The next part of the plan on our day out in Devon was to visit Woody Bay Steam Railway. Having told Nigel (owner of The Langbury) what we were planning he suggested we drove through the Valley of Rocks and took the toll road to Woody Bay village before going onto the railway. Having last visited the Valley of Rocks almost 50 years ago with my parents I was anxious to take him up on this suggestion. It is a stunning place and one which we would like to go back to very soon to spend more time exploring as we didn't have too much time as we needed to get to Woody Bay to catch the train!
|Can you spot one of the goats that frequent the Valley of Rocks?|
A bit further on we got to the toll road. Wow! is the only way I can describe the single track road, stunning views, hairpin bends, steep cliffs and sheer drops into the sea. It was a challenging drive especially when we met a car coming in the opposite direction but one I wouldn't have missed for the world. It was good to go somewhere I had never been before.
Eventually we reached the Woody Bay Railway, this is very much a work in progress, they are trying to rebuild the line from Lynton to Barnstaple. There is just a short stretch open at the moment but it was a very scenic ride. Note I don't have any photographs of the train - I left that to the men!
We drove back to Blue Anchor across the top of moor and over Dunkery Beacon (although it wasn't even worth stopping to admire the view from the highest part of Exmoor as the visibility was very poor by this time) and finished off this long day by having a lovely relaxed meal at a cozy pub - the White Horse Inn in Washford - a truly wonderful day.
On Sunday the plan was to ride the West Somerset Railway, probably the best thing we could do considering the bitterly cold icy wind that was blowing. I am not really into trains but I do love this line, it is like going back in time about 50 years and has lots of atmosphere and lovely scenery, always some wildlife to watch (mainly pheasants but we did spot a heron and some buzzards) and lots of lovely lambs gambolling about. The banks were also covered in wild primroses which was lovely to see. Again I left the photography to the men and was happy to take it easy after some challenging driving the day before - no 1 in 4 hills and hairpin bends for me today!
Unfortunately Monday's weather was still very overcast so we decided to drive home during the morning rather than explore and drive home later. Despite the weather we all enjoyed this break and cannot wait to visit West Somerset again, which we are planning to do in October (if not before)!