A bit damper than usual

Sometimes it does get a bit rainy on Exmoor and that can make getting to and from the Exmoor Centre a little more exciting.

Usually this ford can be crossed in walking boots without getting your feet wet in fact you are less likely to get wet feet walking through the river than trying to use the wobbley stepping stones. Today though the river was nearly 3 feet deep, no problem for our modified Land Rover and military trailer though so it was service as usual. Sometimes it does get deeper and we have had the water come over the Land Rovers bonnet a few times, that is a bit deep for the trailer though!

Luckily if you are on foot there is an alternative way to get to and from the centre from the west.

Winters coming

Out and about this morning the cars temperature gauge read 6degC, it won’t be long at all before we have snow on the ground. Exmoor looks amazing in snowy conditions and The Exmoor Centre is an amazing place to be in the snow.

Tracking animals becomes so much easier and you can lose yourself for hours following footprints. Sledging is great fun on Exmoor’s steep slopes, if you can dodge the gorse bushes!

Anyone can stay at the Exmoor Centre, so bring your family, friends or club along and stay in our cosy bunkhouse and go wild in the remote valleys and hills. We are charity owned and operate as cheaply as possible to make breaks affordable for everyone, we don’t have minimum booking periods, you can come for one night if you want. Our team can help you do anything from horse riding and mountain biking to lessons in bushcraft and art, we can even arrange luxury offroad wildlife watching safaris or stargazing trips.

We let the bunkhouse on sole occupancy so you would have the place to yourself. Being a kilometre from the nearest road or neighbours the bunkhouse is the perfect place for some peace and quiet.

Drop us an email to enquire.

early dec 2010 053

Back to the start

As part of The Voices of Hoaroak project yesterday we took our Chairman John Gale back to the spot where the story of The Exmoor Centre began.

Over 45 years ago John met Dora Cartwright-Williams at the site of her farmhouse at Lyncombe near the present Exmoor Centre site. The Farmhouse itself had been lost in the flood of August 15th 1952. It was here the idea was hatched for a remote basecamp for young people to explore the wilds of Exmoor. It was to be created in the memory of happy times Dora Cartwright-Williams and her late husband spent in this beautiful tranquil spot.

Further information will be available through the Voices of Hoaroak Project in due course. See HoaroakCottage.org for more information on the project.

Summer Holidays

Look out parents, the kids are nearly off for the summer! What are you going to do with them for 6 weeks?

How about a night at The Exmoor Centre? we have some weekend dates available a quite a few mid-week slots. Grab a night out in the wilds where you’ll be under Exmoors Dark Skies. Our bunk rooms sleep up to 16 so bring your kids friends and have a wild time away from the computer games.

You’ll see Britains biggest wild land animals Exmoor’s wild red deer, huge horned highland cattle, Exmoor ponies, buzzards, herons and lots of other wildlife, if you are quiet you’ll see a lot more, maybe otters and foxes,

Prices from only £75 a night! email us now and start swotting up on your outdoor bushcraft skills…we can even sort you out with a Bushcraft Instructor if you want to learn new skills.


We want you to Experience Exmoor in all its glory and get the most from your trip here.

We work with several companies that provide Experiences:

Experience Exmoor

Neil and Christel at Experience Exmoor are building a solid reputation for providing the best in Luxury offroad safaris on the moor. They operate under license with The National Trust and with Exmoor National Park giving them access to remote parts of the moor and coast. They are ‘out and about’ everyday so track the wildlife and greatly enhance your chances of seeing something unusual. Experience Exmoor

2013-02-25 11.36.37


Exmoor Adventures

If Dan French and his Team can’t get you adrenalin going then you need a doctor, or an undertaker! MTB riding Coasteering, Kayaking… Visit their website Exmoor Adventures


Sneaky Fox

Paul Black is The Exmoor Centres tame Bushcraft Instructor and works with us on providing free bushcraft and outdoor experiences for schools. Visit their website for more information. Sneaky Fox

2013-07-12 10.42.51


John Crush

John is an artist who can bring out your hidden arty side. John has a deep love of Exmoor and can help you capture its beauty in a variety of media from pastels to film! Contact John through his website at – http://johncrush.carbonmade.com/about


More to come when I have a minute….


SneakyFox Outdoors ran our first Primary Schools Bushcraft Day of 2013 last week with Ilfracombe Primary School. You can read lead instructor Paul Blacks report on the SneakyFox website here – http://sneakyfoxoutdoors.co.uk/about-us.html

StMary Lyncombe Exmoor Trust have secured funding through Heart of Exmoor ( http://www.heartofexmoor.org.uk/ )and Ilfracombe Rotary to put these free schools days on this summer. If you are interested in your school joining future free events at The Exmoor Centre please get in touch.

2013-07-12 10.15.12 2013-07-12 10.42.51

Dark Sky

As there was nobody booked in at the centre this weekend we took the opportunity to nip out ourselves. With very little moonlight this weekend the night skies were amazing. Here are a few photographs showing the Milky Way and The Plough in all their glory, these were taken without a remote shutter release and on a wobbly tripod so they aren’t professional standard but they do give you an idea of what you can expect to see at The Exmoor Centre on a clear night.


Cooling off in the river


A few photos from the excellent Bogtastic Event on Exmoor last week. Bogtastic is a family event run by Exmoor National Park to give families the opportunity to explore the Exmoor Mires project and learn more about the diverse ecology of these remote moorland ecosystems.

Experts were on hand to explain the history of peat cutting, drying and its use as a fuel by moorland farmsteads as well as identifying the fascinating flora and fauna found in and around the hundreds of deep bogs that pepper Exmoor’s high ground .

Summer Adventures

We have some summer dates available at our remote Exmoor Bunkhouse. Gather up some friends and get yourselves booked in for some summer fun in the wilds of Exmoor. We offer basic self catering bunkhouse accommodation and the rest is up to you. Walk the wilds of the moor, get mucky on a mountainbike, build a camp, stargaze, explore Exmoor’s rivers and streams, seek out mysterious standing stones high on the moor, the possibilities are endless.

Anyone can come and we offer really good deals for school/youth groups.


16th/17th March

The bunkhouse is now available on the weekend of 16th/17th March! Get in touch by email at Stay@ this website quickly if you want a weekend in the wilds of Exmoor.

Winter is coming to an end, the first signs of spring are around, its a great time to visit.

early dec 2010 007

Bushcraft Trial Day

We held our first Bushcraft day with Experience Exmoor and Jeff Adams this week.

A bitterly cold day certainly encouraged the guests to pay attention learning how to quickly and effectively start a fire. The day was planned as a taster day to introduce people to outdoor skills such as firelighting, shelter building and tool making.

Experience Exmoor are developing a programme of events and experiences for people to join in with this summer. Follow them on Twitter for information @ExpExmoor

The St Mary Lyncombe Exmoor Trust are planning some Free Bushcraft days this summer for school groups to be held at The Exmoor Centre. If you want your school to be involved get in touch



Lots more photos here at Experience Exmoor’s Facebook page:


Rigging some cover

We have been having fun at The Exmoor Centre this morning rigging up a parachute to create some covered space.

Tomorrow we are hosting an event for Experience Exmoor, we are hoping to provide some Bushcraft days at The Exmoor Centre this year and tomorrows event is a test day to get some photographs and feedback for publicty purposes.

With Exmoors unpredictable climate we put out a plea on Twitter for a Parachute and our friend Melanie Hudson came up trumps via some of her contacts with the beautiful sky-blue parachute you see in the pictures.

Neil from Experience Exmoor and I set out first thing this morning to rig up the parachute. After much Laurel and Hardy style antics trying to get ropes over branches we managed to  create something resembling a parachute creating a great covered space in the process. The ‘chute gives a welcome splash of colour in the drab winter landscape and we can’t wait to get the Bushcraft Guinea-pigs out there tomorrow for an exciting day.

Publicity 2013


We are attending a few publicity events this year, a first for us, so we thought we had better get our act together and knock up some leaflets.

As ever with us we had a budget of next to nothing so we designed the leaflets ourselves and emailed a pdf to our old friends at Arthur H Stockwell Book Publishers with a plea for help. They were as helpful as ever and Richard Stockwell had the leaflets in the post to us that day, brilliant service and laughably cheap, thanks Richard 🙂

If you have a book that you’d like to publish speak to Richard on 01271 862557 or email via their website ahstockwell.co.uk

We will be posting up a list of places you can come and meet us soon…


Snow in the wilds of Exmoor

A few photos from Friday mornings expedition out to the Exmoor Centre.

I was out there to check the place over and to meet Fiona from Combe Martin Guides who will hopefully be spending their summer camp with us, don’t worry girls it will be warmer in August. It’ll probably be wetter but definitely warmer.


Next weekend

early dec 2010 053

It seems the winter chill is almost upon us and the Exmoor Centre is available next weekend. If you fancy some chilly outdoor adventures in the wilds of Exmoor or just want a weekend away from the world of technology now is the time.

The bunkhouse can sleep 14, its toasty warm with a roaring woodburner and if you are lucky enough to get some snow the sledging is excellent!

Anyone can book the centre, our purpose as a charity is to provide cheap accommodation for young people to explore the wilds of Exmoor. Many of our visitors are small family groups, everyone is welcome.

What will your kids be doing next weekend? Staring at an X-Box or staring at a campfire and the stars in the heart of the Exmoor Dark Skies Reserve?

early dec 2010 049

Voices of Hoaroak Valley

Many voices over many years have echoed through the Hoar Oak Valley on Exmoor.

 Here is a chance to add yours!

Thanks to a Heritage Lottery All Our Stories Grant two local charities based in the Hoar Oak Valley on Exmoor  will be collecting, sharing and celebrating peoples’ memories and stories of the Hoar Oak Valley.   The Friends of Hoar Oak Cottagewww.hoaroakcottage.org and the St Mary Lyncombe Trust which runs the Exmoor Centre http://exmoorcentre.co.uk are asking for your help.

  • You may have memories and stories about, or be descended from, one of the many shepherd families who have lived and worked at the remote and secluded Hoar Oak Cottage since the 1800s.
  • You might be one of the many people, young and not so young, who have enjoyed staying at or helping to build and run the Exmoor Centre since the 1960s.
  • You may be one of the many people who simply love the area and have memories and stories about your times spent walking in the Hoar Oak Valley.


To find out more and how to get involved please contact us:

Post:                Voices of Hoar Oak Valley Project, 9 Rock Avenue,  Lynton,  North Devon,  EX356DL

Email:               info@hoaroakcottage.org           or        will@exmoorcentre.co.uk

Website:           http://www.hoaroakcottage.org/Our2013HeritageLotteryProject


Facebook Page

We have created a new Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ExmoorCentre 

It seems this will make us easier to find on Facebook than using the old ‘Group’ format. We have added some of the photographs from the old Group and will add more as and when we have time. Feel free to upload your own photos from your stay at The Exmoor Centre. We won’t use your photos for any other use without your permission.


Heading over the moor to The Exmoor Centre in winter

Heading over the moor to The Exmoor Centre in winter