Refreshed and Renewed

The weather is currently glorious here in the UK and we took full advantage by booking a few days away on the North Devon coast. Named “Little Switzerland” by the Victorians, the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth enjoy a fabulous location nestled between the sea and the cliffs. Zorro had a ball as the whole area is a dog walking paradise, with deeply cut wooded valleys, rivers, waterfalls and Exmoor – Lorna Doone country.

We stayed in a little thatched cottage in pretty Lynton, the higher of the two towns, and enjoyed spectacular views of the rugged coastline. Going down to Lynmouth was lovely with an easy walk through wooded valleys and streams, but getting back up was no joke. Thankfully, the two towns are linked by the Cliff Railway. Opened in 1890, this environmentally friendly railway is, I believe, unique. There are two cars – one going up and the other going down – which are powered by water. A hydraulic lift operates the cars and as the topmost car is filled from a reservoir, it causes that car to move down while simultaneously lifting the other car upwards. Again, the views are pretty amazing and it’s said that it’s the closest thing to being in a helicopter without actually leaving the ground. It certainly felt that way to me.

We also visited Watersmeet, which is now owned by the National Trust. A leisurely walk along the river gorge past waterfalls and the occasional interest of the area’s wildlife, is rewarded by a much needed and appreciated coffee and cake at an old fishing lodge which is now a pretty tea shop right in the middle of the woods.

We took a walk on Hollerday Hill and viewed the remains of an Iron Age settlement, again with spectacular views. This was also the site of a huge mansion owned by the area’s Victorian benefactor, whose property was mysteriously burned to the ground at the turn of the century, supposedly by the suffragettes, although this was never proved. We then walked on to the mysterious Valley of Rocks. There are many stories and legends associated with this fascinating area, such as the weird rock formation named Rugged Jack. Here legend has it that the devil appeared to a group of druids who were dancing and revelling on a Sunday and promptly turned them to stone. Then there’s the original site of the church in Lynton which it is said the pixies disapproved of. Each morning the workers would arrive to find the previous day’s building work had been demolished and the stones moved across the way to another site. It was soon decided that the church should be built in this new site to avoid the pixies’ wrath.

While tales of pixies, fairies and ghosts abound in this region, for me what makes it magical is the sheer beauty of the area. We all came home refreshed, renewed and with aching legs. But it was well worth it.

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11 responses to “Refreshed and Renewed

  1. kipmcgrathurmston

    This sounds absolutely idyllic! I am looking out of the window at a disappointingly grey day.

  2. What a fantastic holiday and in such good weather as we’ve been enjoying lately. So pleased you had a good time. I haven’t been to Lynton and Lynmouth for years. You photos and post brought back some lovely memories. Thank you.

  3. It was idyllic, Kip. In fact I’ve planted my sights on a lovely little weekend cottage that seemed to call my name. Ah well, we can dream 🙂

  4. Yes, hasn’t the weather been fab, Kit? Glad my post brought back good memories for you. It’s such a stunningly beautiful area.

  5. Ahhh, you bring hope for the rest of us (currently mired in gray rainfall). 🙂 What a lovely place to visit. LOVE the cliff view and the cottage. And Zorro has gotten SO big!

  6. I’ll send some of our sunshine your way, Laurie 🙂 Yes, Zorro is getting HUGE and his energy levels seem to be growing along with him! Phew!

  7. I have been waiting for this post since the first pictures you sent of where you were going. In fact I’ve showed that sight to my family with sigh’s of “I want to go there.”

    Zorro is a WOW dog. Beautiful. I’m glad you could take him with you. I’m glad you had good weather. It’s nicer today but we’ve had a lot of rain and it’s been cold.

    Thanks for sharing. I love our Backyard Fence, and how it span’s continents.

  8. Valerie J. Patterson

    Tricia, what an amazing place to go for a lovely holiday. I wish you had added a few more pictures. I would have loved to have seen the church and the stones and the tea house. It sounds like it would be the perfect place to write as well. So much natural beauty for inspiration. Thank you for sharing your short trip with us! 😛

  9. It was really great to be able to take Zorro with us, Lavada. He loved all the different scents, sounds and sights and was, mostly, a good boy.

    The cottage was as lovely as it sounded in the brochure, which was a real bonus. It was a joy to fall asleep at night with only owls hooting and not a car horn to be heard 🙂

  10. Interestingly enough, Valerie, I took a photo of Rugged Jack, but it never came out. Weird. Maybe the fairies were at work 😉

    Yes, it was the perfect place to write, very peaceful, and I’m wondering if I could swing another holiday there soon for that purpose and write it off as a tax break?

  11. Sounds like a wonderful time. I would love to spend a few days there. I love the photos, too. I’m a fan of pixie lore and the story about the church is awesome. I’m glad you shared your break with us! Made me definitely want to visit!

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