Tag Archives: North Devon

From Somerset to North Devon

Took me six days to arrive in Saint Ives, (north west Cornwall), but before talking about that,  let´s go back in time and start from the beginning!!!

Clevedon to Lynmouth

It was a warm morning and from London to Bristol there´s not much to say… I got caught in the usual congestion on the M25, followed by the boring 50 mph average speed control on the M4 until Slough as the smart motorway is being built, and then all the way west towards the M5 that goes to Exeter.

I had never been to Clevedon and as my brother had just moved there, it was a good opportunity to visit him and this coastal old town. It is quite picturesque and scenic with excellent views over Wales on the other side of the Severn river estuary. Clevedon has the second biggest tidal rise and fall in the world, where the water  can go down to 14.5 meters, and therefore strong river currents are common. The coast line is quite pretty with big extensions of sand/soft mud during the low tide.

We went for a swim by the river at a pool/lake on the estuary, the water is quite brownish due to its muddy bottom, however the quality is good despite its aspect. I recommend sandals if you are to enter the water, or you might feel a disgusting spongy bottom. Still,  it is safe, as long as you are careful.

Felt great to be out of London and away from my daily routine.

Selfie
Relaxed mode on!!!

 

CBR600F4
“Sophia” and my brother´s bike.  Honda CBR 600 f4, 1999/2000.
Clevedon
Clevedon seafront and old pier, the estuary and the lake/swimming pool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clevedon
The stunning view from Clevedon hill to the estuary towards south and it´s great low tide.

 

Clevedon
St. Andrews church in Clevedon, quite rustic and pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clevedon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clevedon
View over the Severn muddy water estuary, Wales on the other side and Clevedon Pier on the bottom. Stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later my brother and I did a little barbecue on a little cove beach just by were he lives, which was great! In a way I envy him to be living by the sea away from the city chaos, but I am happy for him as he loves it!

I woke up next morning with Saint Ives in my mind, everybody kept on tell me it is a fantastic town. It was a bit cloudy and warm, which makes the riding pleasant, so after breakfast I left Clevedon and headed towards North Devon. The A39 seemed to be quite scenic on the map, I started following it. Such a disappointment, it was all uninteresting, busy and nothing especial until Minehead, then it all changed. Less traffic density, more rural  with the coast not far at all. The road also became more interesting, hilly and twisted.

A39
After Minehead, no more cement trees, no more heavy traffic and no more polluted air!!!

My first stop was Porlock Weir, a small old settlement in west Somerset around a harbor. It is a pretty spot for a stop to appreciate the coast and the old harbor. There is a little museum, a hotel and a few restaurants. Probably a few interesting foot paths as well but I did not explore these.

 

Dunster
Before Porlock I passed this little nice village, Dunster. There´s a castle you can visit.
Porlock Weir
A bit of history about Porlock Weir
Porlock
Porlock Weir harbour side and the little museum. You can´t say it doesn´t have its beauty.
Porlock Weir
Porlock Weir harbor at tide out.
Porlock Weir
I believe this might have been a ww2 bunker, not sure, could not find anything related to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porlock Weir
Restaurant bar in Porlock Weir and the little settlement. Pretty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porlock Weir
This is Porlock Weir and its harbor!

 

I left Porlock Wier and re joined the A39, it was beautiful all around, but the road required some skill (If you are inexperienced I do not recommend you to take this route). Had to deal with a very steep section and a couple tight hairpins whilst going up hill, but once on the top the view was spectacular!!!  I was then in the North Devon district and Exmoor! One word to describe it, AWESOME! (I did not take pictures of the hairpins or recorded them as sadly I had no battery on my GoPro camera.)

 

North Devon
North Devon welcoming me with this great view. Porlock Weir is on the other side of the green mount at the far end.

 

 

North Devon
Exmoor National Park, miles and miles of excellent footpaths. Great place to do hiking and to enjoy the nature.
North Devon
The information center, pretty but it´s empty inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Devon
For someone who is used to spend most of the time in London you may not believe it but this is in England!!!

This was just the beginning and I was loving it, “Sophia” has an appetite for bends, hairpins and good tarmac… I was just delighted with the sight seeings and enjoying the road like nothing else matters in life… what a good feeling, all seemed to make sense, in harmony, and all that together means, therapy to me!!!!

 A lighthouse was marked in the map as point of interest, but had no idea how to get there, so after entering a private farm and being politely kicked out,  I was directed correctly to the “Foreland Point Lighthouse”.  The road to get there, if you can call it a road, was scary… asphalted but very narrow and incredibly steep with tight hairpins, and as if it wasn´t enough, with gravel on bends. (Not for the inexperienced for sure or you could end up at the bottom, in the sea).

It was worth it!!! what a beautiful place!!!

Foreland Point Lighthouse
Looking at this picture, makes it seem it is an easy road, however, don´t be fooled by its beauty, it is really hard to get to the lighthouse.

 

foreland Point Lighthouse
Potholes and chippings, it doesn´t look like it, but it is very steep.
Foreland Point Lighthouse
The lighthouse!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Foreland Point Lighthouse
Part of the view from the lighthouse. ( pictures that don´t make justice at all to the beauty of the spot)

Saint Ives was still on my mind and I wasn´t doing progress at all. All around was pretty and the road just intense making me to stop  all the time just to enjoy the views. I was on the A39 again getting close to Lynmouth. In my mind it was just another town I was about to pass, however the moment I started going down Countisbury Hill, I had to stop again as it was too beautiful to keep on going.

Countisbury Hill
This is the one of the views from Countisbury Hill. Amazing coast, dramatic and unique, however the only access to the beach is from Lynmouth and during low tide only.
Countisbury Hill
Countisbury Hill and Lynmouth at the bottom. Great spot!!!
Coountisbury Hill
The A39 in Countisbury Hill, what a great road!!! Doesn´t even feel like you are in England!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moment I arrived in Lynmouth I decided, I would spend at least a day around a day just to enjoy the place. It is too beautiful to be ignored.

Lynmouth
Lynmouth, one of the most amazing towns in North Devon.

First things first, I was hungry! I went to a coffee shop (The Bake House Cafe) to have a snack and met Hayley, the nicest waitress you can come across. Very friendly and smiley all the time. The food was great too. She told me all the places I should visit in Lynmouth, such as the Watersmeet, the Glen Lyn Gorge, the footpaths around, the beach and the sunset, and especially she insisted that I should visit The Valley Of Rocks. (thank you Hayley!) All in all Lynmouth is a great place to spend a couple days or holidays. 

Lynmouth
The bake house cafe, great friendly staff, great pastries and delicious smoothies.

It was time to find a camping to pitch the tent, so after a little research at the information center I ended up going to the Chanel View Caravan and Camping Park, a couple miles away from Lynmouth. I read in some reviews that this campsite is a bit pricey and the terrain not so good. Well, I can´t complain, I paid £7 per night for a tent and motorbike. It has good clean facilities (however toilets could benefit some updating), loads of electricity access points and tap water. The terrain was good and easy to pitch the tent, in a quiet location and away from the noise, there is a pub just next to it if you want to enjoy a pint and a little mini market at the entrance in case you need some essentials. Overall, it is a good spacious campsite offering great views over Lynmouth and the Bristol Channel, ideal for a couple nights.

 

Lynmouth
Arriving at Channel View Caravan Park

 

Lynmouth
Channel View reception and shop.. after the check in, time to pitch the tent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynmouth
Lynmouth view, stunning!!!!
Lynmouth
Lynmouth waterfront and the Lyn river estuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lynmouth
Lyn River , stunning!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20190701_203541.jpg
Lynmouth street
IMG_20190703_123053.jpg
This is Lynmouth 
IMG_20190701_203510.jpg
Next to a restaurant in Lynmouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20190702_123011.jpg
Not sure if it´s a house or something else, but I liked it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was recommended, I had to check Valley of the Rocks just after Lynton. It´s one of the most amazing places I ever seen in the South West. Basically it´s a valley that runs parallel to the dramatic Devon coast, it is quite popular but not crowded and it is famous also for the existence of wild goats in the area. Definitely I recommend you to visit it independently if you are by motorbike or car.It is such a spectacular spot, either to walk the footpaths or just to enjoy the nature and scenery around, not forgetting the twisty roads around able to put a grin in every biker out there.

Here´s a little video about Lynmouth and Valley of the rocks :

 

Later on, I went back to Lynmouth to do a kind of picnic by the beach and relax while there was still some daylight before heading back to the camping. What a great day!!!!

Lynmouth
After the Valley of Rocks nothing better to lay down at the beach and to enjoy the freedom to roam wherever I wanted…
Lynmouth
… whilst enjoying a great sunset!!!
Lynmouth
Definitely the south west has has one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in the U.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so that was my first day in North Devon… would I get to saint Ives the next day?

Well, you have to wait for the next post to find out!!!!

Thanks for reading!!!

 

Note:  Routes in the maps and routes section if you plan on doing a similar trip.