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Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Valley of The Rocks

This weekend, I have been on two Weekend Walks. In this blog post, I will tell you about the first one:

Yesterday, Jon and I went for a 4 mile walk around the Valley of the Rocks. The route we took is Walk 12 in Short-ish Walks in North Devon (one of a number of books on short walks in the North Devon area written by Robert Hesketh that we happen to own).

First, we drove to Lynton. It was about 4:20pm by the time we arrived there, but there was still some sunshine around then and we were confident we'd be able to finish the walk before it all disappeared. We walked along North Walk Hill, past the path going down to Lynmouth, over the Cliff Railway, and on to what the book calls a "de luxe footpath". Here we saw three wild goats munching on the bushes to one side! There are lots of wild goats around the Valley of the Rocks (we saw several grazing further along the path), and they even have their own Lynton Goats Facebook page!

The book told us that along this path we would have "wonderful views of South Wales" but unfortunately for us it was too foggy in the Bristol Channel for us to see them. We weren't too disappointed, though, as the views of the cliffs and tors along the Valley of the Rocks was spectacular!

Along the coastal path, we stopped for Jon to get his guitar out and have a play while I took photos. He's going to do a charity walk later this year, and he wanted some 'publicity images' to share with friends. I'll tell you all about how you can sponsor him when I've got all the details! It was great fun taking photos while he played, although he was a little worried about sitting so close to the edge! We noticed once we continued walking that, if he had had the misfortune to fall, he'd have landed on a ledge about two feet beneath him, so there was never any real danger.

On we walked, until the path left the coast and we saw several more wild goats (and a friendly dog kept firmly on his lead!). Here we saw the road, where cars can drive through the Valley of the Rocks. We walked to the roundabout, and followed signs to "Coastpath (along road)" until we reached Lee Abbey. We saw tennis courts here, and learned that you can come here for retreats, for a holiday, or for the outdoor activity centre! It certainly looked a lovely place to stay!

Next, we turned left onto a footpath by a field full of sheep and lambs, with a bank of daffodils to our left. This path led us into Six Acre Wood, where we then turned left again and started to begin the climb uphill.

We found ourselves on a steep zigzag up to the top of a ridge path. Feeling quite hot (and not wanting a repeat of the week before!), we stopped for a rest along here. I drank some water while Jon got his guitar out to play again. I took some more photos of him (though the goat behind him had disappeared before I could get the camera ready, sadly), and then we gathered up our things and continued back to Lynton.

The views from up here were beautiful. In fact, the views along the whole walk were so stunning that I ran out the batteries in both of my cameras! As the light was slowly beginning to fade by this time, we hurried on until we found ourselves back in Lynton.

We were quite hungry by this time, so we decided to stop for dinner in The Oak Room, a Tapas restaurant in Lynton. We shared some typical Spanish dishes while Jon drank a latte and I drank some delicious Rioja Blanco. The two women serving were both very welcoming and friendly & the meal was absolutely lovely. I'm sure we'll be back sometime soon!

FairyJo! x

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