Morning Reader! Thanks for dropping by. It’s day two of our fifteen day ‘southwest adventure’. If you missed yesterday’s post, it’s here.
As per this morning’s weather forecast, we’re promised some of the damp stuff around midday, so we’re going to make the most of the morning. Still, at least it’s now not coming until later in the day, compared to when we last checked. Brollies on standby then!!! 🙄
But before all that, there’s breakfast – our first one here at the Inn.
8.35am: I thought we were early down to breakfast, but it looked most of the county had beaten us to it! Boy, was it busy!!!
Still, the service was prompt and we were soon tucking in! And it soon became obvious why it was so busy – it was all delicious! 😋
9.43am: Suitably fuelled for the day ahead (at least, until lunchtime!), our first stop was just 15 miles away – Lynmouth. We took the slightly more scenic route that only added a mile to the total distance.
10.45am: Lucky us! We found a free parking area right opposite the seafront. Perfect for snapping a few shots in and around the harbour. Can’t believe that the parking is free! 😎
10.50am: Before we jumped on the railway, we took some time to look around the Lynford Flood Memorial Hall. There was plenty to read and see about the devastating flooding here back in 1952.
It was all very well presented, including a scale replica of the town BEFORE the flood. It illustrated perfectly, the amount of damage caused. 😮
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
11.05am: Time for the main event – a trip pretty much vertically from Lynmouth to its northern neighbour, Lynton.
Opened in 1890, it’s the highest (and the steepest) totally water-powered railway in the world! I’m not sure if today’s weather forecast would make it go any faster though! 😁
It was only a short journey (£3 per person each way) – just a couple of minutes – but our ‘carriage’ covered it at some speed – and with ease!!
It was certainly quicker than walking up!! 🙂
11.26am: I love surprises, 🤔 and in a change to the published itinerary, Mrs P slipped in a coastal walk heading for the dramatically sounding ‘Valley of Rocks‘. This would take us on a three-mile (ish) yomp with great views of the sea to our right and spectacular rock formations to our left.
Although my feet might disagree, it didn’t disappoint!
It was the perfect weather for it. Not too hot and not too cold with a gentle breeze.
The path itself was well-maintained, and it was wide enough to accommodate walkers coming from opposite directions. The only slightly scary aspect was that there was no fencing separating the path from the rockface! One slip and your next stop would be the sea! 😮
11.56am: We arrived at the famous Valley of Rocks to find, not surprisingly, a valley of rocks! 😁. It had been a very pleasant walk getting there, and now all that was left to do was to make our way back to the car in Lynmouth
We had a couple of choices to get back to the car (excluding trying out my Uber app!). We could take the Cliff Railway in the opposite direction, or we could walk it. The weather was holding (no sign of the promised rainfall) so we chose the walking route known as The Poets’ Walk (aka The Zig-zag route to locals). It took about fifteen minutes and featured a very (very) steep decline. We could both feel it in our legs, and we tried very hard NOT to let gravity win! I suspect we’ll feel the journey even more later! 😫. Time for some stretches later!!! It was probably worth it, just for the spectacular views towards Lynmouth.
12.44pm: On returning to the car, we could see that the town was now even busier with cars cruising up and down for that elusive free parking space. As I mentioned earlier, we’d been lucky to get a space for free. Or had we? 🤔 As we prepared to leave, we realised that there was a two-hour parking limit where we’d parked – and we’d been there, closer to three! 🙄. Luckily, no sign of a parking ticket… yet!!! 😮 Ooo, the stress!!! 🥱
Our next stop was nearby Watersmeet, just a few minutes drive away. No prizes for guessing how it got its name!! 🤔
Built originally as a fishing lodge and romantic retreat, with connections to the romantic poets, it has been a tea room since 1901. Amongst its other attractions, the Lynrock mineral water factory opened here on the East Lyn in 1911 where it was famed for its ‘palatable water quality’ (apparently due to its radio-active content that could cure gout!) It also bottled mineral water and made ginger beer until 1939 (when it closed due to ‘lack of demand’ and no doubt, also by the extra fizz (and glow?) in their ginger beer!!!). The factory was destroyed in the floods of 1952 when almost 10 inches of rain fell in one day.
It was also home to one of the first hydroelectric power stations in the UK fed by the East Lyn river.
In truth, unless you’re really ‘into’ running water and/or scenic waterfalls, there’s not much to see. Almost certainly, your most memorable part will be the walk down to it all – and back up! Four hundred metres down a steep incline (with no handrails) and a ‘natural’ path (ie no tarmac). If the Poets’ Walk had been challenging, this was equally (or more) so! 😮
On arrival, it was clearly popular, judging by the queue for the Tea-Room and the number of people using the picnic tables (ie all of them!). After a few minutes, we abandoned the queue for some nibbles and headed for the steep walk back to the car.
1.14pm: It was perfect timing in a way because it then began to rain. We drove back to the Inn to reflect on our day out.
2.05pm: It had been a great day. We loved Lynmouth, and the Valley of Rocks walk was a great experience soaking up the views. Watersmeet was slightly disappointing – but I’m not sure what I expected. We covered just 47 miles today in the car, but nearly 4 on foot – so that was good!
Time for ‘feet up’ (before they fall off!) and then it’s a return visit to the Inn’s restaurant for our evening meal.
7.00pm: Our second visit to the restaurant here in at the Inn.
Another great experience in the restaurant tonight! 😋😋 – and by 8pm, it was completely full! 👍
On the list for tomorrow: National Trust’s Arlington Court and a bit of ‘retail therapy’ in Barnstaple. See you tomorrow! 😊😊
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