Horner Woods and Horner Water

Somerset, England

SummaryGetting there

This walk passes mostly through woodland but includes some superba viewpoints and riverside sections.

Distance:2.7 Miles
Est. Time:1 hrs 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy 
Total Ascent:659 ft 
Total Descent: 666 ft 

DescriptionMap View

The RouteSafetyNotes


  • Views of Selworthy Hill
  • Views of the Bristol Channel and Wales
  • Pentley Seat
  • Horner Water riverside walk
  • Woodland and wild flowers

Horner Woods is an area of mixed woodland and heath ranging up from Horner Water to the slopes of Crowter Hill. This walk takes you from the pretty village of Horner, through varied scenery with some delightful photo opportunities.

The Route go to top

rustic bridge in Horner WoodsTurn left at the road entrance and follow road for a few yards, then turn right through a gap in the hedge onto the bridleway, over the packhorse bridge and follow the path right alongside the river. A short way further along, at the junction, follow the bridleway up the hill, signposted Luckbarrow. 

The path veers left and through a gate, then right to go uphill beside more open ground (and a campsite). Where the path forks, take the wider left path leading uphill through a wood of holly trees. The path comes up to a road where you turn sharp left (hairpin) following Granny's Ride (signposted to Horner Water).

Climb to more open ground, pretty with bracken, heather, gorse and buddleia, to walk along the edge of a wide valley (running below Crawter Hill).

At the next junction take the left (wider) path that leads downhill and eventually to a rustic bridge over a small stream. The path loops left over the bridge then leads uphill alongside the opposite edge of the same valley. Follow the path up across heathland until it reaches a crossroads where you go straight ahead (ignore signs to Horner and Horner Gate and remain on Granny's Ride). 

A short way further on a sign points right to Pentley Seat, a semi-circular stone seat that is worth a brief diversion both for the seat itself and for the view it commands.
views over the Bristol Channel

Continue along Granny's Ride following the rim of a steep sided wooded valley (Ray Combe) to walk through a thick woodland of twisted oaks. After a while the path crosses a wide downhill route, but you continue straight ahead. At the next junction the left turn is signposted "Cats Scramble", leading to Horner - but you turn right to stay on Granny's Ride. A short way further up you pass a wooden seat, which provides a view through the trees across Horner Vale.

At junction take the left fork downhill then round the edge of the wooded valley. At the crossroads with Stags Path take the straight-ahead path (still Granny's Ride). Follow the path steeply downhill and cross a further main route (Lord Ebrington's Path). When you reach Horner Water turn left to follow the wide path running approximately parallel to the river all the way back to Horner.

Go through a gate and over a stone bridge beside a ford. Continue on the path until it reaches the road. Follow the road more-or-less straight ahead through Horner village and back to that Car Park.

Safety go to top

 The route is reasonably flat and presents few difficulties. However, much of it follows popular bridle paths and you should look out for smelly hazards if you have children with you!

Notes go to top

Pentley SeatHorner Water - this pretty stream runs down from Exmoor and out to the sea at Bossington. This walk follows the stream through an attractive woodland setting.

Horner Wood is part of theDunkery and Horner Wood National nature Reserve and is managed by the National Trust. Apart from the natural beauties of this area, the woods contain a number of remains from Saxon settlements.

Pentley Seat - a semi-circular stone seat that is worth a brief diversion both for the seat itself and for the view it commands. The seat was erected by his wife to the memory of Charles Thomas Dyke Ackland, who dies in 1919.

Viewpoint just prior to Pentley Seat diversion This viewpoint offers a well-framed view of the Bristol Channel and the Welsh Coast seen between the ridges of Crawter Hill and Selworthy Hill.

Ray Combe -  this valley side section of the walk takes you through a thick woodland of unusually twisted oaks

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