Exploring North Devon – Lynton to Ilfracombe, UK

Day 14  – More North Devon   Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Our plan for the day was to explore along the coast of North Devon to the west of our lodging in Lynton.

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Valley of Rocks – Castle Hill

Our first stop was in the Valley of Rocks again. We wanted to climb to the top of Castle Hill this time. We had great views and a wildlife encounter.

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Valley of Rocks

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This bird escorted us up the path on an otherwise quiet day.

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Dan ascending, the bird on the upper left.

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I hiked up the next rise to find my path blocked by feral goats.

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We found another path to the top.

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Looking down on the goats.

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An ‘arch’ of Devonian sandstone near the top.

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View to the west, where we hiked two days ago.

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Looking down on the goats again as we head down hill.

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Another ‘cheese wring’ across the road.

Trentishoe

Next, we drove west through the rolling landscape, and stopped for a coastal view at Trentishoe Hill.

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Looking east along the Devon coastline.

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A rocky cove beyond the blooming gorse.

Holdstone Down

We took a short hike to a trig point at Holdsmore Down.

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Track across Holdstone Down.

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Holdstone Down trig point

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View to the west

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Looking south across downs to the manicured counterpane farm fields.

Combe Martin

We explored the rocky cove and beach at Combe Martin as the tide was coming in. it would have been nice to explore around to the next cove, but seemed too risky.

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The beach at Combe Martin, tide rising.

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Dipping Devonian sandstones form one wall of the beach.

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The walk along the cliffs.

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Spring flowers above.

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Looking back to town.

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Sandstone and the view across the harbor.

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Walking around the cliff edge.

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Tide pools

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Tide coming in along the outer walkway.

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Limpets and snails

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Eroding stairway up the cliff.

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After exploring the beach we drove on to the western viewpoint looking back down to Combe Martin beach.

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The walkway along Combe Martin beach.

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We could also see to the west from the upper viewpoint.

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Ilfracombe

Our last stop was the sprawling town of Ilfracombe. It is surrounded by water and spread out over several rocky hills. The rising tide meant we could not go into the famous Tunnel Beach. Instead, we explored the viewpoints and some local art installations, and finally stopped at a teashop for a famous Devon Cream Tea – two light and fluffy scones with Devon cream and strawberry jam, and a pot of tea. All was delicious.

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Ilfracombe Harbor

We walked through town, then uphill to the Ilfracombe Observatory, with great views all around

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Back to the southeast.

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We had our tea in one of these shops.

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To the southwest.

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To the north – the sea.

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Top of the hill.

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The Tunnel Beaches are along those cliffs to the west. As we admired the view, we noticed an interesting mosaic installation just beyond the beach.

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We could actually pace out the distance this local athlete had triple jumped while setting a (still standing) world record in 1995.

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It’s hard to imagine going this distance (18.29 meters/60 feet) in three ‘steps’!

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Looking back to the beach and Observatory Hill.

After our tea, we walked back toward the harbor, with the goal of seeing another local art installation called Verity – which, at more than 20 m high, can’t be missed!

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Verity by Damien Hirst, Ilfracombe Harbor

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This side of the statue displays the organs beneath the skin.

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This was our last stop for the day. We found our way back to Lynton, and packed up our belongings, ready to leave tomorrow for our next stop, Bath. And more Jane Austen history.

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