Bossington & Allerford | A Visitor’s Guide

Bossington & Allerford | A Visitor’s Guide

Bossington & Allerford are two tiny but terrific neighbouring villages along the coast of Exmoor, just east of Porlock.  About 15-20 mins walk (or 4 mins drive) apart, they are both within the National Trust’s Holnicote Estate and, together, make up quite honestly a fairytale location for a staycation.  Whatever the weather, Bossington boasts breathtakingly dramatic views and Allerford enchants everyone.


What To Do in Bossington

If you just rocked up in Bossington you may well think you’d fallen into a pop-up storybook.  It’s picture perfect.  The distinctive thatched cottages and old stone walls covered in pretty flowers and foliage give off bursts of life and colour every few steps.  We assure you, it’s worth visiting just to look at!  But it’s a special place for more reasons than one… so here are some of the best things to do in the area.

Bask on Bossington Beach

Bossington Beach is a beautiful place to walk, picnic or paddle.  It curves along the bay for nearly 3 miles to Porlock Weir and feels amazingly expansive, looking out across the water to Wales.  Swimming is only advised in calm weather, and you want stay close to the shore as there are some very strong currents but this does mean you’ll find the pebbles on this beach have been sorted according to size by the sea!  The beach backs onto Porlock Marsh – a fascinating part of the environment which offers saltmarsh and freshwater habitats for a wide variety of wildlife.  And they have recently built a top notch new boardwalk across the boggy bit!

Head Up to Hurlstone Point

The best views, however, are up at Hurlstone Point.  And who really goes to stay on Exmoor without hoping for a good walk?!  If you start at The National Trust car park, you’ll find a map there, which shows you the way up and suggests a really good circular walk too, if you want to come back through the woodlands (about 1hr15 total).  It’s a good uphill climb to get there, and in wet weather you want to watch where you put your feet on the way, but it’s not too strenuous a hike.  Do keep the weather in mind though – we went up on a windy day in February and whilst it was very exciting, I had to cling on to my hat!  So, don’t get literally blown away 😉

Wonder at West Country Wildlife

The Somerset Wildlife Trust runs some truly unique and special events in this magical part of the world.  Every few months, they host a “Sea Watch” and invite people to join them whilst they survey the number of dolphins, porpoises and seals and encourage people to bring sketchpads and notebooks, calling the event “Porpoises and Poetry”!  You can imagine how incredibly inspiring a setting this would be for some art or writing.  (There is a Synchronised Sea Watch scheduled for November but the next Porpoises and Poetry is 2-4pm on 4th December and you can register here for free.)  They also run guided walks, mushroom forages, talks on fascinating subjects such as re-wilding, conservation and climate change and a host of other exciting ways to explore the natural world.


What To Do in Allerford

Allerford is even tinier than Bossington, if that’s possible, but just as quaint and delightful.  The village’s pièce de résistance is the historic Packhorse Bridge.  Completely cobbled, the bridge is thought to be of medieval origin.  Walking or driving through Allerford, you can’t miss it, and you don’t want to!  The Allerford Post Office is just as darling, with its old school post box in the red stone wall and the windows and shutters built around it. Although it’s little, this village has some real hidden gems to check out too.

Have a Hoot with Exmoor Owls

Allerford is home to The Exmoor Owl & Wildlife Sanctuary so why not go and admire these majestic creatures close up?  A safe haven for the owls housed in free-living aviaries here, it offers you the opportunity to connect with these beautiful birds in a tranquil and unique environment.  You can also book in for owl & hawk experiences and feel the rush of a bird of prey flying down to your (gloved!) hand.

Support The Locals

You may be starting to think, “it seems as though these villages are rather lacking a pub…”.  Well, fear not.  There are opportunities for a pint in Allerford!  The Allerford Reading Rooms is a members’ club which holds Skittles and Dart League Matches.  You have to be a member to play, but not to go along for a drink and to watch the games, so if you fancy an ale or a cider and a packet of crisps one evening, they’re open from 7.30pm-11pm Tuesday-Saturday.  Oh and they’re old-school-cool, so cash only.

Geek out on Antiques at the Allerford Museum

If you like the stuff from days gone by, or are into antique, retro and vintage paraphernalia then this place will be a treasure trove for you.  The Allerford Museum, or the Rural Life Museum, used to be a Victorian School, built in 1821.  Now, it’s home to all sorts of fun old objects.  They have Victorian beauty accoutrements, household pantry items from the days of rationing… stock cube boxes, marmite jars, the original Elastoplasts!  Even lanterns from the 1700s.  They have a model village of Allerford too – as if things could get any cuter. Call or email in advance to arrange your visit.


Where to Eat

Right, you must be getting hungry…  And, I have to tell you, there aren’t a LOT of places to eat in Bossington and Allerford.  There used to be the fabulous Cross Lane House in Allerford but, sadly, that is now permanently closed.  However, during the day, there is one absolutely super place…

  • Kitnor’s Tea Rooms

This is really THE spot, in Bossington; it’s just darling.  Plus they serve delicious cream teas, scones, sandwiches, quiches, coffees, cakes, shortbreads and other sweet treats including CHOCOLATE SCONES!  It all feels wonderfully warm and welcoming. There are tables in the gorgeous garden, which is especially lovely in good weather. They use lovely vintage china too and sometimes have extra to sell!


For recommendations on restaurants, pubs & more cafés, we recommend you check out our Porlock and Porlock Weir recommendations, just down the road.  In fact, if you were in the area anyway, you’d be crazy not to check out Porlock & Porlock Weir because they’re absolutely lovely places.  Or, stay in one of our gorgeous self-catering holiday cottages and cook!  Which brings us onto…


Where to Stay

There aren’t many places to stay actually IN Bossington or Allerford.  However, there are lots of absolutely beautiful cottages and apartments to stay at nearby, in and around Porlock.  Porlock actually is better equipped for visitors than the little villages of Bossington & Allerford.  There you’ll find all the pubs, restaurants & shops you might need.  And it’s only a 20-25min walk from Porlock to Bossington, a 30min walk from Porlock to Allerford, or a 5min drive to either.


Where to Park

There’s the National Trust car park in Bossington which is located in the centre of the village – nearest postcode: TA24 8HF.  It’s £5 to park all day, or free for National Trust members.  There is also a small car park across the road from the Allerford Museum, nearest postcode: TA24 8HN and there is plenty of parking in Porlock too.

We hope you have enjoyed our little guide. We know you’ll have a great time visiting this magical little part of Exmoor!


A Video Tour

For more on Allerford, Bossington and other adorable English villages, see what the fabulous duo Memory Seekers have to say…