Day Three: 3rd May 2009
Lynmouth to Porlock

Day Three Morning Lynmouth Countisbury Porlock Evening Features Read Me

Day Three - Lynmouth to Porlock

The main part of our walk today focussed on the scenic coastal path between Lynmouth and Porlock. This path was actually a section of the South West Coastal Path from Minehead to Poole in Dorset - a path which extends around Land's End.

We roll, pitch and yaw on top of an open topper all the way to Lynmouth. Once arrived, Dolores and I climb up to the narrow streets of Lynton above Lynmouth, without using the famous cliff lift - honest. This extra deviation probably added two more miles to our walk, but "it was all in a day's work". After returning to Lynmouth, we then looked at Lynmouth Church, from where we enjoyed the nice view of the coast line towards Porlock. After this we started on the relatively easy and pleasant 13 mile coast walk (our main intended walk) from Lynmouth to Porlock, stopping off at Countisbury, which is still in Devon. With daylight fading and no more buses, Dolores and I had a pleasant evening at the "Royal Oak" in Porlock before arranging transport back to Minehead.

The main part of our walk today focussed on
the scenic coastal path between Lynmouth and Porlock.

Early Morning in Minehead

It was Sunday morning in Minehead. It was to be the start of another memorable day, but before this there was time to savour once more the tranquillity of Minehead's Higher Town, after the birds - but before everyone else - had risen.

These are the famous Minehead church steps behind our hostel.

The church was already open, and Saint Michael's was one of those churches which always seemed to yield something new on each successive visit. This time, it was the Fitzjames Missal, circa 1320 AD. This pre-dated Gutenberg's Printing Press, so each page of this missal was hand-written. Latin text and plain chant, embellished by some splendid calligraphy, fill the pages.

In High Town, white-washed cottages catch the early morning sun.

This sunny Sunday morning we are looking towards Watchet and Dunster from Higher Town.


We roll, pitch and yaw on top of an open topper all the way to Lynmouth. Helen's main group proceeded on to Porlock, but Dolores and I arranged with Helen that the two of us would first make a short visit to Lynton (above Lynmouth) with its busy narrow streets. After our descent we enjoyed the view along the coast from Lynmouth's church. We then started on our easy and pleasant thirteen mile coast walk to Porlock.

The views from the open topper, all the way on the steep road from Minehead to Lynmouth, were fantastic if windy. However, the swaying motion of this land ship, whilst fun, was not ideal for taking pictures - certainly not with my low ISO camera!

This is the Victorian cliff funicular connecting Lynmouth with Lynton above. This railway uses water ballast in the descending car to help the car going up - this is the precursor of the more sophisticated electrical approach used on some subsequently built electric railways.
We actually walked up to, and down from, Lynton on the hill top. This added about two miles to our walk. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of Lynton itself. Apologies for my omission!

The pretty village of Lynmouth nestling below Lynton. In 1952, it was anything but, when Boscastle-style floods hurtled down the valley in the background of the picture. A memorial museum can be visited in Lynmouth.

Dolores is smiling in the sun ...

... but for some reason I look rather serious. I don't know why, because Dolores is good company and it's such nice weasther!

This is the view from Lynmouth's church, perched high above Lynmouth. We can look ahead to the coast path we would shortly be taking.

We had a look inside Lynmouth's Church ...

... where this Royal Coat of Arms (dated 1833) of King William IV caught our attention. In another four years the young Queen Victoria would accede to the throne.

Cliff Path to Countisbury

This part of the cliff path was still firmly in Devon with the county border about six miles to the east of Lynmouth. On the way, we soaked up the sun and the scenery and also enjoyed an historical interlude at Countisbury Church.

On the coast path, looking back to Lynton perched on the top of the cliffs.

On the coast path, looking ahead towards Porlock.

The signpost for the South West Coast Path is actually smaller than it looks ...

... for I am leaning on it! My hat bestows upon me a somewhat rustic appearance, but keeps the sun nicely off my head. That's relevant, because the path is very exposed and my health is important!

The church at Countisbury hides behind gorse and foliage.

The church has a neat and tidy interior.

Using GIMP, I was able to reveal the colourful nature of this Royal Coat of Arms of King William IV. This coat of arms, dated 1837, was produced just before Queen Victoria began her long reign.

Gadzooks! We are late.
A poster in the church invites us to celebrate the coronation of George V over a century ago.
Tempus irreparabile fugit!

And so to Porlock

Our coastal path was a mixture of woods, sun and the Bristol Channel all the way until nightfall in Porlock. Somewhere along the path we crossed from Devon into Somerset. We put on a step to try and reach Porlock before the last bus to Minehead, but with hindsight we could have slowed up a bit and enjoyed more of the landscape.

The owners of this hideaway off the coastal path seemed to like wild boar so much, that they placed their stone heads on the gate posts! It might be that wild boar are native to this area.

Here is one of the two wild boar in close-up.

A sylvan view on the coast path to Porlock.

The isolated church at Culbone has the distinctive, almost finished, spire.
The two of us then hurried on to try and catch the last bus from Porlock.

Our Evening

Dolores and I sped on to Porlock only to find that the last bus to Minehead had already left. This was a tourist area, so it seemed strange that the buses stopped somewhat early. We subsequently learnt that Helen and her party had to thumb lifts to reach Minehead from Porlock. Dolores and I reckoned that we would be back rather late in Minehead anyway, so after 'phoning Helen, we stopped in Porlock to dine at the pleasant "Royal Oak" pub in Porlock and took the - as we found out - reasonably inexpensive taxi back to Minehead. Our visit to the "Royal Oak" turned out to be a nice way to round off a good day!