Thursday, 5 November 2015

Somerset Break Part Two

Wednesday: Wow! What a day, lovely weather and spectacular scenery. We drove to Lynmouth via the Porlock toll road (something we haven't done before - we usually go straight up the 1:4 Porlock Hill). 

On arrival in Lynmouth we walked via the harbour to the cliff railway which takes you up to Lynton.

The Rhenish Tower (the only place that was rebuilt after the 1952 floods)

The cliff railway is a water-powered funicular joining the twin towns of Lynmouth an Lynton

The view from the top

The beautiful Lynmouth coastline looking east 

The plan was to walk the cliff path from Lynton to the Valley of the Rocks. The path turned out to be a very narrow vertiginous path with a steep drop to the sea which my DH didn't like at all! Certainly not a path to follow if you suffer from vertigo! However, we did make it to the Valley of the Rocks (we drove through this area last year but didn't have time to stop on that occasion so vowed we would return this year). The Valley of the Rocks is a dry valley that runs parallel to the coast

The narrow path leading into the Valley of the Rocks

Safely off the narrow cliff path we followed the path through the rocks down to the road

Our first sight of the feral goats that live in this area

The goats in their natural habitat

The craggy tor of Rugged Jack

The towering mass of Castle Rock

A few intrepid climbers climbing Rugged Jack

This must be the most scenic cricket ground in the country

A view over the cricket ground with Rugged Jack in the background

We continued walking down the road until we reached a cafe where we sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed some lovely sandwiches before exploring the area around Castle Rock. I did venture onto the cliff path to take some more photos while DH sat safely on a seat and took in the spectacular scenery.

This person is braver than I am, didn't mind the cliff path but I wasn't up for climbing up there!

This place really takes your breath away, we were both blown away by the stunning beauty and atmosphere of this place.

We decided to walk back to Lynton via the road, a less scenic walk, but DH understandably did not want to venture onto the cliff path again.

A final look back to Castle Rock 

On arriving back in Lynmouth we had a quick look around the shops before driving to Watersmeet, another place with stunning scenery. We have been here many times but it keeps drawing us back. 

The old fishing lodge which is now a National Trust shop and cafe

As usual the chaffinches joined us for afternoon tea!

On walking back up the steep path out of the ravine we drove onto the moor on our way back to Blue Anchor where we met some Devonshire Red cattle and some Exmoor ponies. We usually see Highland Cattle in this spot but they were keeping out of sight today.

There are Exmoor ponies in this shot but they are hard to pick out in this photograph taken late afternoon

Thursday: Woke up to a wet start to the day. The rain eased off as we ate breakfast although it remained dull and very mild for the rest of the day. Another morning walk for me down to the beach while DH tackled the washing up!

We then decided to visit Cleeve Abbey at Washford. We have driven by here so many times but have never stopped before. I am not sure why because it turned out to be a fascinating place to visit. Cleeve Abbey is a medieval monastery founded in the late twelfth century as a house for monks of the Cistercian order. The abbey church was destroyed by Henry VIII during the dissolution in 1536 but the cloister buildings, the gatehouse, the 15th century refectory and the monks living quarters have survived remarkably intact. 

A 13th century medieval tiled pavement is in the process of having a roof built over it and will be open to the public next year, something we want to go back and view.

After our visit to this tranquil haven of peace we motored just up the road for our second meal of the holiday at the White Horse.

It was then time to drive to Minehead for a bit of retail therapy and a quick visit to the beach ...

... before returning to the Garden Lodge to relax and continue with my Autumn corner to corner throw.

Friday: Our last full day and we made it Dunster day. Firstly to look around the village with its ancient yarn market and castle ...

... and then onto Nutcombe Bottom where we enjoyed a picnic before embarking on the Tall Trees Trail which contains the tallest tree in England.

The tallest tree in England

DH stood at the bottom of the tree, gives you some idea of the scale

From here we made our way to Dunster Beach and went for a walk around The Hawn (a landlocked freshwater lake) before taking a walk on the beach. The chalets on this beach were built back in the 1920's between the sea and the Hawn and at the time cost £65 (or £75 with a verandah), now they cost nearly 2000 times as much!

Finally yet another meal at the White Horse, oh my goodness the food there was so good. Dreading my next weigh-in at Slimming World!

We so enjoyed our week away in this lovely part of the country. We have been to this area so many times and never tire of it and remarkably after all these years we are still finding new places to explore.

I hope you have enjoyed my Somerset postings (although Lynmouth/Lynton/Valley of the Rocks/Watersmeet are actually across the border in Devon) and I haven't bored you with so many photos - I find it really difficult narrowing down my selection of photos!


  1. Wow, lovely photos, looks like you had a great time! Weather wasn't too good to start but seemed to get better. I love your crochet, very autumnal colours xx

  2. I really enjoyed a trip down memory lane revisiting these beautiful places in your lovely photos. :-)

  3. We've been to most of the places in your photos - a lovely reminder. Always fancied one of the Dunster chalets so neat. Had they finished fiddling about with the paths in Dunster town. In March they were replacing cobbles with concrete much to the disgust of the local people.

  4. What a great time you had! You went to some places that I know and love, and others that I didn't so it was great to see them and to see some favourites too! xx

  5. Really enjoyed your photos, Jan! The shots of the feral goats were so interesting--I never knew there was such a thing! And your new blanket is perfect for a fall project :)

  6. Such stunning photos - you make me very envious. I love the photo of you having a quiet crochet moment. Your blanket is going to be fantastic - perfect autumnal colours. xx

  7. HI Jan, I've just been catching up with your blog and have really enjoyed joining you on your Somerset break. I was at Watersmeet back in the summer, and it's one of my favourite places too. The Valley of the Rocks is gorgeous, and I haven't been there for years. I'm with your DH on that cliff path - terrifying! Glad you had a good time.
    Cathy x