Porlock Village Guide
...a delightful village set in a hollow below Exmoor National Park
Situated at the bottom of the notoriously steep Porlock Hill, Porlock is an ancient village still boasting a lot of quaint old shops and cottages. There is also a visitor centre to learn more about the villages history and the surrounding area.
Porlock is referred to in the Domesday book as ‘Portloc’. In 918 the village was attacked by Danish pirates but they were eventually repelled. The last Saxon king, Harold, landed here from Ireland in 1052 on his way to London and burned the village before continuing his journey. There are still traces of what is thought to be Harolds’ camp in the vicinity.
Porlock grew to be a busy market town but now survives as a quiet village and still retains much of the old buildings including a 13thcentury church of St Dubricious, inside of which is the ornate 15thcentury tomb of Sir John Harrington who fought with Henry V in France.
Porlock is a lovely village situated on the edge of the Exmoor National Parkand only 5 miles from the town of Minehead. It was voted Somersets best large village in 2003. Once the seat of West Saxon Kings and a busy market town it is now a quiet village in which to relax and soak up the atmosphere of days gone by. Close by Porlock Weir was a busy port as a result of its natural formation although it is now a quiet retreat for small boats and yachts.
Porlock Bay sits where the cliffs flatten out into a mile long shingle ridge. An inland salt marsh exists with a tidal lagoon following the breach of the ridge during high tides and high winds back in 1996. This has become an excellent spot for birdwatching with a great variety of birds stopping here or just passing by.
Porlock Hill is a steep climb up onto Exmoor where the famous ponies and the occasional red deer can be spotted roaming wild. It is a challenge not to be missed by car or on foot although an alternative route is available for those looking for a more gentler approach.
Things to see and do
Birdwatching: Webbers Post and Horner Woods offer a vast array of delights for the bird watcher from the Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and Tree Pipit to 3 species of woodpecker and Redpoll, Siskin and Crossbill. There are also many others so it is well worth a visit.
Horse Riding and Pony Trekking:
Burrowhayes Farm, West Luccombe, Porlock, Minehead, TA24 8HT 01643 862463
Open Easter to October (not Saturdays) - Novice to experienced
Horner Farm Riding Stables, Horner, Porlock, Minehead, TA24 8HY 01643 862456
Open Easter to end of October - For all abilities
Holnicote Point to Point: Both the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, and Minehead Harriers and West Somerset hold point to point events here during May. Visit the point to point page for further details.
Country Walks: See the WestSomerset walkspage for further details suggestions.
Cycling: Pedal around Porlock, Visitors Centre, The Old School, West End, High Street, Porlock,
Somerset, TA24 8QD
Pedal around Porlock is a circular route in the Vale of Porlock along quiet leafy lanes through picturesque villages with stunning varied landscape and fantastic views across the moors, woodlands and coast. For further details please contact: Porlock Visitor Centre 01643 863150
Porlock Horse Show: a family day out held in July. More details from the Porlock visitor centre 01643 863150.
Porlock Weir marine aquariums: Porlock Weir, Somerset, TA24 8PB
Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre: West Lynch Farm, Allerford, Porlock, Somerset, TA24 8HJ
Gardens: Greencombe Gardens, Porlock, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5RS
An enchanted woodland garden overlooking Porlock Bay. The garden was started in 1946 and changing with the seasons is always full of wonders. Open every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday April 3rd to July 31st, 2 - 5pm.
Safaris: Discovery Safaris, Antlers, The High Street, Porlock, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 8PS
Based in Porlock, Discovery Safaris can take you on an adventure to discover Exmoor's wildlife, archaeology, farming, churches and historic buildings in a specially adapted Landrover 110 Safari vehicle which even has air-conditioning. Mixed itineraries or special interest trips provided. 5 star Tourist Attraction Award. Private Hire car also available.
Further details please contact: Mr R Growden 01643 863444
Local places of interest
The route up over Porlock Hill brings you into Lorna Doone country. Lorna Doone is a 17thCentury novel written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore and based in the Badgworthy Water region of Exmoor. It is a tale of romance, of bandits and of revenge. Lorna herself is said to have been shot in Oare church and Robbers Bridge is believed to have been the site of a Doone robbery. There are various areas reputed to be used in the novel and many local walks will take the interested through some lovely scenery where you can imagine the literary events unfolding.
Just along the coast to the west is Culbone which lays claim to the smallest church in England. The South West Coast path passes along close to Porlock and Culbone on its way into Devon.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015