Welcome to Longmead House

Exmoor Activities to Have A Go at In and Around Exmoor

Horse Riding and Pony Trekking

Nick and I are not riders but we have been known to venture out on the odd pony trek when we have been away on holiday in a couple of destinations. We thought as we are surrounded by several horse riding stable and schools we should try exploring with a couple of guided walks. We were more than pleasantly surprised, despite our novice abilities, both of our rides were expertly managed from the selection of the right horse, to the route we took. We plodded steadily along the trails and woodland tracks viewing the countryside from above. We passed slowly through fields and the experienced horses/ponies walked sure footed over the uneven ground on the moors. We were able to see above the tree lines and stop by the wooden fences and old stone walls and view the flora and fauna that surrounded us from a different angle.

 We have several riding stables  locally,which take riders from novices and experienced riders for1 -3 hour guided treks across the moors and woodland trails. Its such a lovely way to view the scenery and you can  travel more miles from the back of a horse.  It is very relaxing slowing walking through the landscape or if you are more experienced, canteringor galloping across the scrub and moors just like our ancestors travelled. This makes such a wonderful adventurous way of exploring Exmoor and its natural environment

For those of you not keen to ride there is also a chance to learn about and view the famous Exmoor Ponies up close at the Exmoor Pony Centre. Exmoor is well known for its herds of wild Exmoor Ponies , you can see a number of managed herds which graze the rough pasture. The centre allows the public to get up close to the beautiful creatures and holds events and activities for all the family to enjoy. It is a charitable organisation that works to promote and protect the endangeredExmoor Ponies.

Mechanical Horse Power 

Off Road Quad Biking

For the more wild at heartand more mechanically minded then you can always use machines that use alternate horse power to explore the countryside. If you don’t mind getting a bit down and dirty, Why not try an off road ATV driving adventure on a Quad Bike. It is  a great fun activity for all abilities and you can take a guided trail across the scenic landscape at a more sedate pace. For those more experienced riders, you  take a more adrenaline fuelled guided ride up and down the hills and through woodlands.  It is fun in all weathers and all times of year if you don’t mind a bit of mud here and there.All the family can join in as there are bikes for various ages and abilities. Different trails challenge different skill levels and include bouncing along flattermuddy tracks , into water splashesdriving up and down inclines and slopesWhy not have a go at a different  view of the countryside.

Jeep Safari 

If you want to stay dry then you can take one of the  Jeep Safaris  that run all year round and be driven by an Exmoor guide in comfort. They will take you to view wildlife in their natural environment and show you the hidden gems of Exmoor driving little known tracks , ford rivers and drive off road  to find Red Deer,Exmoor Wild ponies as well as Birds of Prey and other wildlife of Exmoor. You can learn about the geology, history and local customs and heritage of Exmoor ,its landscape, people and farming.  It is a fabulous day out if you want to explore as much of Exmoor as you can in a short time.  Don't forget to bring your camera, you are bound to see something that you may not see again! 

On the Water

There are many water sports and activities that you can try along the North Coast of Devon. About 30 minutes drive away from Longmead are the wide sandy beaches of Saunton Sands, Croyde, and Woolacombe. These are ideal for water sports and are particularly popular with surfers. You can bring your own gear or rent a board and wet suits and have some lessons to learn at the many surf schools to choose from. 

 Alternatively you could try Kayaking and Paddle Boarding  This is a great way to see the coastline , paddling gently around the inlets and rocky coves for a more closer look at the marine life and plants.  For those who love being onor around the water there are several places to hire either kayaks or paddle boards andplaces where you can learn these skills under safe instruction and conditions. Many of the wide beaches such as Porlock , Saunton or Croyde offer sessions where youcan have fun balancing,sitting or standing on these inflatables and paddle around the coastline to access the coastline from a different angle. 

Pedal Power - Mountain Biking and E Bikes

As this area is known as Little Switzerland and is well known for its steep hills , cycling can be challenging and not for the feint hearted. Whilst Nick is a keen cyclist and has been known to go out on his mountain and road bike, the roads can be narrow, steep and challenging unless you are  a budding and fit Bradley Wiggins or Chris Froome type.  However there are easier ways to get around and several opportunities to hire Electric Bikes locally , which make cycling much easier. These motorised bikes make even the most challenging hills and ascents achievable so you can explore even more of our epic scenery. Lynton and Lynmouth and the surrounding areas benefit from stunning cycle routes, including sections of the the national cycle route no 51. We have a local E Bike rental business in Lynton that delivers the bike with the appropriate accessories directly to Longmead for you to start and finish your adventure.

For the more adventurous you can also hire mountain bikes ( or bring your own) andtake a guided cycle pedallingup and down some of the fabulous paths and tracks that ascend and descend this fantastic landscape. There are trails that are permitted for mountain bikes but it is better to take a guided mountain bike ride so you can be assured that you will be on the right track ( literally)

For those who want a more leisurely cycle, you can rent bikes and travel along the flat Tarka trail from Barnstaple. The Tarka trail is named after the 180 miles that Tarka the Otter followed in the novels of Henry Williamson. You can take a short or long cycle along the traffic free cycle track which follows the disused railway track from Barnstaple to Braunton on the coast.  The route follows the River Taw and gives you fantastic views of the estuary and you may be able to see marshland wildlife and birds. Don't forget to stop at one of the refreshment stops along the way.. popular is The Puffing Billy a pub at the former Torrington railway station. 

On foot

Exmoor is covered with many walking paths, bridleways and byways that criss cross the county. The most popular and well known being the South West Coast Path, the Coleridge way and the Two Moors way. There are hundreds of miles of smaller lesser well known walking routes along the coastline, moors and along the rivers for everyone from beginners short flat routes to more challenging and strenuous paths that climb up and down the spectacular countryside around us. We have a library of walking maps that you can borrow for your trip ( and why not order a homemade freshly made picnic from us to take on your walk for the day) . For those of you who like a  sporting challenge then why not stay with us to enter one of  the running events  of various distances ( including an ultra marathon) that are held locally. 

Arts and Crafts

For those who are less adventurous don't forget there are lots of arts and crafts skills you can learn or have a go at in and around Exmoor. You could try photography walks, water colour and oil painting, sketching and drawing classes, glass workshops, pottery or  silver wire jewellery making courses which are on  offer locally. 

Why not explore either your adventurous or artistic side and have a go at any of these activities ... You Never know unless you Have a go!