Well, it is back to reality now from our lovely stay in Exmoor. Here are a few final photos
When I was a kid I loved going to Lynton & Lynmouth so that we could ride the world’s highest and steepest fully water powered railway.
The famous Lynton and Lynmouth funicular Cliff Railway opened in 1890 and is the highest and the steepest totally water powered railway in the world! This historic funicular Cliff Railway connects the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth providing stunning coastal views. This working heritage railway is grade II listed, the UK’s only fully water powered railway and one of just three examples left in the World!
If you are not aware of how these things work, then let me enlighten you. The railway consists of two cars, each capable of transporting 40 passengers, joined by a continuous cable running around a 5 ft 6 in (1.676 m) pulley at each end of the incline. The cable below the upper car counterbalances that supporting the lower car, which weighs several tons, thereby keeping the two sides in equilibrium, +/- the weight of the water.
Water feeds through 5-inch (127 mm) pipes from the West Lyn River — over 1 mile (1.6 km) away — into tanks under the floor of the upper car. Each car has a 700-imperial-gallon (3,182 L; 841 US gal) tank mounted between the wheels. Water is discharged from the lower car, until the heavier top car begins to descend, with the speed controlled by a brakeman travelling on each car.
The parallel 3 ft 9 in (1,143 mm) gauge tracks (which bow out at the centre point, to allow the cars to pass) rise 500 feet (152.4 m) and are 862 feet (262.7 m) long, giving the line a gradient of 1:1.724 (58%).
Needless to say, this was a highlight of every trip to Lynton. But rather than look out at the incredible scenery, I always look down/up the track to see the other car approaching, and as it passes, wave, then carry on watching to where we are headed.
Here is a very short video I shot of the car arriving in Lynmouth from Lynton. You can see the green water tank under the carriage.
Just a few photos from our visit to Lynton & Lynmouth
I had spoken to Paul the owner of the farm and he recommended going to Wistlandpound Reservoir as the walk is quite flat and good for disabled users. It is only about 25 minutes drive away so pretty local. So, imagine our surprise in taking over an hour and a half to find it. This part of the world is not so well signposted, and very few roads have names, which makes it really hard to find a place. My TomTom could not find it, not even in the points of interest. We ended up in Barnstaple which was handy as I needed eye drops as my hay fever has reached fever pitch and even though I am taking double the dose of antihistamines it does not seem to rid me of the symptoms, so I needed eye drops too. After my quick visit to Tesco pharmacy in this rather massive superstore, we left under the navigation of M who had found the place on Google Maps and was now my TomTom but in human form. We got there relieved that we could finally get out of the car and enjoy the place. Needless to say, the dogs were made up to get out of the car too and explore this new place.
As you can see from the header image, it is quite a lovely place to walk around, and the sun was out giving its all to us. We met many other dog walkers and were surrounded by quite literally thousands of blue damselflies which were lovely to look at.
This is what they looked like, although this is not my photograph, but that of David Kitching, taken from the British Dragonfly Society website.
After our jaunt, we came back to the cottage and pottered about as the dogs were totally exhausted by the heat on top of the exciting walk they had. I got the lounger out of the shed and lay there for a bit reading, then fell asleep in the midafternoon sun, and as you would expect, got burned quite a bit. Thankfully I have been a little sun-kissed these last few weeks and I expect it to have calmed down quite considerably tomorrow.
Later this evening we went for another walk with the dogs down a rather rocky lane that part way down has a mound of horse manure that would rival any medium-sized hill, in other words, it was massive. Not a highlight of the walk but all the same an amusing sight.
This evening we have both kicked back and relaxed on our own couches with a dog each keeping us company and read with Classic FM on in the background.
All in all, I think it was another successful day of relaxation.
…It’s been 35 years… Since I was last in Devon.
Well, our vacation came round faster than I imagined, and here we are on day two. Yesterday, we arrived at about 4:30pm after being on the road for eight and a half hours (288 miles). It was not all driving as we stopped many times for the dogs to have a stretch and something to eat or drink, and of course for pee breaks. M and I also need a few stretches, especially after being in a few traffic jams. One, which was thankfully going the other way on the M5 was 15 miles long, so I was glad ours was not that bad.
The cottage is beautiful and very in keeping with our taste. Sleeps four, private gardens, off road parking, games room in the barn next door and lots to see, especially the livestock, so far horses, ponies, chickens, sheep and goats, oh and the owner’s dogs and little boy. Our dogs are loving the place and having a great time too. One of the great things is that as it a farm quite literally in the middle of nowhere there is no light pollution, so at night you can look up and see the sky is full of stars that we normally cannot see. Yesterday when we arrived we met the owners and were shown around and taken through all the facilities that are available we discovered their welcome pack of scones complete with jam and the best of all Devon Clotted Cream, oh, they also left some chews for the dogs too as their welcome.
Today we decided to visit Ilfracombe, for a wander about and an ice cream, the off to a lovely pub called The Beggars Roost Inn for lunch. M had chicken tikka sticks and I had long tail scampy with chips pea and mint puree salad and a pint of bitter shandy. It hit the spot dead on, and I have to say, was delicious. We then went for a drive around, then to South Molton for some groceries, then back to the cottage which is another 20-minute drive. The cottage is in Exmore National Park and the hamlet only has 7 properties, and the need of a four-wheel-drive car is essential as it is up and down dale.
I loot a few photos whilst in Ilfracombe, one of which was of Verity, which is a Damien Hirst sculpture, standing 66.4 feet and is quite a vision, not too sure if I would say it is something I liked though. Not the best photo I will be honest, but I never brought my Nikon, just my iPhone, so pleases forgive me.
Ready for a sleep now as I have just eaten a rather large scone and enough clotted cream to slam shut my arteries and cause a heart attack.
More to come later as the Wifi is a bit crap and as such it is like being on dial-up.
I have been looking at booking a holiday cottage for M and me to go on, taking the dogs of course with us. However, I am just not sure where to go!
So far I have been looking at Devon, Cornwall and the Cotswold. I have been to Devon and Cornwall many times when I was a kid on family holidays, and I used to love going on the Lynton and Lynmouth Funicular Railway, and the long walk up and down the cliffs. M has never been to that part of the UK, so I thought it may be nice for him to experience it.
Part of me thinks we should go to the Highlands of Scotland or the Brecons in South Wales as they are places I have not been to. I have been all over North Wales, but never the South, and I have only ever been skiing in Scotland, so being up a mountain in winter with the sole purpose of skiing I never got to see any other part of the country. Devon and Cornwall call to me as it will be a lot warmer, but then again with the British weather, one can never tell what it will be like.
I was also considering going back to Rome at the end of September, beginning of October as we both love the place, and would move there in a heartbeat if we had the chance. But with any foreign break, we would have to leave the dogs in the kennels which is about £160 for the week, which is money that we could save by staying in the UK and taking the girls with us, and it saves them being stressed too, so a bit of a win-win if we stay here.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…