Tarr Steps

Habitat Salt marsh, brackish and fresh marshes, estuary, adjacent farmland and hedgerows
Grid ref/postcode for main car park SS 867 321 (TA22 9PY should get you close to Tarr Steps, then follow signs to visitor car park).
Toilets at car park
Directions Go to the B3223 between Exford and Dulverton.

From the Exford direction, take the B3224 towards Simonsbath where it junctions with the B3223 above Exford.  Follow the B3223 for 5.7 miles to turn right signed to Tarr Steps.  Follow this small road to Liscombe bearing left to Tarr Steps to reach the Tarr Steps pay and display car park.  Park here.

From Dulverton, follow the B3223 away from the High Street for 4 miles, beside the river and then climbing through woods to reach the turning to Tarr Steps soon after the second cattle grid on the left.  Then follow the directions above.

Accessibility From the car park go to the lower exit to the car park and follow the permissive path down to Tarr Steps.  At Tarr Steps you will find plenty of grassland beside the river perfect for a picnic as well as Tarr Farm that offers a good selection of food in beautiful surroundings.

About Tarr Steps

Owned by Exmoor National Park Authority, Tarr Steps Woodland National Nature Reserve covers 33 hectares of the River Barle valley.  This is mainly Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea) woodland, with beech (Fagus), ash, sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), hazel (Corylus), blackberry (Rubus), bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) and honeysuckle (Lonicera).  It is internationally significant  for the mosses, liverworts and lichens which flourish in the cool damp conditions.  Much of the woodland was once coppiced, primarily to provide charcoal for the local iron smelting industry.  The river and the valley woodlands are part of the Barle Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest and abound with wildlife, ranging from red deer to dormice, including the rare Barbastelle Bat (Barbastella barbastellus) and otter that feed along the unpolluted and fast-flowing river.

Well marked footpaths run along the valley between Simonsbath and Dulverton and to the village of Withypool.  There is a circular walk from the main car park for Tarr Steps down to the river, along the riverbank for about 1.3 kilometres (1 mi) to a footbridge and returning on the other side, crossing the river on the clapper bridge.  The main car park and toilets (some 400 metres (1,312 ft) from the bridge via a footpath) can be reached from the B3223 road between Withypool and Dulverton.  Parking for the disabled and refreshments are available nearer the bridge, as are information panels put up by the Exmoor National Park, giving details of Tarr Steps history and design.


June 2019.  We visited Tarr Steps – it was a lovely day for bird watching and we saw or heard a total of 26 birds, including a long view of a Dipper and a family of Grey Wagtails.

Species seen Jun 2019


Exmoor National Park.  Tarr Steps     About Tarr steps and containing a map of Exmoor

Visit Exmoor.  Tarr Steps