The Valley of Rocks from Lynmouith.

Start. Lynmouth.

Route. Lynmouth - South West Coastal Path - North Walk - Valley of Rocks - Castle Rock - Wringcliff Bay - Mother Meldrum's Tea Room - The Warren - Hollerday Hill - Hollerday House (ruin) - Lynton - Lee Road - North Walk Lynmouth.

Notes. "Covered with huge stones the very bones and skeletons of the earth, rock reeling upon rock, stone piled upon stone, a huge terrific mass". Robert Southey English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets" and Poet Laureate. We've been here before but who could resist another visit to this jewel in Devon's crown, the Valley of Rocks. Believed to have been cut by the West Lyn River at the end of the last ice age this special place marks the edge of glacial Britain.

Today we took a very different route than last time, our day started in Lynmouth fighting the urge to utilise the cliff railway rather than make the steep climb to the coast path, foot power won, the day started with a leg burning ascent on a way marked path. The climb terminated at North Walk, we turned right, with tarmac under foot we wandered on through woodland, passed smart hotels and guest houses, on leaving the woods we stepped onto the South West Coastal Path. On we walked precipitous cliffs and dizzy views to our right the steep slopes of Hollerday Hill our left, after passing below the rock architecture of Ragged Jack we emerged into a dry valley. The Valley of Rocks was full of people, the car park was bursting, not how I remembered it, a bit disappointing, we decided to head for the quiet.

We ascended Castle Rock hoping for peace and tranquility, not today about thirty children were honing their rock climbing skills, children by nature are noisy creatures specially on a climbing expedition it seems. After ascending to the summit we found solitude after a steep descent to Wringcliff Bay, just the two of us, dark sand, high cliffs and the whispering ocean. We hung around ages, drinking in the atmosphere, really just postponing the inevitable, the leg burning ascent back up the cliff face. Once back in the valley we had lunch in Mother Meldram's Tea Room.

Thirst quenched, stomachs full, legs rested we followed the road passed the cricket ground to a cattle-grid, to the left a path ascended Hollerday Hill, zig-zags eased the gradient, at a path junction a couple of memorial seats allowed us to rest tired legs. The views over the valley and along the coast were fabulous, what a place to be remembered. Rested again we followed the left hand of two paths, this guided us into more dizzy views, lets call it the vertigo creator, although quite safe, fear of falling took the mind off aching limbs. After entering woodland we came across the ruins of what must have been a fine house at some time. Hollerday House destroyed by fire in 1913. The path swung right passed the ruins before descending the original drive, this fine track deposited us in Lynton, all that remained to drag tired legs back down the cliff to Lynmouth.

view route map.


Seen from the sea front at Lynmouth, The Foreland with the remainder of yesterdays weather front hanging over Foreland Point.

The small harbour at Lynmouth.

Views from the steep climb out of Lynmouth, the wooded slopes of Wind Hill backed by the cliffs of The Foreland.

Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, water powered, built in 1890 to transport people and goods from the dock at Lynmouth to Lynton.

A wonderful view from North Walk.

Rising from the waters of the Bristol Channel, towering above us the cliffs of Hollerday Hill.

Views along the coast to Highveer Point, visited the other day.

From the safety of the coastal path looking to the dramatic rock scenery of Castle Rock.

Heading up Castle Rock with this view for company, Ragged Jack and the Valley of Rocks backed by Hollerday Hill.

Sue in action on Castle Rock.

Duty Point seen over Wringcliff Bay.

A glimpse of the beach at Wringcliff Bay, and the steep path used to gain access.

Wringcliff Bay one of Devon's delightful secret corners and we have it to ourselves, lets hope nobody else can be bothered to make the steep descent.

Wringcliff Bay, a magic place where overhanging cliffs mark the joint between land and sea, and crystal clear water kisses the beach.

The Devil's Chimney and Mother Meldrum's Cave, Mother Meldrum featured in RD Blackmoor's Lorna Doone, it is believed she is based on Aggie Norman a witch who lived in the valley in the 19th century.

In the Valley of Rocks looking to Castle Rock and Ragged Jack.

A view to die for, the Valley of Rocks as seen from the ascent of Hollerday Hill.

Wandering along the vertigo creator looking across Lynmouth Bay to the precipitous cliffs of Foreland Point.

The sad remains of a grand mansion, Hollerday House was built between 1891 and 1893 for Sir George Newnes a renowned publisher, constructed on this site to take advantage of the spectacular views, the house was burned to the ground in 1913, Suffragettes were blamed but there was little evidence to prove the allegations.

A grand carriage way to what was once a grand mansion.

back to top

back to list