Walk in the Quantock Hills: The dramatic coast of Kilve & East Quantoxhead

Views of coastal path, hills and sea on Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk

From dramatic coastlines to wild landscapes, the Quantock Hills are a marvel to explore on foot. Located in south-west Somerset, the Quantocks are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and feature rugged Jurassic cliffs, heather-covered hills, rich rolling fields, quaint villages and arresting scenery. The Quantock Hills are scattered with enchanting paths just waiting to be explored that lead you along the stunning coastline and up breathtaking hills.

To marvel at the dramatic coast of the Quantock Hills, I would recommend the Kilve and East Quantoxhead circular walk. This walk leads you along the captivating West Somerset coast path and across the lush fields and hills surrounding the quaint villages of Kilve and East Quantoxhead.  Throughout the coastal walk, you will be awestruck by the striking contrast between the wild, rugged cliffs and crashing waves, and the peaceful, verdant hills. Be prepared for high winds rolling in from the sea!

Location: Kilve and East Quantoxhead, Somerset

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 ½ hours

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)

From the quaint village of East Quantoxhead to rich rolling fields

When I enjoyed the Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk, I started from the quaint village of East Quantoxhead. You can also start the walk from Kilve Beach. There is limited but free parking at East Quantoxhead, and there is pay and display parking at Kilve Beach.

When you reach East Quantoxhead, take the time to explore the small picturesque village. The hamlet features a collection of terraced houses, quaint thatched cottages, a cute enclosed pond, St Mary’s church and an impressive Tudor manor, known as the Court House, which you can only admire from afar.

Lovely thatched cottages in quaint village of East Quantoxhead
Quaint thatched cottages in East Quantoxhead

From the East Quantoxhead car park, the walk takes you along the path towards the medieval church of St Mary’s. Leaving the quaint village behind, the stroll then leads you across the verdant field facing the church. On reaching the country road, follow it and take an ascending country path enclosed between hedges. At the top, the walk continues into another lush field from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the arresting Quantock coastline and the surrounding bountiful hills.

Rugged cliffs, wild sea and peaceful hills

After crossing the field towards the sea, the walk then follows the dramatic coastline. As you walk along the slanting coastal path, you can only gape in awe at the rugged cliffs and wild sea to one side, and the peaceful, verdant hills to the other. The stroll continues along the cliff top to the pebble beach of Kilve. You then leave the arresting Quantock coast behind you and make your way inland.

Arresting cliffs and crashing waves along the Quantock Hills coastal path, enjoyed during the Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk
Rugged cliffs and crashing waves along the Quantock coastline

Crossing the Kilve Beach car park, the walk follows the road to The Blessed Virgin Mary’s church. You then cross the charming church courtyard and following the sign-posted path, walk across two lush fields, the second bordered by green woods. You then emerge into the quaint village of East Quantoxhead. As you make your way back to the car park, you can admire the lovely Court House gardens.

To view the walk itinerary, please visit theaa.com.

Explore more: Hike up the Quantock Hills

Many enchanting paths also await you up the striking Quantock Hills. The Quantocks feature a splendid collection of heather-clad hills, most of which you can climb for fantastic views over the surrounding hills, the dramatic coast and Somerset.

Views of Quantock Hills and Bristol Channel from Staple Plain
Views of the Quantock Hills and Bristol Channel from Staple Plain

Staple Plain is one of the closest hills to the coast and just 10 minutes away from East Quantoxhead. Standing 310m above sea level, Staple Plain enjoys splendid views over the dramatic coast and the rugged landscape of the Quantock Hills. The circular walk detailed in the Stable Plain car park leads you around and up the imposing hill and takes approximately 1 hour. Shorter and longer walks are also available among the many rocky paths dotting the wild hill.

Explore more: Walks in Somerset & Wiltshire

Explore Somerset further and discover stunning walks over lush rolling hills, along delightful country lanes and through charming villages. From the striking Mendip Hills to the magnificent Exmoor National Park, escape to the beautiful Somerset countryside with the Somerset & Wiltshire walk guides by A Dragon’s Escape.

View of Crook Peak in Mendip Hills
Crook Peak in the Mendip Hills

The Kilve and East Quantoxhead walk details

Location: Kilve and East Quantoxhead, Somerset

Difficulty: Easy

Time: Approximately 1 ½ hours with regular stops

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km)

Ascent: Somewhat steep

Itinerary: The AA

Trail condition: Good, but the trail can get muddy in wet weather.

Accessibility: Not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs or bikes.

Parking: East Quantoxhead car park or Kilve pay and display

Facilities: Toilets and shops in East Quantoxhead

Notes: Please be mindful of livestock and keep your dogs on a lead. Please beware of oncoming vehicles when walking on roads. Please be prepared for high winds.

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References: The AA, Quantock Online, Quantock Hills

Featured image: The coastal path on the East Quantoxhead and Kilve walk

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