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The AONB covers 370 sq kilometres and sits between 150 and 310 metres above sea level. The area has three major river valleys, the Otter, Culm and Yarty.

The northern escarpment

This part of the AONB is dramatically steep and well wooded. The linear east-west topography is emphasised by the straight road running along the top. Small hedged fields are a feature. View point: Quarts Moor, National Trust Car Park

Wooded ridge

This is the softer, rolling end of the escarpment to the east. Here you will find extensive woodland including conifer plantations. Avenues of mature beech trees are banked along side roads. View point: Staple Hill Car Park (Neroche Forest)

Upland plateau

Here gently undulating land is crossed by long straight roads bounded mostly by beech hedges and isolated mature trees. View Point: Dunkeswell airfield

Rolling ridgeland

The landscape here is similar to the plateau, but has a rolling topography with smaller fields. Avenues of trees line the roadsides and you will find views across the valleys. View point: Half Moon Inn car park, Clayhidon

River valleys

Heavily wooded upper slopes spill down into pasture, hedge and hedgerow trees in the valleys. Here you will find small winding roads and isolated farmsteads. View point: Culmstock Beacon

For more detailed information about the landscape of the Blackdown Hills, download the Management Plan or contact the AONB office

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Walk, cycle and ride on our suggested routes around the Hills.

Click here to see all routes.

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