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Posts by Alan Hargreaves

Martinhoe Cleave Cottages – The Perfect Holiday Hideaway on Exmoor

Three self catering cottages in Exmoor National Park, North Devon (more…)

The Heddon Valley and Heddon’s Mouth

Heddons Mouth

Heddons Mouth

The Heddon Valley is set in the west Exmoor coast surrounded by towering cliffs and moorland. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the Heddon Valley is home to a variety of wildlife including otters and the rare high brown fritillary butterfly. The coastal, moorland and valley paths are renowned for their spectacular views and natural beauty.

Just a quarter of a mile from the cottages is the start of the trail to Heddon’s Mouth. A gentle stroll through ancient woodland alongside the River Heddon to where it meets the sea, between some of England’s highest cliffs. You’ll also find a restored 19th-century lime kiln on the beach.

To the east is Woody Bay, a quiet and wooded cove with spectacular views over the Bristol Channel. To the west, the Hangman Hills boast towering sea cliffs and beautiful moorland scenery, offering energetic walking and wonderful views over Combe Martin.

There is a National Trust information centre and gift shop, car park and toilets in the Valley, as well as the famous Hunter’s Inn public house.

Exmoor National Park

Exmoor Ponies

Exmoor Ponies

Exmoor is a unique place shaped by people and nature over thousands of years and is recognized as one of the UK’s finest landscapes.  Large areas of open moorland provide a sense of remoteness and tranquillity rare in southern Britain. Spectacular coastal views, deep wooded valleys, high sea cliffs and fast flowing streams all combine to form a rich and distinct mosaic. Click here to link to a short video of the National Park.

The South-West Coastal Path runs through the area  and there are many other walks in and around the area.

Exmoor ponies roam freely on the moor. You can see them at close quarters at The Exmoor Pony Centre at Dulverton. Started in 1998, its aim is to work to conserve and promote the welfare of this rare breed pony.

Below are some videos provided by the South West Coast Path Association showcasing some of the wonders of Exmoor:

English

Nederlands

Deutsch

 

Lynton & Lynmouth

Lynton

Lynton

Known by the Victorians as Little Switzerland, the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth offer a unique visitor experience including a craft centre and cinema, many shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants.   They are linked by a cliff railway. Established in 1888, this water-powered lift takes passengers up and down the cliff between the towns. It uses no power other than water from the River Lyn to run it.

The Valley of Rocks

Valley of Rocks

Valley of Rocks

The Valley of Rocks is a dry valley that runs parallel to the coast about half a mile west of Lynton. It is noted for its herd of goats, its geology and its stunning views.

Watersmeet

Watersmeet

Watersmeet

Watersmeet is a dramatic river gorge clothed with ancient woodlands. The area is a haven for wildlife with breath-taking views, waterfalls, evidence of iron-age settlement and past industrial processes. At the meeting place of the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water stands Watersmeet House, a National Trust tea garden in stunning surroundings. There are many paths leading along the riversides and up the valley sides to Lynmouth, Rockford and Countisbury.

Arlington Court

Arlington

Arlington

This National Trust house was once owned by the Chichester Family. The grounds are also the location for the National Trust Carriage Collection which has recently acquired, on loan from the House of Commons, the early 18th century Speakers State Coach to add to their display.

Marwood Hill Gardens

Marwood Gardens

Marwood Gardens

These lovely gardens, pictured above, are well worth a visit. They were started by Dr. Smart in 1950’s and are now owned by his nephew who continues to expand them. Dogs are welcome on leads. The tea rooms come highly recommended for both morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea.

The Lynton to Barnstaple Steam Railway

Lynton-Barnstaple Steam Railway

Lynton-Barnstaple Steam Railway

This narrow gauge railway, decommissioned in 1935, now has 2 miles of track between Woody Bay and Parracombe. Volunteers keep several authentic steam engines and rolling stock in working order so that visitors, can enjoy travelling in Edwardian style!

Walking Routes

Walking Routes

Walking Routes

As well as the South West Coast Path, the area is home to other long distance walking routes: the Two Moors Way which runs between Lynmouth on the north Devon coast and Ivybridge in South Devon, crossing Exmoor and Dartmoor; the Tarka Trail which includes walking and cycle routes around Exmoor and the North Devon coast associated with the Tarka the Otter novel; and the Coleridge Way which links sites across Exmoor and the Quantock Hills associated with the poet.