Exploring Exmoor: a digital detox in Somerset’s countryside
Log out, switch off and embrace your rural surroundings
Dotted with beautiful nature reserves, rare wildlife and picturesque walking routes, Exmoor is a charming destination for those looking for a digital detox.
Whether you’re reuniting with friends, celebrating a special occasion or bringing multi-generations together, Somerset’s rugged countryside and wild landscape promises a chance to disconnect, recharge and switch off from the outside world.
Nestled on the edge of Dulverton, Upcott Farm is the perfect base for a sociable country retreat. Sleeping 12 guests in total, bring everyone together for quality time away from the stresses of everyday life.
Exmoor National Park is overflowing with picturesque footpaths. From dramatic braces along the coast to gentle riverside strolls and enchanting countryside rambles, each route offers postcard-perfect scenery and a rich variety of flora and fauna.
A moorland treasure, the ancient Tarr Steps bridge is an undeniable favourite. With an expanse of pretty woodland towering overhead, spot rare deer, birds of prey and the famous wild ponies.
Families will love following the South West Coast Path from Watersmeet to Ash Bridge. Expect heart-melting scenery at every turn, where vibrant bluebells and cascading waterfalls perfectly set the scene, with elusive otters and herons often guarding the water. Before returning to Upcott Farm, dash into the Watersmeet Tea Rooms for a famous Devon cream tea.
Our digital detox top tip – pinpoint your route on a map and navigate your own path.
As the sun sets and the stars start to flicker, discover a new side to Exmoor. Home to Europe’s first international dark sky reserve, the low levels of light pollution bring dreamy stargazing conditions.
Famed as Exmoor’s highest point, Dunkery Beacon is a much-loved stargazing spot. Pack a flask of hot chocolate and plenty of fluffy blankets for a cosy spectating session, as thousands of stars fill the dark sky above.
Heighten your stargazing experience by hiring a telescope. Along with the faint sounds of nocturnal creatures waking up, you might even catch the flare of a shooting star or a glimpse of the Orion constellation.
Our digital detox top tip: capture what you see with a camera and torch rather than a phone.
Find hidden favourites by horseback
When exploring Exmoor, it’s almost obligatory to meet and ride the iconic rare breed ponies. The beautiful and varied terrain lends itself well to a wide selection of riding. From the vivid heather clad moorland and the rustic oak woodlands to the river valleys and farmland, Exmoor promises a one-of-a-kind countryside trek.
If you’re hoping to bring your own horses along, warm up in Upcott Farm’s training ground before journeying further afield to the moorland. Our concierge team will be on hand to arrange transport to and from Exmoor, so there’s no need to worry about the finer details.
Whether you’re hoping for a taster session, afternoon adventure or full-day ride, head to The Exmoor Pony Centre for a unique horseback adventure. With a vision to promote and protect, this charity-run centre is perfect for families, with sessions tailored to all ages and abilities.
Our digital detox top tip: leave your gadgets at home and release your mind in the Wi-Fi free wilderness.
Wild watersports at Wimbleball
The highest sea cliffs in mainland Britain, a remote coastline and gentle waters – it’s no surprise that families flock to Exmoor for its watersports opportunities. Besides the strong flow of the rivers and streams, Wimbleball Lake brings a quiet and flat current.
Children will love letting off some steam with a watersports-fuelled afternoon at the lake. Whether it’s kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing or stand up paddleboarding, the picturesque surroundings make new adventures even more exciting.
As the little ones tire themselves out on the water, the older generations can take advantage of the trout fishing opportunities and myriad of walks.
Our digital detox top tip: take a book to read whilst the children run wild, then encourage little ones to write about their adventures in a journal before bedtime.
Luxury countryside living at Upcott Farm
With stable accommodation for up to three horses, an accessible ground floor and only a short distance from Exmoor National Park, this dog-friendly refuge is great for bringing all generations together.
After days exploring the great outdoors, return to Upcott Farm’s magnificent feature wood burners, rustic farmhouse kitchens and elevated terraces. As of spring 2020, it will also feature a luxurious hot tub for moments of complete relaxation. In a place as tranquil as this, a digital detox couldn’t be simpler.
Our digital detox top tip: implement a no-phone policy at the dinner table and come together for sociable evenings of cards and board games by the fire.
To secure your countryside retreat to Upcott Farm, click here or call 01208 895570.