Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Coastwalk , South West Coast Path

Porlock Weir → Lynton

culbone-pews.png Distance: 12.6 miles
Ascent: 703 metres
Duration: 5 hours 13 minutes

Into the woods
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It's foggy again. In fact, at one point today our visibility was down to twenty metres. I nearly pulled the compass out to assist navigation, but at that moment a gentle breeze parted the mist and showed us the tower of Countisbury church. With such poor visibility and the path criss-crossed by sheep tracks and other footpaths, it would have been easy to get lost.

worthy-tollhouse.pngAfter climbing out of Porlock Weir and passing the toll house of the Worthy Toll Road, we entered woodland carpeted with new spring growth. We saw deer tracks beneath our feet, heard owls hooting above our heads and watched squirrels chasing each other through the trees. The bulk of the day's walking was woodland like this.

culbone-graves.pngOne highlight was Culbone Church, a small, ancient stone building dedicated to Beuno, a popular Welsh saint. It was close to this church, at Ash Farm, that Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the opening passages of Kubla Khan whilst recuperating from an illness — a work that was allegedly fatefully interrupted when the original "person from Porlock" knocked at the door and disturbed Coleridge's train of thought.

The path continued through the woods, crossed the border into Devon and took us past a track to the intriguingly named Desolate Farm. Finally it climbed The Foreland and began the long descent into Lynmouth.

cliff-railway.pngAlthough we'd parked in the town we pressed on with one last climb: up the steep hill to Lynmouth's sister, Lynton. We were keen to do this now, despite our tiredness since it would have made a rather frustrating start to the next walk otherwise. Besides, we could relax on the way back down by taking the cliff railway and enjoying what we little could be seen of the view out to sea.

Posted by pab at 18:07 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!