The tiny village of Simonsbath (pronounced Sim-onsbath) lies on the high, open moorland of Exmoor National Park, in the county of Somerset. It is located in Exmoor civil parish, the largest but least populated parish in the national park, with fewer than 200 residents in its 32 square miles. Simonsbath is an idyllic base for visitors who want to explore the park’s wooded valleys, rugged coast and heather-covered moors where wild ponies and deer roam. Take a wander from your holiday cottage in Simonsbath and you will discover an unspoiled rural community where lanes lined with hedgerows are dotted with historic homes. The River Barle runs through the village, where it is crossed by triple-arched medieval bridge.
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On the banks of the River Barle, there is a restored sawmill that has been turned into a museum by the National Trust. Nearby, the Exmoor Forest Inn is a welcoming pub serving good food and a variety of local ales and ciders. There are some lovely riverside walks downstream along The Barle with the occasional pool being deep enough for a spot of wild swimming, together with opportunities to see herds of red deer near Cow Castle. Simonsbath House was once the home of John Knight, who farmed on Exmoor during the 19th century and built many of the stone walls which still divide the fields today. Many scenic walks can be enjoyed on the doorstep of holiday cottages in Simonsbath, including the route from the village, through the moors to the source of the River Exe, at Exe Head.
The village is a popular stop for walkers on the Two Moors Way and the MacMillan Way West, both of which pass through Simonsbath. A short drive northward from the village, Lynton and Lynmouth are well worth a visit on self-catering holidays in Simonsbath, with galleries, tearooms, an ancient harbour and a Victorian cliff railway. The South West Coast Path can be joined here, heading east towards Porlock and west towards Combe Martin. The sandy beaches of Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton are a 40-minute drive westward, across the Devon border.