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Lynton and Lynmouth (Day 2)
Date & start time: Sunday 27th September 2010
Location of Start :The Blue Ball Inn, Countisbury, North Devon, Uk ( Map Ref: SS 747 496 )
Places visited : Lynton, Lynmouth, Valley of the Rocks.
Walk details : A walk around the villages and then a drive and a walk at Valley of the Rocks.
Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast but dry.
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Countisbury and the Blue Ball Inn where we are staying are just outside the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth
so we park in the riverside car park and walk down to explore the sights.
Lynmouth has one of the few safe harbours on the North coast of the Bristol Channel
and its history dates back many centuries as a sea port, trading centre and latterly as a holiday resort.
Lynmouth straddles the River Lyn and suffered the loss of 34 lives in a flash flood in 1952.
After the deluge and damage the town was repaired and the river channel widened and deepened to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.
[ Dare I say that our local town of Cockermouth could do well to adopt a similar policy ? ]
Still that was many years ago and though still remembered by locals and visitors alike,
the area has lots of other sights and attractions to entertain and amuse.
This is the seafront looking up the coast towards Foreland Point where we walked to last night.
Of the sixty buildings demolished by the floods all those years ago, only the Chapel and the Rhenish Tower (above) were rebuilt after the floods.
It was a landmark feature of the old harbour and now proudly straddles the new harbour walls.
It's low tide this morning hence the lack of water . . . the tidal difference here is in excess of ten metres, one of the highest tides in the world.
Many of the houses and shops are built on the steep sides of the valley
and are only accessible by footpaths and the occasional narrow service roads.
This is the Rising Sun Hotel which was well recommended by people we met later in the week.
Amongst all the seaside shops you could buy a Scarecrow for a mere ten pounds.
Good value considering all the work that went into making them.
In the Memorial Hall there is a whole archive of old photos and village memorabilia
including this large 3D model of the village of Lynmouth as it was before the floods.
The old Rhenish Tower can be seen at the entrance to the river and a model shows the P&A Campbell paddle steamer leaving the pier.
- - - o o o - - -
Back to that funicular railway I mentioned earlier.
To join the two towns, the benefactor Sir George Newnes established a water powered railway up the steep cliff in 1888.
There are no motors or electricity used . . . the top carriage is ballasted with water from a local stream till it is heavier than the lower one
and as it descends it pulls the lighter carriage to the top, a process repeated many times a day for over 120 years !
Go for a ride on the railway yourself . . . ( music by Moby )
We've been elevated to the town on Lynton in no time at all
and after a brief look round we decide to walk back down again . . . we only bought single tickets of course.
A thatched cottage on the hillside high above the harbour.
A replica of the lifeboat Louisa that featured in a dramatic rescue in 1899.
Time for a light lunch, an afternoon drive and a short walk along the coast.
- - - o o o - - -
We drove west to Martinhoe and Woody Bay.
This is the view back along the coast over the houses at Slattenslade and the distant Castle Rock.
Lee Abbey is still a religious centre and enjoys the peace and quiet of this lovely part of the coast.
Looking back at Woody Bay.
This is Castle Rock at the western end of the Valley of the Rocks where we park up for a gentle walk.
Harry is on restricted exercise at the moment so all walks are short.
We understood from a local signboard that the valley was famous for its goats . . . can you spot one ?
As well as the crazy ones high on the precipitous cliffs we also met several on the pathway.
Bethan is well used to sheep . . . but goats are a new thing . . . Mmmm ?
They take an alternative route as we walk by.
Nimble feet . . . they need them in this area.
Once we passed they climbed back up to the path once again.
Harry finds a great viewpoint . . .
and encouraged Ann out to see the view !
Yes . . . it's a long way down.
The views were good despite the overcast nature of the day.
Bethan accompanied us to the top each time which gave her much needed extra exercise.
Back to our residence once again . . . (cheating here . . . photo from yesterday hence the sunshine)
During the evening we had a discussion with Nick, the co-owner, about what made a good pub and hotel venue.
Was it the pool table in a back room which provided a meeting point for local teams to play and enjoy an evening's entertainment ?
Was it because it was a very dog-friendly establishment ?
Our two were allowed in every room in the house (except the kitchen of course)
welcomed by both management and fellow guests.
A good pub has to have a good selection of local ales.
The menu was extensive and interesting if a little restrictive for vegetarians.
It was so good we ate in every night !
Certainly the lack of bright modern lighting added to the delightful atmosphere.
Altogether a nice place to stay.
And so to bed . . . someone turn the lights out . . . please !
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a head for heights on this part of the coast.
A previous time here - It's been twenty years since we were last in this area so no photos on-line.
Next walk - 28th September Heddon & Watersmeet