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Things to do at Horner Wood

A medieval packhorse bridge surrounded by trees at Horner Wood
A medieval packhorse bridge crossing over Horner Water | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Discover one of the largest and most beautiful ancient oak woods in Britain, where 800 acres of woodland clothe the lower slopes of the surrounding moorland, following river and stream valleys. Horner Wood is also a National Nature Reserve. Here you can see ancient oak pollards, an impressive oak tree that's over 500 years old as well as a variety of wildlife that makes its home among these magnificent trees.

Discover the veteran trees

Horner Wood is a magical place with mosses, ferns and lichens covering ancient oak trees. Look out for the General, an impressive oak tree that's over 500 years old. The woodland is rich in history – as well as the historic trees, you can spot a 17th-century packhorse bridge and a Tudor iron-smelting site hidden amongst the trees.

Spot seasonal wildlife

Look out for red deer, dippers and summer migrants of pied flycatchers and wood warblers. In autumn at dusk, you can spot several species of bats flying around the woods.

A path through twisted oak trees at Horner Wood
A path through twisted oak trees at Horner Wood | © National Trust Images/Mel Peters

Walking, horse riding and cycling at Horner Wood

Pull on your walking boots and stride out for a walk around Horner Wood. Choose from three walking trails or why not come back and complete them all? Along the way you can pass through steep-sided river valleys, wander through woodland pastures and spot deer, birds and the other wildlife that lives in Horner Wood.

Bridleways and cycle trails criss-cross the Holnicote Estate, so you can explore the estate on foot, by horse or on two-wheels.

View over the valley from Horner Wood at sunset
View from Horner Wood towards Selworthy village | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Explore the wider Holnicote Estate

Horner Wood forms part of the Holnicote Estate on Exmoor, one of the largest places cared for by the National Trust. The estate is made up of many picturesque villages, which include Selworthy, Bossington, Allerford and Horner. There are acres of spectacular landscapes to explore including rugged moorland, shingle beaches and ancient woodland and 150 miles of footpaths and bridleways to discover.

A stream cutting through Horner Wood on the Holnicote Estate, Somerset.

Discover more at Horner Wood

Find out how to get to Horner Wood, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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Grazing cows on grass pasture at Horner Farm on the Holnicote Estate

Our work at Horner Farm 

National Trust tenants Holly and Mark use regenerative farming principles to rear cattle, goats and sheep while also encouraging wildlife to flourish.

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Ancient and notable trees 

Ancient trees are links to our past, they're species-rich habitats that support countless other organisms. Discover what makes a tree ancient and how to recognise them.

A clump of formerly coppiced beeches with bright green spring leaves emerging

Ten clues from the past to spot on a woodland walk 

Our woods have been used in many ways since the Ice Age, from royal hunting grounds to military bases. Spot clues to past lives hidden in your favourite woodland.

Sunrise at Webbers Post, Holnicote Estate, Somerset

Webber's Post 

A fine lookout on the Holnicote Estate with views over Horner Wood and the wild expanse of moorland stretching up to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor.


Fully open today
Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

A stream cutting through Horner Wood on the Holnicote Estate, Somerset.

Countryside areas in Somerset 

There's a wealth of outdoor places from tors and gorges to woodlands and streams to visit in Somerset. Climb hills to see far-reaching views or relax and watch the children play in the fresh air.

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.