Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Lynton: The Valley of Rocks


                                                     The eastern end of the Valley of Rocks

We are in Lynton in North Devon visiting Ange's brother and family and no sooner have we had lunch than we are off to see the Valley of Rocks (not the Rocks).  We have been here before, in 2017, when we were walking the South West Coast Path from Hunter's Inn to Lynton.

We were surprised by how quickly we left the town and are now following a high rocky path which looks down on the western end of the Valley. Unexpectedly, the valley is home to a cricket ground. There is also a car park.


We continued along the high path and soon passed above Lee Abbey. The site was originally owned by the Cistercians at Forde Abbey and the Gothic Revival buildings were rebuilt or extended in Victorian times. In the 1920s it became a hotel, at which time the main extensions were built. During the Second World War it became a boys' school, and in 1945 was acquired by the Christian Fellowship. The site now offers retreats, group weekends and Christian family holidays



We gradually descended from the high path and reached the road that leads up to Lee Abbey. There was a fine view of the buildings, which look unchanged since our previous visit.

One we had passed the Abbey we entered the Valley of Rocks at ground level.

The official South West Coast Path is the path coming in from the left, but we took the narrow road instead which comes in from the right. Why?

Well it turns out that if you stand in the right place along the road and look in the right place in the high rocks opposite, you get an interesting view. It is the White Witch. You may want to click on the image to get a full-size version.

Look at the large square rock on the left. On its right side is a slanting rock. If you look at the gap between the two rocks a silhouette of a woman comes into view. So long as you are in the right place!

It remained only to continue along the Coastal Path to reach Lynton and then head through the town to where we are staying. This was surprisingly interesting and will shortly be the subject of a separate post.

Conditions: Warm and sunny.
Distance: about 4.5 miles.
Map: Explorer OL 9 (Exmoor).
Grading:  Easy.
Rating: four stars.

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