What’s so special about the Heddon Valley?

Biking at Heddon Valley

It's easy to see why the Heddon Valley on Exmoor is every local's list of favourite walks. The scenery is breathtaking, starting under huge, mature trees shading a bubbling river, which winds down to the sea through spectacularly plunging hillsides.

But why is it special? Find out from a few of the people who live and work there:

Hannah Burton, Visitor Experience Assistant

'Even though I drive through the Heddon Valley every day, the dramatic views and constantly shifting landscape always takes my breath away. Open moors lead to steep sided cliffs that plunge into the choppy Bristol Channel, and tiny narrow lanes wind through oak-lined combes just waiting to be explored. Wild and intimate, romantic and grand - it is this contrast of landscapes that I have grown to love the most. Promoting this beautiful area to visitors is easy, and I find once people have discovered this secret valley they often return.'


Annette Dutton, Volunteer in the Ranger’s Office

'The Heddon Valley is a special place to be a volunteer as it’s a stunning, remote but accessible location away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s also a very exciting place to work as the natural habitat encourages lots of wildlife such as butterflies including the rare High Brown Fritillary, dippers bobbing along the river; and I can sometimes hear buzzards calling as they soar above the tree tops. There are walks here to suit all abilities, from the Tramper-accessible routes to lengthy hikes along the Southwest Coast path which provide fantastic views along the North Devon coast and over to South Wales. I always feel refreshed and inspired after a day at the office in the Heddon Valley.'

Patrick Kinsella, Writer and Adventurer

'Heddon Valley is a special place for me because it offers so much opportunity for exploration and adventure in such a small radius. There's great mountain biking, beautiful little coves to paddle around, and the running and walking trails are world class (and I do mean that literally - I've been lucky enough to run roam around some of the planet's most scenic places and trails, and the single tracks that spider around the clifftops to Woody Bay and out towards the Hangman hills are as challenging and scenic as anything you'll find in New Zealand or Colorado). Add a pop-up riverside campsite, an outdoor bar and some great local food and live music to that mix, and I genuinely can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.'
Come and discover the delights of the Heddon Valley at the first South West Outdoor Festival, Friday 23 - Sunday 25 September 2016 at Heddon Valley on Exmoor