Are you looking to do the Porlock to Porlock Weir walk? Then follow my detailed guide with all the directions so you don’t get lost.
I’ll throw this out there, but Porlock in Somerset is one of the prettiest villages I’ve ever been to. It is just so quintessentially English. Surrounding the village you’ve got thatched cottages, wooded hills, dense moorland and the deep blue water of the coast nearby – it really is so beautiful here.
And if you’re into your walking and hiking, well then this is the place for you. Porlock is part of the expansive Exmoor National Park, and there are some incredible hikes to do in the area.
However, one a lot closer to home is the Porlock to Porlock Weir walk.
A little further along the coast is the tiny fishing hamlet of Porlock Weir. Here you’ll find an old-fashioned pub, a fancy hotel, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and gorgeous views over the water to Wales.
From Porlock, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour walking through the woods to Porlock Weir, then the same to come back again. This really is one of the top things to do in Porlock, so if you’re staying in the neighbourhood I can’t recommend this walk enough.
If you fancy doing this walk, then make sure you keep reading my Porlock Weir walking guide. There are a couple of sections where I almost got lost, so hopefully this guide will point you in the right direction!
Where is Porlock Weir?
Porlock Weir is a picturesque coastal hamlet nestled along the Bristol Channel in north Somerset. It features a small harbour, thatched cottages and a scattering of cafes and restaurants.
Even though there’s an old-fashioned pub, a fancy hotel, a Michelin-starred restaurant, this place is tiny, just a cluster of buildings. However, in summer it can get very busy with tourists looking to do the Porlock to Porlock Weir walk.
Despite being a tiny hamlet, a settlement has been at Porlock Weir for over a thousand years. It’s even thought that the Vikings plundered the area in 866 AD.
Another fun fact about Porlock Weir. It’s home to the second largest tidal range in the world. That means when the sea is out, it’s really out. And when it’s in, well, it’s in and looks beautiful.
Oh, and one other thing. The beach is a pebble beach, so don’t bring your sandcastle and spade!
How long does the Porlock Weir circular walk take?
In total, this walk from Porlock to Porlock Weir is about 4.2 miles (6.7 km), so it will take you around 2 hours to do. However, we spent about an hour in the Ship Inn for lunch to make the most of our afternoon.
Also, walking on the pebble beach can be quite slow. I’d definitely recommend strong sturdy walking boots to protect those ankles! I would say this is an easy walk to do and doesn’t take much fitness. If you’re starting from Porlock, then most of it is downhill. It’s only the beach section that is a little tricky.
Highlights of the Porlock to Porlock Weir walk
One of the reasons I wanted to write this guide is to make sure people don’t walk on the road. If you use Google Maps, it just tells you to walk on the road between these two places, but being windy country roads, this can be quite dangerous.
Also, there were a couple of places you could go wrong, so hopefully this guide will point you in the right direction. I’ve got photos of all the major landmarks and directions, so hopefully they will help you find your way.
Section 1: Exploring Porlock
For the Porlock Weir circular walk we’re starting in Porlock. This is such a popular holiday spot in Somerset and it’s a really cute little village.
Porlock is home to three different pubs, so if you want a bite to eat before your walk now’s your chance. There’s also a couple of supermarkets – a One Stop and a Spar, perfect for stocking up on a few snacks before your walk.
I really liked exploring Porlock. There are thatched cottages dotted all over the village, and the church is very pretty too.
As you’re walking through Porlock, if you have the main church behind you, then keep following the high street. This will eventually take you past The Castle pub on the left and the Methodist Church on the right.
This is where things can get a little confusing straight away. There are signs for Porlock Weir, but these are road signs. Instead, you’ll want to take the left road up to the Ship Inn (otherwise known as the Top Ship).
From there, you’ll want to take the road on the right which is the old Toll Road. There’s a big brown sign so you can’t miss it.
Then, just another 300 metres along, you’ll find the footpath for Porlock Weir. This is the footpath we’re looking for. There is a wooden sign saying ‘Porlock Weir 1.5 miles on the Coleridge Way’, so if you see that you’re in the right place.
Section 2: Walking through the Woods
Almost immediately you’ll have some lovely views of the coastline to your right as you walk. We were there on a pretty grey day, but in bright sunshine and blue skies these views would be stunning.
The footpath is a gentle downhill walk meandering through the forest. There are a couple of uphill sections, but these are only for a few minutes at a time. It’s definitely not a moorland hike or anything like that!
If you keep following the footpath, you’ll reach a wooden gate/stile. Walk through the gate and carry on downhill following the yellow sign marker. It should say Porlock Weir ¾.
Five minutes after walking through the gate, you’ll reach a crossroads with a couple of bridleways left and right. Keep on walking straight over the crossroads. Again, there will be a yellow marked sign saying Porlock Weir ¾.
This section of the walk is really pretty with tall trees all around. I bet it’s great during blackberry season too. You’ll eventually come to a little stream with a bridge running over it. Dare I say there’s a waterfall there? It’s close enough to being one and adds another highlight to the walk.
This is another section where you might get lost as I couldn’t find any signs or markers, but once you get to the Porlock Ford Community Hall (just after you cross the bridge), cross over the road and you’ll find the footpath directly opposite the hall.
This footpath will eventually spit you out onto the road, and then it’s just a short 10-minute walk to Porlock Weir. You’ll start getting some beautiful views of the village and the beach as you walk in.
Section 3: Porlock Weir
Once you get to Porlock Weir, I’d really recommend spending some time here exploring the tiny fishing village.
We had lunch in the Ship Inn (otherwise known as the Bottom Ship) which was great. It’s a proper old school pub with the locals sharing stories from the moment you walk in. The portions were massive too which is always good.
Surprisingly, there’s a Michelin-starred restaurant in the village, Locanda on the Weir. Unfortunately this was closed when we were there otherwise we would’ve been very tempted.
Another spot that everyone raves about is The Harbour Gallery & Café. This is a little gallery showcasing local artists and craftspeople, all who have been inspired by the West Country landscape. There are a load of benches outside by the lock where you can enjoy a cuppa coffee and a slice of cake.
During summer, there’s a sweet shop and ice cream hut. Very much a must on any seaside trip and the perfect halftime treat during this walk.
Once you’re finished at Porlock Weir, you can walk back out the village the same way you came in to pick up the trail again.
Section 4: Porlock Marshes
To get to the next section of this walk, there’s a footpath sign and some steps down to the beach just after you leave Porlock Weir. This is the section that’s quite difficult walking on the beach as the rocks and pebbles are unsteady underfoot. The good news is you’re not walking on the beach for long, probably a maximum of 10 minutes.
You’ll soon pass a wind-battered tree and come to a half-buried footpath sign. This says: “No path ahead due to inland breach – please follow inland path.” You used to be able to continue on the beach and loop around back to Porlock, but you can’t any longer due to the inland breach. That means you have to take the footpath on the right through Porlock Marshes.
As we were here during winter, this section was very muddy, so again make sure you’ve got proper walking boots on. If not, you’ll ruin your trainers (which is exactly what I did because I’m an idiot. You have been warned).
Following the path is very straightforward. You’ll pass through a gate before walking past a crumbling stone barn and the dead trees. Apparently these trees date back thousands of years which is very cool.
You’ll also pass a WWII memorial to an US fighter plane which crashed in the area. Walk pass this, then over the bridge. You’ll then have the most beautiful views across the marshes with the hills of Exmoor National Park in the background.
When you get to a little crossroads, you can take the left path to the beach, follow the path forward to Bossington (which is another 2 miles away), or take the path right to Porlock. After a few photos on the boardwalk, we took the path back into the village which took about 15 minutes.
This path delivers you right to the Royal Oak pub, so naturally we had to pop in for a refreshing pint or two.
And that’s it for the walk! This really is an amazing activity to do in Porlock and it’s a great little introduction to a small section of the South West Coastal Path too. In total, it should take you about 2 or 3 hours to do with a stop for lunch.
Hopefully this guide highlights why we loved this walk so much. And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a little more inspiration, then check out some of our favourite walks to do in Great Britain.
Where to stay in Porlock, Somerset
We found this beautiful property on Classic Cottages while we stayed in Porlock. We wanted a somewhere where we could explore Exmoor National Park while still being close to the coast, so it was perfect for us.
Meadowbank is a four-bedroom house with a huge kitchen/dining room and very cosy living room, so we loved it there. In fact, we’re planning on coming back again with a few friends so we can explore more of the area.
Our evenings at Meadowbank were delightful though. One of us would cook a delicious dinner, then we’d sit around the table sharing a bottle of wine talking about all the places we’d been to that day. We’d then slink over to the living room, light the fire, then curl up in front of the tv. It was pure bliss. For me, this is what UK staycations are all about.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Porlock, then I really can’t recommend Meadowbank enough. And if you are thinking of staying here, then check out my review of Meadowbank which gives you more details on the property. Plus, for more tips on what to do in the area, check out our guide on the best things to do in Porlock.
This post was in association with Classic Cottages showcasing some of their top properties in the UK. As always, all views are entirely my own and without bias.
We really hope you found our Porlock to Porlock Weir walking guide useful. Hopefully some of the photos will point you in the right direction. As even, of you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!