Walking on Exmoor and the Quantock Hills






About the site

News and updates

Exmoor and the Quantocks

Introduction to the walks

► The Exmoor coast: west

► The Exmoor coast: east

► Western Exmoor

► Central Exmoor: north

► Central Exmoor: south

► The Brendons to the coast

► Bampton and the lakes

► The Quantock Hills

► Further afield

Useful links

Index of places and themes

GPX files

About the author






750 upper rib da janela

The Janela valley

Madeira is my favourite walking location outside the UK. This Atlantic island is sometimes called 'the garden of the Atlantic' or 'God's floating flowerpot', but beyond the warm and flower-filled south coast it is an expanse of mountain and moorland. It is about the same size as the Exmoor and Quantocks region and there are some parallels - high moorland, deep valleys, ancient woods and steep sea-cliffs - but it rises nearly four times higher with some serious mountains and dramatic landscapes. Much of the walking is alongside levadas, channels built for irrigation and to transport water from the wet north and centre to the drier south. Some of these are bucolic and floriferous, a few cross moorland, but some cling to mountainsides and are only suitable for walkers with a good head for heights. There's also pleasant strolling around towns, villages and gardens, along with a very good bus service that makes it easy to plan linear walks.

Here's my mini-guide to the island, last updated in 2023 (we last visited Funchal in 2019, so some of the restaurant recommendations etc. may be out of date):

Notes from a Warm Island


 All text, photographs and maps Stan Lester 2019-2023