Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A Spring Run on Exmoor

I really think that there are few areas more beautiful to run or walk than the North Devon section of the South West Coastal path, I just love it!

I have come rather late to running (I being Tracey), having completed my first half marathon 2 years ago aged 39 (hmmm, don't think I was having a midlife crisis?!?). I feel that I have shown that there is hope for everyone, as I never thought I would be able to run 13 miles let alone enjoy it. However, I am now a complete convert. I have found that I get to see so much more if I run rather than walk and the spectacular scenery takes your mind off the hills (well almost).

So a few weekends ago Rich and I decided to use a wonderful morning off to go for a run. Maybe not at first thought the most romantic of options, but.....

We started at 'The Valley of the Rocks', a spectacular bit of coastline to the East of Lynton on Exmoor (only 40 mins drive from Pickwell). The carpark also happens to have next to it one of the most beautiful cricket pitches in the country. Rich longs to play there one day, if anyone can pull some strings?!?

There are goats and baby goats everywhere, not sure they are particularly native but very cute.

We then ran along the coastal path to Lee Abbey and back again, this pic from their website shows quite how stunning that section of coastline is.

We then ran back past the 'Valley of the Rocks' to Lynton.

From the top, there are amazing views of the harbour and bay...

The woodland path winds its way down.

The harbour village of Lynmouth at the bottom of the hill is really pretty. 

There were lots of people sitting out on the harbour picnicing in the sunshine.

We were tempted to stop at the quaint 'Rising Sun' pub which is so wonderfully old (14th century) but the river was calling. 

We were heading for the East Lyn.

So different from the coastal path but equally as beautiful.

We travelled up the river to 'Watersmeet' where the East Lyn and West Lyn meet (not entirely sure this panoramic shot worked, but you get the jist). It is also the location of a rather nice National Trust cafe, where we stopped for a welcome bottle of water. It was such a lovely sunny spring day we were getting quite warm by this point!

The West Lyn has this gorgeous waterfall just above the bridge.

It was so picturesque running along the edge of the river looking down on the rushing white water, swelled by the Spring rain.

Both of us tripped over at least once, as we were too busy looking at the river rather than the path.

We were headed for this lovely little pub 'The Staghunters Inn' at Brendon. 

It was so sunny, we sat in the garden right on the river, read the paper and ate delicious soup....sheer bliss!

The way back was largely downhill, which I was very pleased about.


Not far now.

Lynmouth and Lynton are linked by this amazing and very old cliff railway, so we cheated and caught a lift up the hill.

It is an amazing piece of engineering....

with yet another stunning view.

Just time for a little potter in the Lynton shops and a well earned coffee and piece of cake. Fourteen miles of complete heaven, we loved every minute!