North Devon has for some time now been the home of award-winning food and drink. You'll relish in finding our rich dairy produce, fresh seafood and fine meat, cheeses, vineyards and orchards. The best cooks in the county are just as impressed. They source food from nearby and have helped to see the county’s food transform into a food lover's haven. We have an eating out guide showcasing some of the best places to eat and drink in the area, from gastropubs to award-winning fine dining. Lots of Exmoor accommodations specialise in utilising fresh local produce. With names built on the quality and freshness of the food they offer many hosts can tell you where the food was sourced or, in some cases, just tell you which farm!
The links between local food producers and retailers helps sustain and protect the area’s exceptional environment. Native cattle and sheep have a unique taste from grazing the wild upland herbs and grasses. Livestock is often born wild and lives free – so food miles are mostly gained on the hoof!
The West Country is renowned for its dairy produce which makes tasty cheeses, delicious ice creams, olives and world-renowned cream teas. Pheasant, rabbit, venison and other game delights are all part of local rural life – treat yourself to a taste of the wild west! Trout can be caught from Exmoor’s rivers in the morning and on the plate by lunchtime. Fish and seafood from our shores make fantastic fresh suppers.
Exmoor has a rich cultural history so it’s no wonder it hosts a brilliant food festival, inviting people from all around Devon, the West Country and further afield.
Exmoor food festival
A variety of events takes place throughout the village of Porlock with a food theme. The Exmoor food festival takes place in the village hall with local producers offering samples of produce. There is also a pie competition.
The history of Exmoor
Much of the moor’s past concerns human attempts from Mesolithic times to the present day to live on and around the moor and exploit the area for their own purposes. For example, they hunted and fished, felled trees, built houses, cleared and cultivated land, grazed animals. They also traded, travelled, worshipped, and buried their dead. In doing these things they left remnants of their activities such as arrowheads and various stones, deserted mine-shafts and ruined buildings. At the same time their behaviour helped form the Exmoor landscape as we know it. Trees were gradually cleared from the hills and soon vegetation was monitored so that sheep could find the best grazing.
The whole landscape is a record of how people lived there historically. It is a particularly significant landscape because there are so many undisturbed archaeological sites and monuments and likely more to be discovered. Research will of course add greatly to our appreciation of the past in Devon and Somerset, and across the UK.
The Beast of Exmoor
Eyewitnesses have offered a number of varied descriptions with regards to sightings of this mythical giant cat. Most reports state the creature as being a big cat either appearing as a puma or a panther. It is stated as being between four and eight feet from nose to tail, standing close to the ground, and as being able to leap over six-foot-tall fences with ease. Descriptions of its colouring vary from black to tan or dark grey.
No such cat is native to England, and the vascillations in description have led some cryptozoologists to believe that there might be multiple creatures.