Exmoor National Park
Most of the 267 mi² (693 km²) of Exmoor is open heath and moorland. The highest point on Exmoor is Dunkery Beacon, at 1704 ft (519 m), which is also the highest point in Somerset.
Flora and fauna
Some moors are covered by a variety of grasses and sedges while others are dominated by heather. Land is mainly used for livestock, but there are some areas that are cultivated, such as the Brendon Hills.
Sheep have grazed on the moors for more than 3000 years, and traditional breeds include Exmoor Horn, Cheviot and Whiteface Dartmoor and Greyface Dartmoor sheep. Devon red cattle are also farmed in the area.
Exmoor ponies can be seen roaming freely on the moors and are a race rather than a breed of pony. They are the closest breed remaining in Europe to wild horses. The ponies are rounded up once a year to be marked and checked over.
Red deer have a stronghold on the moor and can be seen on quiet hillsides in remote areas, particularly in the early morning.
The famous Beast of Exmoor is reputed to haunt the moor, with many sightings since the 1960s. It is possibly a cougar or black leopard released sometime in the 1960s or 1970s after a law was passed that made it illegal for them to be kept in captivity outside zoos. It has been blamed for killing many sheep over the years.
The moorland habitat is also home to hundreds of species of birds and insects. Birds seen on the moor include the merlin, the buzzard, the Peregrine falcon, European stonechat, the dipper, the Dartford warbler and the ring iuzel.
There is a ferry from Swansea to nearby Ilfracombe, to the west.
Villages below are in the county of Somerset unless otherwise stated.
Other beauty spots
Exmoor is a great area for walking. . To get great enjoyment from this no particular fitness level is required, although there is plenty to satisfy long distance walkers too.