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  • Writer's pictureClaire

Exmoor Holiday Part One - Two Stunning Coastal Walks in Ilfracombe and The Valley of the Rocks in Lynton

Half term is here again and this time we are spending the week at the fabulous Lynmouth Holiday Retreat that is perched high on the cliffs with sea views and overlooking the valley that leads to Lynton and Lynmouth. This holiday park has amazing facilities and are so dog friendly with an entire field for Digby to run in and a dog shower to boot so Digby was as happy as we were with his home from home for a week. There is also a shop, a fantastic permanent food truck that opens in the evenings and you can order fresh bread and croissants for the morning. There are also lots of walks you can take directly from the site so excellent for a walking break.

The weather report was so interchangable however the first day looked like the best of the week and we wanted to head to a beach. I had earmarked Ilfracombe as I have always wanted to see the statue of Verity and I found a lovely seafood restaurant which I thought would be good for lunch. Andexmoor-holiday-part-one-two-stunning-coastal-walks-in-ilfracombe-and-the-valley-of-the-rocks-in-ly as it happened there was a beer festival there that weekend with live music so at the end of the day we sat and soaked in the atmosphere for a while.

We started our day at Wildersmouth Beach which is a dog-friendly stony beach with rocky outcrops that the kids loved climbing and looking in the rockpools. After some time and getting hungrier, we took the walk up to Capstone Hill that takes you up and over to Ilfracombe harbour, with stunning views of the bay. At the top of a Hill is a statue of a girl known as Ekaterina that tragically fell to her death in 2000. The statue was made by the girls family as a tribute to her life.

Descending down into Ilfracombe harbour there are some wonderful shops and restaurants, but I was seeking out the place called S & P Fish Shop, which I read lands fresh fish daily to sell wholesale and into their cafe. The cafe is small and we were fortunate to get a table as it was booked but as we got there early we were in with a chance, thankfully. We had a wonderful seafood platter with a crisp white wine, it was heavenly overlooking the harbour. It felt like we were in France, I was delighted that we were served sustainable seafood from our English waters. This restaurant and fishing fleet is family run too, which I love, you cannot shop more local than this.

Afterwards we pottered around the town and visited Damian Hirst's impressive Verity statue before heading to the beer festival to soak up some of the atmosphere and listen to some really great live music. We could have stayed here all evening, but instead went home to our campsite and enjoyed the most spectacular sunset sinking into the sea.

The next day the weather was set to turn, so we set off early to capitalise on a dryer morning and went to visit the Valley of the Rocks in Lynton and do the circular walk there. The landscape here is breathtaking, lots of very large rocky outcrops and cliff walks that are covered with grazing wild goats.

My kids and I did some scrambling up to one of the hills and climbed our way to the top to get some spectacular views across the clifftop walk. I had to keep Digby on a lead on this walk as the cliff path is next to a steep drop towards the sea so whilst it is paved it still feels a bit perilous.

The circular coastal walk takes you from the valley up into Lynton where there are shops and cafes if you wanted a pit stop. You could make more of. a day of it and go on the cliff railway to Lynmouth but we were doing this another day, we headed back up through some ancient woodland before heading back into the valley to your starting point. We had a picnic so we could sit amongst the beautiful scenery at the end of this walk and really enjoy all the surrounding geology.

To see more info on the campsite we stayed at - Lynmouth Holiday Retreat - view the latest Campsite Vlog here.

Wildermouth Beach in Ilfracombe

Labrador playing on Wildermouth Beach

View of Ilfracombe from Wildermouth Beach

Ekaterina Statue on Capstone Hill

S & P Fish Shop in Ilfracombe Harbour

S & P Fish Shop

Beautiful fish platter from S & P Fish Shop

Tide out at Ilfracombe Harbour

Tide out at Ilfracombe Harbour

Damian Hirst's Verity Statue at Ilfracombe Harbour

Damian Hirst's Verity Statue at Ilfracombe Harbour

The Valley of the Rocks from a distance

Perilous cliff path on South West Coastal Path at Valley of the Rocks

Boy climbing tree in Valley of the Rocks

Valley of the Rocks in Devon

Rock you can climb in Valley of the Rocks

Scrambling to the top in Valley of the Rocks

Valley of the Rocks in Devon

Wild goat sitting on a rock

View of the valley in Valley of the Rocks in Devon

Boy sitting on top of a high rock in Valle f the rocks

View from the top of Valley of the Rocks


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