Dates for the diary: Guided walks with the Exmoor Society

EXMOOR SOCIETY GUIDED WALKS 2016

 

Friday 6th May 2016 10:30am-3:30pm
Doone Country
Visit the area and sites associated with Lorna Doone on the circular walk of 8 mls. Walking alongside Badgworthy Water, beyond the site of the medieval village to Tom’s Hill Barrow and

South Common, we reach Oare Church before returning via Oare Water. Boggy in places. Please bring a picnic. Dogs under control welcome.

Meet: Malmsmead car park GR 792478 (Ref. JR)

Wednesday 11th May 2016 11:00am-1:00pm
Mining and Mystery at Wheal Eliza
On this short walk along the River Barle, hear the history of the Knights, mining in this part of Exmoor and the tragic mystery of Wheal Eliza. One or two short climbs but overall an easy walk along the valley. Return to Simonsbath for optional pub lunch or bring a picnic.
Meet: Ashcombe car park, Simonsbath. Grid Ref. 775394 (Ref. RT)

Saturday 28th May 2016 2:00pm-4:30pm
Coast and Common from Barna Barrow – A Walk with Glorious Views
Enjoy glorious views of Devon’s most northerly point, remote coastal scenery and haunts of bygone smugglers on this 2.5 hr / 3.5 mile walk. 100 m ascent on lighthouse road to finish. Please wear suitable weatherproof clothing and footwear. Meet Barna Barrow car park. Grid Ref. 7528 4962 (Ref. TP)

Friday 10th June 2016 10:30am-4:30pm
History and Mystery on the High Moor
On this circular 8-ml walk on the edge of the bleak, remote area of the Chains, you will visit sinister Pinkery Pond, the ancient

Longstone and mysterious Moles Chamber, as well as seeing many other historic landmarks. Spectacular views. Hilly, rough and possibly boggy underfoot. Please bring a picnic and wear weatherproof everything. Dogs on leads welcome.

Meet: 2nd layby from Simonsbath on B3358 near Goat Hill Bridge TA24 7LL (Ref. JG)

Friday 17th June 2016 10:30am-2:30pm
Watersmeet and the East Lyn River
A 5 mile walk through woods to Watersmeet, then along the beautiful East Lyn River to Rockford with a lunch stop at the Rockford Inn (or bring a picnic) and returning on the opposite side of the river. Dogs under control welcome. Meet: Hillsford Bridge NT car park GR 742 477. (Ref. JR)

Saturday 25th June 2016 10:30am-2:30pm
Avill Valley Vistas

A steady climb from the Avill Valley to the Grabbist Hill ridgetop is rewarded with stunning views of Dunkery and North Hill and across the Bristol Channel to South Wales. Following the ancient track, the views continue before making our way down to Wootton Courtney and following level tracks back to

Timberscombe. 4 hrs/8 mls.
Meet: Outside The Lion Inn, Timberscombe GR 962422 TA24 7TP (Ref. AM)

Friday 1st July 2016 2:00pm-4:15pm
Kilve and East Quantoxhead Walkabout
Join this easy 21⁄4 mile /21⁄4 hour stroll to discover some of the historical highlights of this fascinating area. Please wear weatherproof boots and clothing.

Optional cream tea to conclude the afternoon. Meet: Car park, Kilve Beach Grid Ref. SS 155442 TA5 1EG (Ref. RC)

Tuesday 5th July 2016 10:00am-12:30pm
Lynton and Valley of Rocks – An historic tour
This is a fascinating 2.5-hour walk to see a different view of Lynton, to learn how it has been shaped over the years and how the Victorians were drawn to the splendour of the Valley of Rocks. 2.5 mls/2.5 hours.
Meet: Valley of Rocks ENPA car park & picnic area (car park near public toilets). Grid Ref. 7113 4968 (Ref. TP)

9th July 2016 10:30am-3:00pm
Withypool and Tarr Steps
We start this walk by following a lovely stretch of the River Barle along the waymarked path from Withypool to Tarr Steps. We will then cross the ancient monument of Tarr Steps clapper bridge and climb slowly above the valley to the open moorland of Withypool Hill, passing two prehistoric sites before descending back to Withypool. Refreshments and toilets at Withypool and Tarr Steps. 9.5 miles. Meet: Withypool car park. Grid Ref 842353 TA24 7QP (Ref. AM)

Friday 15th July 2016 10:00am-12:30pm
Dunster Walkabout
An easy 2.5 hour / 2.5 mile walkabout to see and hear about some of the fascinating things in Dunster that the normal tourist misses. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear.
Meet: Visitor Information Centre, Dunster Steep, Dunster TA24 6SE (Ref. RC)

Friday 22nd July 2016 10:30am-3:30pm
Selworthy and North Hill
Enjoy stunning views on this circular walk of appx. 7 miles from Selworthy up to North Hill, Selworthy Beacon, Hurlstone Point and Bossington Hill. Some steep climbs and descents. An alternative route may be taken in inclement weather. Please bring a picnic. Dogs under control welcome. Meet: Selworthy Church overflow car park, Selworthy, Nr Minehead
(Ref. JR)

Thursday 18th August 2016 10:30am-3:00pm
The Woods of Simonsbath and the Historic Sawmill
A mile walk taking in Ashcombe Wood, Birchcleave Wood and Simonsbath Sawmill. Hear about the history and management of these plantations created by the Knights around Simonsbath in the 19th century. Slightly uneven ground with some short steep sections. Please bring a picnic and if the weather is bad we can lunch in the sawmill. Never more than appx half a mile from the car park, which has toilet facilities. Families welcome and dogs under close control.
Meet: Ashcombe car park, Simonsbath. Grid ref. SS 773 394 Postcode TA24 7SH (Ref. GMcV)

Friday 26th August 2016 10:30am-4.00pm
Far West Exmoor
A 9.5 ml challenging circular walk along the South-West Coast Path (narrow and sheer drop in places) from Hunter’s Inn to Holdstone Down returning via Trentishoe Down and Ladies Mile. Fairly rough walking with some steep climbs and descents. Please bring a picnic. Dogs under control welcome.
Meet: NT car park, Hunter’s Inn, Heddon’s Mouth GR 655 482. (Ref. JR)

Thursday 8th September 2016 10:30am-4:30pm
In Coleridge’s Footsteps to Culbone

A 6-mile circular walk along the most recent section of the Coleridge Way to Culbone Hill and down to England’s smallest church at Culbone. Steep hills and probably muddy underfoot, you will be rewarded with spectacular views. Please bring a picnic and wear weatherproof clothing. Dogs on leads welcome.
Meet: Porlock Weir car park, Porlock (parking fee), TA24 8PD

(Ref. JG)

Tuesday 13th September 2016 10:30am-2:00pm
Lady Harriet Acland’s Drive, Haddon Hill
A walk from Haddon Hill, down to Bury, back along Lady Harriet’s Drive beside the River Haddeo to Wimbleball Dam. Then along near the lake and back to the car park. Appx 6 miles. One steep climb. Please bring a picnic.
Meet: Haddon Hill car park, off B3190 GR SS970288
(Re. P & J M)

Hope Bourne and her Beloved Exmoor
Saturday 24th September 2016 10:30am-1:00pm
A walk around the Withypool area in the footsteps of Hope Bourne, taking in her favourite views from her writings . A moderate walk of appx 3 miles,

some parts rough underfoot and steep in places. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. Followed by optional lunch in Withypool or bring a picnic.
Meet: Withypool car park, Withypool TA24 7QP (Ref. RT)

Tuesday 27th September 2016 10:00am-12:30pm
Lynton and Valley of Rocks – An historic tour
This is a fascinating 2.5-hour walk to see a different view of Lynton, to learn how it has been shaped over the years and how the Victorians were drawn to the splendour of the Valley of Rocks. 2.5 mls/2.5 hours.
Meet: Valley of Rocks ENPA car park & picnic area (car park near public toilets). Grid Ref. 7113 4968 (Ref. TP)

Tuesday 4th October 2016 2:00pm-4:30pm
Discovering Dunster’s Hidden History
This is a fascinating and easy-going walk around Dunster village

looking at its historic buildings and secret places. About 1.5 miles. Followed by optional tea in the village.
Meet: Dunster Visitor Information Centre, Dunster Steep, Dunster TA24 6SE (Ref. JG)

Wednesday 19th October 2016 10:30am-4:00pm
Anstey Commons and Hawkridge
Join a member of The Exmoor Society in this relatively less known

corner of the National Park. The walk includes three commons, Dane’s Brook, small sections of the Exe Valley and the two Moors Way, and visits Hawkridge. Appx 9 miles, including steep descents and wet underfoot, you will be rewarded with good views of both Exmoor and Dartmoor! Please bring a picnic and wear waterproof clothing and stout footwear. Well behaved dogs welcome.

Meet: Anstey Gate, SW of Hawkridge Grid Ref. 835299 (Ref. MC)

Saturday 22nd October 2016 10:00am-1.00pm
Autumnal Woodland Walk around Dulverton
A guided walk of appx 5 miles around Dulverton to see the splendour of the local woods in autumn. Aim to be back in Dulverton for lunch time. May be muddy under foot and there will be some climbs. Route can be shortened if weather inclement. Well behaved dogs welcome.
Meet: Exmoor Society, 34 High Street, Dulverton TA22 9DJ (Ref. HB)

Friday 28th October 2016 10:30am-4:30pm
Deer on Dunkery
Join this 6ml circular walk on Dunkery’s slopes, in the hope of seeing and hearing Red Deer during the rut. Hilly and rough underfoot. Please bring binoculars and a picnic. Wear weatherproof everything. Dogs on leads welcome.
Meet: Webbers Post. (Ref. JG)

The Society advises that participants take part in activities at their own risk. For all outdoor activities please wear weatherproof clothing and walking boots. Members and non-members are most welcome.
There is no charge for the guided walks.
A small donation is appreciated from non-members.

For any enquiries, please contact The Exmoor Society

info@exmoorsociety.com

01398 323335 www.exmoorsociety.com

Eat Dirt on Exmoor

Exciting Bank Holiday Thrills

3rd May 2016

A group of Mountain Bike enthusiasts from across the South West and beyond took to the Exmoor hills yesterday for a new May Day bank holiday ride,  “Eat Dirt on Exmoor”, organised by Calvert Trust Exmoor.

195 cyclists took part in the ride, raising over £3,000 between them, with more sponsorship still coming in. Much of the 25 mile main route took riders through areas of Exmoor not normally open to the general public, thanks to the Hollam, New Invention and Broford Estates allowing special access for this event.

The circular route started in Dulverton following the route of the River Barle up to Tarr Steps, then up onto the moor, south east to the river Exe and then back into Dulverton for the finish line.

 Despite mixed weather the riders enjoyed the event, with many already asking when it will be repeated, like Julian from Tiverton; “I had a great time today, it was a well organised fun event. The course was really enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the next one already!”

Rob Lott, head of Communications at Calvert Trust Exmoor said “What an amazing day we’ve had! We were absolutely delighted that so many riders came out to support us and enjoy some beautiful Exmoor countryside. Thanks to these riders, the support team, volunteers and marshals we will be able to support more people with disabilities to access cycling and other adventurous activities.”

As well as the fabulous volunteer marshals and helpers, Calvert Trust Exmoor would also like to thank and the brilliant local businesses whose support  enabled the event to happen; Mason Kings, Mole Valley Farmers, The Bike Shop (Taunton), Ivan’s Coffee, GT Bicycles, AMASS medical, and Altitude 58 Film Company.  A film of the event produced by Altitude 58 will be available in the next few days.

image018Tarr Steps from Above (image © Altitude 58 Film Company)

 Calvert Trust Exmoor hopes to announce the date for the next “Eat Dirt on Exmoor” in the next few weeks. In the meantime the Trust is running another cycling event on the 25th of June, the Calvert Coastal 100. This is a cycling sportive event, following the coastal roads of North Devon from Lynmouth round to Barnstaple with stunning views and 3 different routes for people with a wide variety of experience and fitness levels. You can find out more about the Coastal 100 from www.calvert-trust.org.uk/100

 

 

Web:             www.calvert-trust.org.uk/exmoor

Facebook:   www.facebook.com/CTExmoor

Twitter:        www.twitter.com/calvertexmoor

YouTube:     www.youtube.com/CalvertTrustExmoorUK

LinkedIn:     www.linkedin.com/company/calvert-trust-exmoor

Calling all runners: Westcountry Ultra Hilly 50 miler – Saturday 21st May 2016

Ok, so you like hills? Well here’s a race that will take you to the top of some of the highest ones Somerset has to offer. On a clear day the views from the tops will draw an audible gasp from any of you who are known to gasp audibly at incredible views. There are very runnable sections too, but you’re never too far from the next climb/descent. What’s more, this route will take you through a multitude of breathtaking scenes; some of Britain’s highest coastal cliffs, lush ancient woodland, sweeping moorland, paths alongside fast flowing rocky rivers – Exmoor has all of this, plus villages and small towns that redefine quaintness.

Starting off at West Somerset Community College in Minehead, where a glorious banquet hall (or as close as you get to one in an ultra race) awaits you upon your return you will head to the beginning of the South West Coast Path, which is symbolised with a large metal hand holding a map. From here (unless it is an extremely foggy day) you will see the enigmatic North Hill towering above the town. You’ll be heading straight to the top, where you’ll traverse along to Bossington Hill, from which the views alone will be enough to take your mind off the steepness of the descent. Then you’ll head down an enchanting woodland path to Bossington car park; if you’re lucky there may be some wild garlic still to snack on along the way.

You will make your way gradually along the coast all the way to Lynmouth, historic scene of a disastrous flood in 1952 (don’t worry, it hasn’t repeated itself since, even during the ferocious storms of 2014), which is a kind of half way point, although it’s actually a little before half way. On the way here your eyes will get a four course meal of wonderful natural surroundings – occasionally you will run through coastal forest, but will often be able to see the sea off to your right. Along this stretch are some of the most runnable sections of the route, but there is plenty of up and down. You may find yourself wanting to stop often to take photographs, as the views along here you may see on a number of postcards in local shops.

After leaving Lynmouth you will head alongside the river Lyn for a while (keep your eyes peeled for Dippers and other wildlife) before heading up into the moors, following the Coleridge Way – this is a route devised to follow in the footsteps of famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who is said to have composed his best known works during walks at different places along the route. There have been no ‘beast’ sightings in recent years, but the wild atmosphere of this place will make you realise how it captured the imagination back in the 80s. Heading across vast hills to County Gate and onwards, where you will be surrounded on all sides by Exmoor at its most captivating, you will be preparing to drop down to almost sea level before a massive climb back up through ancient woodland. Depending on when in the day you arrive here you can keep your eyes and ears open for an array of wildlife – the woods at Webber’s Post and Horner, due to the age of the trees, attract Redstarts, Wood Warblers, Pied Flycatchers and a host of the usual woodland birds.

At the top of the climb is Dunkery Beacon, which rises to 519 metres above sea level; hardly a mountain, but it still offers incredible panoramic views on a clear day. The cairn at the top may be a good place to pause, take in your surroundings and gear yourself up to make the most of some downhill miles. The descent back into Minehead is long, but at this point you will know you are on the home stretch and that there is a feast awaiting you at the finish. You can sit and eat, and share anecdotes with your fellow finishers as they arrive.

ROUTE MAPS AND ROUTE NOTES WILL BE SENT OUT TO EACH PARTICIPANT UPON ENTRY, BUT THESE CAN BE REQUESTED BY ANYONE WISHING TO ENTER – PLEASE E-MAIL albionrunning@hotmail.com TO ASK FOR THESE

For further information and to sign up for the run, please go to http://www.albionrunning.org/#!hilly50/c8ht 

A letter from the Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club – Can you help?

banner (1)The Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club is world famous for its spectacular location in the Valley of Rocks and every year many visitors to Lynton & Lynmouth enjoy a lazy summer afternoon watching a game being played in this beautiful setting. However maintaining the ground to a high standard and complying with the ever increasing health and safety and legal requirements requires substantial funding. As a small club we rely solely on volunteers and fundraising to keep operating.

rightI’m writing to ask if you might be able to support the Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club.  All money raised will go towards essential equipment which this year is a replacement roller and safety helmets for the batsmen, wicket keepers and junior club members any additional funds will help cover ground maintenance / insurance costs.

We have various ways for you to support the Club:

By making a small donation – £5.00

Ball sponsorship for a league game – £10.00

Sponsor a team shirt – £15.00

A web entry on the Club’s website – £18.00

Sponsor a cricket helmet – £20.00

A quarter page display advert in the Cricket Club Fixture Card and a web entry, The entry will be displayed on all pages of the Club’s website  – £25.00

Match Tea – either supply the tea or sponsor the cost to supply – £50.00

Payments can be made via the web site  www.lyntonandlynmouthcricketclub.org.uk or by cheque made payable to L&LCC and sent c/o Lynton Tourist Information Centre Town Hall Lynton EX35 6BT

The club issues the fixture card to all members and supporters and they refer to it regularly throughout the season (April to September) to check on forthcoming games as well as the web site for up to date information about games, results and contact details for the club.

This year’s programme will see more than 20 teams visiting the Valley of Rocks ground for league and friendly fixtures.  Supporters of these visiting teams travel to watch the games and often come into Lynton & Lynmouth to have a look around while they are here or stay for the weekend.

I do hope you will consider supporting the club either through advertising your business or by making a personal donation.  We are a registered charity focused on our community role and our aim is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take up the sport.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

 

Susan Bingham
Secretary, L&LCC

 

Lynton & Lynmouth Cricket Club ● The Valley Of Rocks Ground ● Lynton ● North Devon ● EX35 6JH

Registered Charity No. 1111630

Date for the Diary: This year’s final BIG Adventure

NEWS FROM EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK

enpaFree event, amazing location, great games and activities – it must be this year’s Big Autumn Adventure on Wednesday 28 October from 10am-4pm at Webbers Post, near Wheddon Cross in Exmoor National Park.

National Park Ranger Adam Vasey says: ““It’s the last Big Adventure of the year and, with the help of The National Trust, it’s going to be a good one. Get your wellies on, have a go at orienteering, help us make a giant den or keep warm by the campfire and toast some marshmallows. 

“There will be lots to do with the usual range of fun family-friendly games and activities, so come and join us – we look forward to seeing you there!” 

This is the sixth Big Adventure event this year and hundreds of people have enjoyed the free family days out courtesy of Exmoor National Park Authority, The National Trust, Heart of Exmoor and a variety of other organisations and volunteers.

There is car parking and toilet facilities on site – for more information please contact the National Park Centre at Dulverton, phone 01398 323841.

 

Date for the Diary: LIBERATOR – Dance Performances in and around Porlock Vale

MID-AFTERNOON.
OCTOBER 1942.
A PLANE CRASHES.
A SOLE SURVIVOR.

201 Stacked Wonky Poster

In collaboration with The Crown Estate, National Trust Holnicote Estate and Porlock Manor Estate, Stacked Wonky Dance has created five site specific dance encounters for five different sites in and around Porlock Vale.  The seed idea links to the crash of a Liberator, an American bomber, on Porlock Marsh in 1942 when 11 people lost their lives and one person, a staff sergeant, survived.

Performances will take place in a variety of spaces – glade, field, barn, hilltop and marsh – and will be seen at different times of day.  You can watch just one or all five as they unfold over the summer, culminating in a finale on Porlock Marsh on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 September.

As part of a small group, you’ll go on a walking journey, perhaps in daylight, perhaps at night, as the action plays out around you.  You’ll encounter a tilted, sometimes extraordinary world in which the unexpected often happens as movement, sound, shadow, weather and audience combine.  Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to do anything, certainly not dance (!), just follow the performance as it plays out.

Background

Two years ago, Sarah Shorten, Artistic Director of Stacked Wonky Dance moved to Bossington with her husband and young family.  During this time, Sarah inevitably turned her attention to the world just outside her back garden.  She was drawn to Porlock Marsh, which is how the idea for Liberator was born. After talking to local historians and residents, she gradually realised the crash’s recurring themes of loss, sacrifice, survival and childhood excitement about the war might be captured in a series of performances that return all fragments of the story to the Marsh.

202 Duncan Hume Wingspan by Rod HigginsonSarah has joined forces with Duncan Hume, an ex-Royal Ballet professional dancer living in Luxborough, and four children aged 5 to 8 from Timberscombe School.  All will perform in Liberator.  The project also involves a wide and eclectic team of local collaborators – including designers, costume makers, photographers, sound artists, National Trust rangers, foresters, tenants and technicians – without whom Liberator would not be possible.

Through Liberator, Sarah wants to show audiences what’s possible when dance heads away from the stage.  In addition, she is keen to continue to engage with those in local community for whom the Liberator crash and its legacy remain strong.

The Crash

Liberator has received invaluable support from Dennis Corner, a local historian and author of “Porlock in Those Days”, from which the following is taken:

“A long-range bomber, transport and reconnaissance aircraft, a Consolidated B-24 D Liberator with four 1,200 hp radial engines, a wingspan of 110 feet, a length of 67 feet 2 inches, a maximum speed of 300 mph at 30,000 feet and a range of 2,100 miles crashed on the marsh on 29th October 1942. It carried a crew of twelve and had ten .50 machine guns.

This particular plane, which was helping RAF Coastal Command, took off from Holmsley, South Hampshire at 7.20 am on 29th October to fly on anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay. When it was returning at about 3.30 pm it was seen by two boys, Alan Perkins and Brian Richards, to hit a point near the top of Bossington Hill and swing round. Pieces fell off: a wheel and part of the undercarriage landed at the bottom of Sparkhayes Lane, and the rest of the plane crashed on to the marsh. The weather was dreadful: it was a very wet day with low cloud all around.

Only one man, S/Sgt H.B. Thorpe, was still alive. Very little of the plane was seen by local people as its remains were salvaged within a few days.

A simple monument on Porlock Marsh was erected by members of the Porlock Branch of the British Legion, made from materials available at the time.”

Porlock Marsh

BARN.jpg

Liberator has also received support from A Vision for Porlock Marsh, a project led by Porlock Parish Council, working with the local community, landowners and agencies, to help raise of awareness of Porlock Marsh and enhance its role as an asset for the local community, businesses and visitors, including encouraging events and activities inspired by the Marsh.

“A dynamic, constantly changing landscape of salt marsh, brackish water, grassy paths, crumbling stone walls and muddy ditches, tucked behind a massive sweeping shingle ridge.

Dead, stark trees, redundant fences, buried signs, freshly deposited shingle are clues to the rapidly changing state of Porlock Marsh, and for some enforce the sense of danger. For many local people the Marsh evokes happy memories – the Marsh before the breach; a time of picnics, play and haymaking. A landscape loved by generations.”

Stacked Wonky

Stacked Wonky is a contemporary dance company which has, for the last ten years, built its reputation on a desire to make work in unusual places for an audience unfamiliar with dance.

“Anarchic and exuberant, the movement she creates is beautiful” say Time Out

The company specialises in creating site-specific dance performances, many of which are performed in unique outdoor spaces and landscapes.

Sarah Shorten, Artistic Director, has created work for a diverse set of spaces including Trafalgar Square, The Museum of Childhood in collaboration with the V&A Museum, and Tinside Lido in Plymouth.  Her work has been supported by various organisations such as Arts Council England, Greenwich & Docklands International Festival and Dance South West.

Performances

Episode 1: GLADE

Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July @ 4 pm
Nutcombe Bottom, Dunster

More info…

Episode 2: FIELD

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August @ 2 pm
West Luccombe Farm, West Luccombe

More info…

Episode 3: BARN

Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 August
@ 8.30 pm / 9 pm / 9.30 pm

SECRET LOCATION on the Holnicote Estate

More Info…

Episode 4: HILL

Sunday 6 September @ 11 am or 2 pm
Bossington Hill, near Minehead

More info…

Episode 5: MARSH

Friday 18 and Saturday 19 September @ 6 pm
Porlock Marsh, Porlock

More info…

For more info, please go to www.stackedwonky.com
Photos: Rod Higginson

Snowdrop Valley 2015

Snowdrop Valley 2015 Exmoor

Open from Saturday 31st January
to Sunday 1st March inclusive

Snowdrop Valley is a privately owned remote valley in a hidden part of Exmoor close to Wheddon Cross

The Badgworthy Land Company kindly allow access to the valley while the beautiful carpet of snowdrops is in bloom throughout February each year

Cutcombe Parish Council, in conjunction with Exmoor National Park Authority runs a Park and Ride Service to Snowdrop Valley and staffs the Snowdrop Valley Information Point in the Car Park

Visitors can also walk down into the valley and there is a variety of merchandise available to purchase as souvenirs.

Buses will be operating to the valley from Saturday 7th to Sunday 22nd
February inclusive. The buses have disabled access
There will be walking access only when the buses are not operating
(31st Jan to 6th Feb and 23rd Feb to 1st March)
No vehicles will be allowed into the valley

Downloadable Snowdrop Valley Brochure for 2015

Visitors with mobility problems who cannot visit the Valley while the buses are
running should contact snowdropvalley@gmail.com to arrange a visit on the weekend of 31st Jan/1st Feb or 28th Feb/1st March to be issued with a mobility pass

Parking for all vehicles is at the Exmoor Farmers Market, which is also the start of the walks into Snowdrop Valley, and is clearly signposted from the village

Snowdrop Valley Information Leaflet 2014 ….click here to download

Walking route maps
Winter clothing and suitable sturdy walking footwear is essential. The walking routes take in bridleways and footpaths, and can be very muddy

Short WalksRouteMap
Medium WalkRouteMap
Long WalkRouteMap

Snowdrop Valley Merchandise Please click here to view

The single track lane into the valley is closed by a legal road closure order throughout February. Any vehicle entering the valley without an authorised Vehicle Pass will be reported to the police.

(via www.wheddoncross.org.uk)

Date for the Diary: Walk Some Moor, 31 August 2014

64

?????“WALK SOME MOOR!”

A sponsored one day walk across Exmoor in support of Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

(www.muscular-dystrophy.org) starting at Lynton and The Cleaves, taking in the spectacular views on Cheriton Ridge, across rugged moorland to Exe Head and Badgworthy, passing famous landmarks – Cloud Farm, Lorna Doone Farm and finally through the wooded valley via Watersmeet back to Lynmouth and Lynton.

Date

Sunday 31st August  2014 @ 9am

Lynton Bottom Meadow Car Park, Castle Hill.  Own transport to be arranged.

Walkers

Please ensure you have plenty of water and food, comfortable walking boots and waterproofs (OS Map 180 1:50,000 recommended).  The walk can be joined either at the start or at the following points: Hillsford Bridge, Brendon Two Gates.

Further Details

For further information, sponsor forms (and FREE T shirts – optional) via Laura Crouch,

Volunteer Fundraising Manager for the South West and South Wales,

Mobile: 07771 374836;

Email: l.crouch@muscular-dystrophy.com

To donate directly:

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

(Quote: ‘Exmoor Walk’)

HSBC Bank Plc.

Sort Code: 40-06-21

Account Number: 42287129

“Walk the Moor!”- Directions

1.Lynton – The Cleaves

(Stunning vistas and woodland)

From Lynton Bottom Meadow Car Park, turn right and walk down the hill.  Cross over the road (Lynmouth Hill) that heads down to Lynmouth and continue along the road until you reach The Cottage Inn pub. 

There is a footbridge to the right of the pub.  Cross the footbridge and turn left.  Climb The Cleaves (the path through the woods), taking the top right path at all times, following signs to Hillsford Bridge.  The path will end at a winding road (Watersmeet Road). Walk down the road to the junction – Hillsford Bridge.

2.Hillsford Bridge – Blackpitts Gate

(Woodland, 360 degree views of open moorland)

At the junction, turn right at the sign ‘Bridge Ball, Cheriton, Scoresdown’ and head towards Combe Park.  Turn right at the sign for Cheriton Ridge before the house that takes you through woodland.  Keep on the path following signs to Cheriton Ridge (the lower path) until it ends at Smallcombe Bridge and the farmhouse on your left.  Turn left and then right up an uneven path behind the farmhouse – this is Shortacombe Common.  Keep left until you arrive at Scoresdown Farm, the start of Cheriton Ridge.

Turn right into a lane next to the farm which reaches a 3 way junction.  Take the middle track onto Cheriton Ridge. Stick to a straight line as this track will take you to a ford and a gate at Hoar Oak Tree. Cross the ford and pass through the gate and take a left turn until you reach another gate.  Pass through the gate and continue along the track. Keep going and continue on the path to Exe Head (signposted with a gate). 

Turn right at Exe Head, and follow the fence until you

come across a narrow path that leads to Blackpitts Gate on the B223 road to Simonsbath.  Be sure to take a left turn at the yellow marker just after a signpost showing Blackpitts Gate – otherwise you will come out along the B223 road and will need to add an extra 5-10 minutes onto the walk to get back to Blackpitts Gate!  On this section from Exe Head, stay left and head towards the B223 road which you will see in the distance.

3.Blackpitts Gate – Brendon Two Gates

(Half way; short walk along the B223 road to Simonsbath)

From Blackpitts Gate, turn left along the B223 road that runs between Lynton – Hillsford Bridge and Simonsbath.  Beware of oncoming traffic.  There is approximately a 20-30 minute walk until you reach Brendon Two Gates where there is a cattle grid (the first you come across from Blackpitts Gate).

4.Brendon Two Gates – Badgworthy

(Open moorland, idyllic, picturesque ancient woodland)

Turn right immediately after the cattle grid and follow the rough track across this part of the moor to Badgworthy. 

Follow a straight line until you reach a gate.  Go through the gate and follow the path down to the river.

There is a footbridge to the right as a point of reference.  Turn left, avoiding the footbridge and walk along the path keeping the river on your right until you reach a footbridge taking you pass the tearooms at Cloud Farm.

5.Cloud Farm – Lorna Doone Farm – Watersmeet – Lynmouth – Lynton

(Famous landmarks, tearooms, toilets, stunning woodland by the river)

At Cloud Farm, turn left and continue along the lane until you reach a junction.  Turn left until you come to Lorna Doone Farm.  Take the lane behind the shop, keeping right.  Continue along the lane with the river on your right, passing through the village of Brendon until you reach the village of Rockford.  Just before The Rockford Inn pub, there is a small footbridge crossing the river.  Cross over the footbridge and continue along the path through the woodland until you reach the tearooms at Watersmeet House. 

From Watersmeet House, take either the left or right path along the river which leads out into Lynmouth.  Turn left on the bridge then right up Lynmouth Hill back to Lynton.  Beware of oncoming traffic.  At the top of Lynmouth Hill, turn right and you will reach Bottom Meadow Car Park. 

Letter from Exmoor: A coastal walk from Combe Martin to Holdstone Down

Combe Martin to Holdstone Down

There is a concrete path running around the side of the bay at Combe Martin, and further along I can see a flight of steps leading upwards. I decide the steps must join the South West Coast Path, knowing it is somewhere on the slope above, and I set off.

On the way I pass a young boy who has been fishing in a rock pool. He has caught a large crab. He tells me it is only one of many – but the rest escaped.
steps to nowhere, Combe Martin, Ruth's coastal walkI climb the steep steps but find, to my surprise, the top section becomes progressively overgrown. I push through nettles and find the entrance to the steps has been blocked up with a wall of bricks. Why deny access? I can only think it is for ‘Health and ‘Safety’ reasons.

I climb over the wall and find myself in a pretty open space overlooking the bay, with a promenade and a gazebo.

Combe Martin, Ruth walking the South West Coast Path(In the photo above, the blocked entrance to the steps is hidden at the far end of the row of flowering bushes.)

The South West Coast Path takes a steep route up the slope on the east side of Combe Martin Bay. There are steps to climb and in places the path is narrow with overhanging brambles. I am relieved when I emerge from the undergrowth and see a sign: National Trust, Little Hangman. Wow. That was quick. I’m there already!

b03 path up steps, Ruth walking the South West Coast Path, Hangman overgrown SWCP, Lester Cliff, Ruth in Combe Martinb05 Little Hangman, Ruth walking SWCP, Combe Martin, Devon

I stop to admire the view of Combe Martin below me. Contained within the narrow valley, Combe Martin boasts it has the longest village high street in England. [Later, thanks toWikipedia, I am disappointed to discover this is an exaggeration!]
 view over Combe Martin, Ruth walking the SWCP, Devon

And now for another disappointment.

 view across Wild Pear Beach to Little Hangman, Ruth LivingstoneI consult my OS map and discover I am not at the top of Little Hangman after all.

My climb has brought me up Lester Cliff. Ahead and below is the deliciously named Wild Pear Beach. The tall headland on the other side is the real Little Hangman.

[According to the official North Devon tourist site, Wild Pear Beach is often used as a nudist beach. Access to the beach is always difficult, but has been cut off completely by a recent landslip.]

I follow an easy track up to Little Hangman and climb to the top point (218m) to have a rest and take a photo. Ahead is Great Hangman, 100 metres higher at 318m, the tallest coastal cliff in England.
from Little Hangman to Great Hangman, Ruth's coastal walk, north Devon coast
The way up is surprisingly easy. The path is well-worn and, although the incline is fairly relentless, it is not particularly steep.
 easy slog up Great Hangman, Ruth's coastal walk around the UK
At the top there is a cairn of stones and a group of other walkers are standing on the summit, taking photographs of each other. They must have come up the other way and they look rather hot and tired.

other hikers, top of Hangman, Ruth walking on the SWCP, DevonI congratulate myself on my cool appearance, and wait for them to move on.
b11 self-portrait gone wrong, Ruth on top of HangmanRuth Livingstone - self portrait second attempt, Ruth Livingstone on top of HangmanWhen they’re gone, I set up my camera for a self portrait, balancing it on a nearby rock, and run back to clamber up the cairn. Unfortunately my first attempt was not very successful.

I adjust the camera and try again. Success!

Greater Hangman – thehighest point on the South West Coast Path. Or is it…

Although I know, Greater Hangman is the highest coastal cliff in mainland Britain, it doesn’t feel particularly exciting to be standing on the top. One reason is that the cliff slopes gradually, and so there is no sensation of standing on the edge of something and looking down at the sea far below. So, it turns out to be a strange anti-climax, in a way.

There is a higher hill ahead. The other walkers pointed it out. (You can tell it is higher because its summit is above the horizon.) I check my map. Holdstone Hill and 349m above sea level.

looking ahead to Holdstone Hill, Ruth's coastal walking, North Devon

The route up Holdstone Hill looks clear and easy. It may not be on the official coastal path, but I decide to climb it anyway.  Full of confidence, and with 90 minutes before my planned rendezvous with my hubby at a car park somewhere on the other side of Holdstone Down, I set off.

But, I had conveniently chosen to ignore the warning contours on my map. Between me and Holdstone lies a steep cleft. Sherrycombe.
Sherrycombe ahead, Ruth walking near Combe Martin, Devon, SWCP
No wonder the other walkers looked exhausted. The path descends very steeply and I slither and slide my way down into the valley. To make matters worse, the valley is full of flies. They buzz and whine around my face. Are they midges? Or biting flies? I don’t know, but they are very irritating. I swat them with my poles. At least they keep me moving.

The only time I stop is for a quick photo of the bridge across the stream at the bottom. I stand still for less than five seconds and the buzzing is almost unbearable.
valley of the flies, Ruth in Sherrycombe, north Devon
In my mind, Sherrycombe will always be known as the Valley of the Flies.

It is only because I slow down during my scramble up the other side that I realise there is another reason for the buzzing in my ears. Somewhere a farmer appears to be trying to get his tractor out of a ditch, and somebody else is hurtling around the field on a quad bike. I catch little glimpses of this drama as I puff and pant my way out of the valley.

On the higher slopes of Holdstone Hill, I was hoping the breeze from the sea would blow the flies away, but the air is very still and it is some time before I lose the last of the pesky things. Now the path flattens as it circles around the shoulder of the hill.
on Holdstone Down, Ruth walking near Combe Martin, SWCP

I forget my plans to walk up to the top of Holdstone and ignore the footpath that points up to the summit. Too tired for further climbing.

A rustling and crashing sound from the bracken causes me some alarm. But it is only a stray sheep. It looks startled to see me.
sheep in bracken, Ruth on Holdstone Down, SWCP
The remainder of the walk is straightforward and easy, if a bit monotonous. The stony track hurts my feet. I head for the only buildings in sight on the horizon. The road must be up there.
final slog, Holdstone Down, Ruth Livingstone on SWCP
I find the car park rendezvous and, out of four possible options, my husband has managed to pick the right one! He greets me with drinks and fruit, and “what took you so long?”. The view, in the mellow light of the evening sun, is truly lovely.
view from the car park, Ruth's hubby on the SWCP


Tim

Miles walked today = 10
Total since beginning = 1,420 miles

Route: