I was kinda surprised that this is in fact "Off the Beaten Path" as it is a superbly scenic and worthwhile wander with excellent pubs at both ends. Yet the couple of times I've taken this wander it's only when I've gotten to the coastal path section that I've met anyone else on the route.
From Porlock you follow the main road out of the village to the west then hang a right which is signposted Porlock Weir. The footpath is also well signposted and takes you pretty much directly to the pebbled beach of the eponymous bay through a pleasantly hedge-lined track.
As you leave the track you pass the spooky submerged forest (see "General Tip" for details) in the saltmarshes and then have to negotiate the stepped pebbled beach of the bay towards the village. If you leave the footpath and rejoin the road you come into the Weir through a postcard-perfect set of thatched cottages and come out at the Bottom Ship where your next beer awaits.
Just a small word of warning - the pebbles can be a bit hard-going on the feet and so make sure you have suitable footwear.
On the walk between the village and Porlock Weir you'll pass this little petrified forest on the saltmarsh. About seven thousand years ago the land here was substantially more elevated but due to erosion and land shifting the tree trunks become semi-submerged at high tide. Whilst the saltwater has killed the trees it has also has acted as a preservative to give them this spooky bleached look which I should imagine on a moonlit night would be definitely eerie.
The birds don't seem to mind though as the colourful goldfinch in the second picture demonstrates.
As well as being an attractive little harbour with postcard-suitable thatched cottages the Weir also has a clutch of art and craft shops, a maritime museum (The Boat Shed) and an aquarium.
These can be found behind the harbour and if I remeber correctly the museum has no admission charges (although a charitable donation is appreciated) and the aquarium has a small admission fee.
The harbour at Porlock Weir dates from 1442 and its present-day incarnation is characterised by its inner and outer sections with the inner harbour protected from the high tides by a massive steel lock gate.
In the 17th to 19th centuries this was quite a busy little port with limekilns, the mines at Luccombe and herring and oyster fishing but these days it is mainly used by leisure craft. The harbour is only accessible for about an hour at high tides and the rest of the time is effectively a dry dock.
It is a delight though and note the quirky houseboats.
One comes across Exmoor ponies, wandering free all over Exmoor.
They fend for themselves- finding food, foaling and caring for their young without any
interference from anyone.