We woke up bright and early on Saturday to start out on our big adventures. While Kate got ready I laid in bed watching The Hoobs and reading 1Q84 which is quickly becoming an obsession. Once we were both ready we headed downstairs for breakfast which was one of the best fry ups I’ve had for a long time. It was for the best because I knew we were going to be out walking for the majority of the day and I would need my energy.
From the inn we headed up the road and through a graveyard where we were told we could pick up the path that would lead down the cliff-face to the little seaside town. As we were making our way through we noticed that the church attached was open. There was a sign up to say that they never locked it, and that it was a place of refuge, so we went in. It was absolutely incredible. I’m not really one for organised religion but the stained glass windows and the ambience of this tiny church really got me. We were the only people in there, I’d never had an experience like that before. I had a go on the organ and we took some photos and then we headed down the coastal walk and back to Lynmouth.
From there we took the water-powered Victorian-era Cliff Railway up to Lynton. At this point I noticed that we were the youngest people in the town by about fifty years and that it probably said a lot about our tastes, not that it mattered, it felt like we had discovered something that everyone else was missing out on. At Lynton we sat outside the town hall and wrote funny postcards home and to each other and then we walked out further to the Valley of the Rocks, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited in England. There are three huge hills at its centre covered in loose rock that people climb, including the White Lady which has a tunnel of rocks on its peak that from a certain angle looks like a lady in a hat.
We then headed down to Lee Bay to play in the surf, taking our shoes off and rolling up the cuffs of our trousers (or leggings) to splash about. We then ran out on the rocks that were still above sea level and made silly poses. We got back to Valley of the Rocks and had a pasty and some tea to cover our bellies before the long walk back.
I then stupidly bet Kate that I could run up the biggest of the three hills in two minutes, because I was under the belief it was about half a mile. What I didn’t take into account is that it is a lot harder to run uphill, so it actually took me eight minutes and about double that lying on a bench at the top to recover. Elderly couples passed us as we recovered with a cheery ‘hello’ as they made their way along the top with no signs of difficulty. From there we headed back along the scenic route and down into Lynmouth again before taking the Sparrow’s Walk up to the inn again to ease our aching bones in the bath and then prepare for dinner with Kate’s aunt and her partner who don’t live too far from where we were staying. It was a lovey evening and the surroundings and pleasant company eased the pain of having covered over ten miles in a day and talking to each other through gritted teeth at points.