The Exmoor 2024

Open to all students from Year 8 onwards, the Exmoor is renowned as the longest and toughest school run in the UK, but ask any student, and they wouldn’t have it any other way! 

The rain stayed at bay, and there were even glimpses of blue sky at one point. Thankfully, there was no snow this year! The conditions turned out to be just about perfect for West Buckland’s most celebrated run, with students proudly sporting their house colours and traditional war paint. 

This age-old tradition sees every pupil and many staff members marching out of the school gates to one of the highest points of Exmoor in Devon. Conveniently situated near an eccentric pub, it’s where former students and staff gather to share stories over beer. They reminisce about the days when the Headmaster rode out on horseback or how they had to climb barbed wire fences draped with hessian sacking, like a prison break! 

After a nearly 8-mile trek to the starting point at Kingsford Gate, Senior Full Exmoor participants merged with Short Exmoor runners at Heasley Mill. They skilfully navigated through Exmoor’s challenging terrain, conquering its toughest hills before returning to school. 

The Exmoor is an annual cross-country race that boasts 161 editions, with only two cancellations in the school’s history. While shorter runs were once part of the event, they have gradually faded away over time. Competitors embark on various routes from the school before converging at the starting line. The full-distance event kicks off at Kingsford Gate on Exmoor, winding its way back to school over a course spanning around 10 miles, with shorter routes beginning further along the course. 

For 2024, we introduced a twist to our annual Exmoor Run. The event also included a Tiny Exmoor Run for the Pre-Prep pupils and a Mini Exmoor Run for Prep pupils – both on Wednesday 20th March. Moreover, we’re proud to announce the introduction of our first-ever Giving Day. This initiative aims to enrich the lives of our students by offering more transformational bursaries and enhancing our outdoor education opportunities across the whole school, making every donation count. The Giving Day is a 36-hour online fundraising event, and former pupils, alumni, and staff from around the globe are involved via email and social media. So far over £80,000 has been raised from 275 donors!  

All photographs by Will Harper-Penrose.

Whole School Open Day
Sat 21st Sept
From 9:30am
Join us for our Whole School Open Day and discover how a West Buckland School education can benefit your child.
Whole School Open Day
Sat 21st Sept
From 9:30am
Join us for our Whole School Open Day and discover how a West Buckland School education can benefit your child.