Are you searching for the perfect autumn adventure or a cosy winter retreat? Look no further than Exmoor, where stunning landscapes, enchanting wildlife, and a plethora of exciting events await. Here, we’ll share 5 of the best things to do on Exmoor to elevate your seasonal stay.
Exmoor Dark Skies
Did you know that Exmoor National Park is an International Dark Sky Reserve, meaning it’s one of the best places in the world to stargaze? As night falls, the sky over Exmoor comes alive with a tapestry of stars, planets and celestial wonders, connecting us to the magic of the universe.
Autumn and winter are the best seasons for stargazing on Exmoor. If you visit this time of year, it’s the perfect opportunity to participate in the annual Exmoor Dark Skies Festival.
This year’s Dark Skies Festival takes place on Exmoor 13th – 29th October with over 60 star-studded events, from guided night walks and star-lit suppers to dark skies yoga and educational talks from top astronomers, including Jo & Pete Richardson, Terry Evans, Seb Jay, Simon Holbeche and Tim Wetherell. For a full list of Dark Skies Festival events and booking information, visit the Exmoor National Park website.
Of course, you needn’t attend a special event to experience the beauty of Exmoor’s spectacular skies. Relax and soak up the starry skies from your wood-fired hot tub at Orchard Escapes Exmoor with a glass of fizz in hand. Whether escaping the hustle and bustle with a solo retreat or whisking your significant other away for a cosy winter break, stargazing from our bespoke shepherd’s huts on Exmoor promises the peaceful and romantic experience you’re yearning for.
Red Deer Rut
As the autumn settles in, Exmoor’s rolling moorland becomes a stage for a remarkable natural drama – the Red Deer rut. With mighty antlers that can span over three feet, the stags engage in a powerful and passionate display of dominance and courtship to win possession of the hind herds.
Viewing the Red Deer on Exmoor at any time of year is a worthwhile experience. Still, there’s just something so enchanting about hearing the primal roar of the majestic stags and clashing of antlers during rutting season.
Horner (just a 6-minute drive from our luxury glamping site in Allerford), Cloutsham, Simonsbath and Draydon Rails (near Dulverton) are known to be some of the best places to spot Red Deer on Exmoor.
Exmoor Coaster (running until 23rd Nov)
Enjoy one of the country’s best open-top bus rides – the Exmoor Coaster. With the popular seaside resort of Minehead at one end, the traditional fishing village of Lynmouth at the other, and a stunning stretch of dramatic moorland in between, it promises a scenic route like no other.
And the best thing about the Exmoor Coaster? You can hop on and off to explore the beautiful Exmoor villages along the way. Tickets cost just £2 until the end of October and £2.50 from November. Your nearest stop from Orchard Escapes Exmoor is Allerford (just a 5-minute walk), and your four-legged friends are welcome onboard.
Dunster by Candlelight
Dunster By Candlelight is a truly enchanting, festive event that transports visitors back in time, with the charming village of Dunster illuminated solely by the warm glow of candles. Held annually during the first week of December, the event captures the spirit of the holiday season and offers a magical experience for all. With brass bands, carol singers, street performers, and captivating firework displays, there’s no shortage of entertainment. Moreover, it’s an ideal setting to discover unique Christmas gifts at the independent shops and market stalls lining the main street.
This year, Dunster By Candlelight will take place on 1st and 2nd December, and the event has a Victorian theme – prizes for the best costume! The road through Dunster will be closed, so the best way to reach the village is by bus. If you’re staying at Orchard Escapes Exmoor, park in Minehead and catch the Candlelight bus from the entrance to Butlins on the seafront or West Somerset Railway Station.
Exmoor Christmas Markets
Christmas Market season is just around the corner, and where better to enjoy the festive delights than in the beautiful Exmoor National Park? During the winter months, you’ll find Christmas markets and fairs all over Exmoor, including:
- Dulverton Christmas Craft Fair – 11th November 2023, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (free entry)
- Exmoor Christmas Fair at Porlock Village Hall – 26th November 2023, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (free entry)
- Dulverton by Starlight – 3rd December 2023, 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm (free entry)
- Lynton Town Hall Christmas Market – 9th December 2023, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm & 10th December 2023, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (free entry)
Winter Breaks in Exmoor National Park
Make the most of your time in Exmoor with a longer stay at Orchard Escapes Exmoor this winter. From November – February, we’re offering our bespoke Shepherd’s Huts at the special prices of:
£240 for 2 nights
£315 for 3 nights
£380 for 4 nights
These special winter prices include access to your own private wood-fired hot tub. However, should you prefer an option without this amenity, please apply the promotional code ‘NOHOTTUB’ to receive a £25 reduction per night from the total booking cost.
Visit Our Huts page to book your stay.
Orchard Escapes Exmoor Gift Vouchers
Are you looking for a thoughtful present for someone special this Christmas? Give the gift of a memorable stay at Orchard Escapes Exmoor. We have gift vouchers for a 2-night stay, including a private wood-fired hot tub for £250 or £200 without the hot tub. Orchard Escapes Exmoor gift vouchers are redeemable on any available date within 1 year. Email Paula: [email protected] for more information.