Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Blackdown Hills is an unspoilt rural landscape of great beauty with an extraordinary variety of flora and fauna to discover.
The Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the Devon and Somerset border, is a real hidden gem. Unspoilt by mass tourism, it is a beautiful landscape of steep valleys, forest and farmland, laced with rivers and streams. The area offers excellent cycling, walking and riding and there is plenty of history to interest visitors, from the Iron Age to World War Two. The hills are dotted with pretty villages, where a walm welcome and good food are always on offer.
To the north the land rises steeply in a dramatic wooded scarp, while to the south it forms a plateau, deeply dissected by valleys. On top of the plateau lie open windswept spaces, while in the valleys picturesque chertstone, cob, and thatched buildings cluster in villages and hamlets, surrounded by a patchwork of small enclosed fields, and accessed down narrow winding lanes with tall hedgerows.
It is wonderful countryside for walking, riding and cycling, particularly as it is home to many wildflower species including orchids, violets, and primroses, and a number of less common mammals and birds such as dormice, otters, and nightjars. The flower rich grassland is ablaze with butterflies in summer, while the autumn colour of the woodlands is an amazing sight.
Another favourite Blackdown Hills' beauty spot is Iron Age Hembury Fort surrounded by great earthwork ramparts. Hembury's massive beeches with gnarled twisting roots preside over well worn tracks leading to the summit, which in late spring is carpeted with a sea of bluebells.
The Blackdown Hills is also famed for its community of high quality food producers, and tracking some of these down to sample their delicious produce is another Blackdown delight.
St Mary’s has been the Parish church of Kentisbeare since medieval times and celebrates the 750th...5.82 miles away
Abbotshood Cycle Hire is situated approximately midway along the 11.5 mile length of the Grand...8.14 miles away
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) is an attractive Georgian town house in Honiton and formerly the...8.27 miles away
St Andrew's church dates from the fifteenth century and is set back from the main street but...8.39 miles away
Roundball Wood is a small area of woodland to the south of Honiton, on the northern slope of...9.16 miles away
Enjoy the natural historical gardens and fantasy woodland which surround the ancestral home of the...10.38 miles away
Indulge your senses and relax on this rare horse-drawn barge, now only one of only five in Britain...10.9 miles away
The first stone church on this site was consecrated in 1073. It has seen many changes including...11.37 miles away
It was consecrated in 1260, at which time the manor and patronage of the church belonged to Rouen...11.74 miles away
Watermill, fishing centre and gift shop with restaurant, situated on Exe Valley Way at Bickleigh...13.02 miles away
With glowing reviews in the leading wine magazines of France, Germany and Britain in the last year...13.24 miles away
An 18thC house built for the Acland family. Hillside garden of 18 acres with rare trees and shrubs.13.37 miles away