come out of the gate at the top of the Green, turn left through the bridleway gate and start the notes from the beginning.
There is also a tea room in Bossington almost opposite the car park entrance and just a short way off the main walk.