Exmoor

Between Lynton and Combe Martin is Trentishoe and near Trentishoe I found this sunlit heathland next to the North Devon Coast.
Moors are biomes with low-growing vegetation and acidic soil, where hardly any trees grow. Devon has two famous moors, Dartmoor and Exmoor. Exmoor is in north Devon, bordering the sea at the Bristol Channel, with Wales lying north of the Channel. Most of Exmoor is in Devon but part of it extends to Somerset towards the east. In August large parts of the moorland is covered in blooming purple heather and yellow gorse.

To the north Exmoor extends all the way to the coast and at many places it is steep to the sea with fascinating cliff walks along the coast. The family went there for a short staycation in August before the children’s school started again. We stayed at Lynton, high up on the cliffs and overlooking Lynmouth 150 metres below. You can walk a steep cliff path between the two villages but you can also take the funicular that goes straight up between the two.

The funicular has two carriages and one goes up at the same time as the other goes down. It is driven by water! At the top (at Lynton) a tank underneath the carriage is filled up with water, which makes the carriage heavier, so it wants to go down pulling the other one up. At the bottom the water is emptied out again and the carriage with the empty tank is pulled up by the heavier carriage at the top going down.

West of Lynton is the famous Valley of the Rocks, where the attractive rock formations steep straight down to the sea. Inhabited by the feral goats and in summer a hoard of tourists it raises majestically 150 metres straight from the sea. Inland is a dry valley, where probably the Lyn river exited into the sea before it took its present course via Lynmouth to the sea. See my photos of Castle Rock and Rugged Jack at sunrise. 

West of Lynton is Trentishoe and Martinhoe where the moorland goes all the way out to the sea. Mikee and I had a walk along the cliff paths a very stormy afternoon and we met up with Eric and Jennifer who were walking in the valley below.

And further west is Ilfracombe, where we had dinner one night and found a lovely viewpoint over the harbour and of the chapel of St Nicholas, which dates back to medieval times. A light was later added to the chapel to guide sailors into the harbour and the lighthouse is still operating. On my photo in the evening you can see the light. It guides ships and yachts navigating the waters between Devon and Wales at the entrance to the Bristol Channel. But it is of course as well a beacon guiding Christians to worship at the chapel overlooking the harbour.

To the east from Lynton we saw Porlock Bay, the moorland on the common and the very quaint village of Porlock Weir. A weir is a small dam and this was built to keep the water in at low tide for the fishing boats in the harbour. And we continued further east to the village of Allerford and the medieval town of Dunster with its beautiful castle.

I have tried to illustrate the beauty of Exmoor in a few images in the slide show below.

Slide Show

Click the arrows to advance

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  • My faily walking down to Lynmouth
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  • Castle Rock at Sunrise
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  • Near Castle Rock is “Rugged Jack”
  • At sunrise from the other side, “Rugged Jack” is seen in silhouette.
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  • The lighthouse keeper’s cottage at Foreland Point.
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  • Occasionally the sun broke through. We are looking west.
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  • another view of the same cottage and bridge
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