Walk #91: Lynton to Porlock Weir
Map of the walk
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format. For a detailed table of timings for this walk, please see the table file.
This was a very tiring day under the hot sun. The scenery varied significantly throughout the course of the day - from the classic coastal views at Countisbury to the woodland that prevailed during most of the day to the open farmland between Broomstreet and Silcombe Farms.
I found today to be a remarkably long day. I always thought that I was further on in the walk than I really was. Perhaps this was due to the woodland walking causing me to lose track slightly of where I really was on the ground, or just my ever-optimistic mind wishing that I were further on. Even late in the day I was still meeting people who were trying to walk to Lynmouth from Porlock - if they made it to Porlock they must have arrived quite late in the evening.
Once I had climbed the initial ascent from Lynmouth to Countisbury the rest of the day was spent contouring the coast with no serious climbs or descents of any great note. Despite this I found that today was a very hard walk, although this was probably as much to do with the hot weather as anything else.
Porlock Weir is a very nice little village, and I went for an evening walk along the shingle beach as far as the breach. This is a place where there is a 20-30 foot gap in the beach where the sea broke through four or five years ago. Apparently it can be crossed at low tide, but I do not really fancy risking that, so I will have to make an inland diversion tomorrow to Porlock. I also spent some time watching a young family crabbing of the harbour wall - I used to do this as a child, and it was quite engrossing watching them successfully catch many crabs, sometimes with as many as five in one go. Seeing crabs hanging off other crabs, which were hanging off other crabs, was quite an interesting sight.
Whilst I was looking around Porlock Harbour this evening a lifeboat came in towing a small yacht that had apparently got into difficulties. I find it hard to imagine what these difficulties could have been in such glorious weather. The local pub has a plaque on the wall about a rowing competition between the pub and one in Barry in South Wales. That is quite a distance to row, and the honours over the year were about equally spread.
Another nice point about today is that I am now in Somerset - my third county of this trip so far. This feels very nice, although I am slightly sad to see the back of Devon, which has had some very spectacular scenery.
From Lynton head down the North Walk path into Lynmouth, a few hundred feet below. Once in Lynmouth cross the River Lyn via a footbridge and turn right through the park towards the A39. The south west coast path then ascends up a steep hill before joining the A39 for a period as it climbs uphill. Fortunately there is a reasonably good path here to avoid road walking. The path then leaves the road and ascends sharply to the left along to Countisbury Hill. The path then heads along to Foreland Point before veering eastward, contouring along the cliffs and then plunging into woodland.
The path is very well signposted and incredibly easy to follow. Unfortunately due to landslips the path soon leaves the coast and heads inland to Broomstreet Farm and then on via a green lane to Silcombe Farm. It then continues on to the tiny church at Culbone, where I found a very convenient refreshment hut open. More wood walking takes you downhill to the east through Worthy and on into Porlock Weir.
This makes a total distance of 12.6 miles, with 3947 feet of ascent and 5323 feet of descent.
Tonight was spent at Sea View Cottage, Porlock Weir, TA24 8PE, telephone (01643) 862523. The cost was £18.00 for the night. This was a very friendly and welcoming B&B that was very well situated in the centre of the village.
For more details of suitable accommodation in this area, please see the South West Coast Path Association's Annual handbook.
Please note that I take no responsibility for anything that may happen when following these directions. If you intend to follow this route, then please use the relevant maps and check the route out before you go out. As always when walking, use common sense and you should be fine.
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And finally, enjoy your walking!
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