Monday 21.4 Another day of awful weather so we decided to limit our expedition to another pub lunch, this time in a former railway station. C went for another dose of beach-combing before supper.
Tuesday 22.4 we awoke to glorious weather and decided to make an early start so that we could walk to Heddons Mouth and then have lunch at the Hunters Inn. The walk took us along a valley floor with wild gorse and stony scree on one side and old woodland on the other. There were masses of primroses everywhere. The stream exits on to a stony beach and on the headland is the remains of an old lime kiln.
This was the first time that I had had the chance to tuck into a typical English pub lunch – a ploughmans lunch. The name is derived from the sort of lunches that farmworkers enjoyed in days gone by – usually bread and cheese.
C decided to sample a cheese she had not come across before but pronounced herself somewhat disappointed as the cheese lacked flavour and texture.
After lunch we drove up to the top of the cliffs and walked a short distance on the coastal path, which follows the coast line for a considerable distance. These are some of the highest cliffs in England and we met several weary walkers.
From there we drove to the tiny village of Trentishoe to visit the local church which is famous for its choir screen with a hole in it to allow the bass viol to be played and for its pedal organ which came from the ship, The Mauretania, which was broken up in 1965. The church is small – only seating a congregation of some two dozen souls – with whitewashed walls and plain glass windows through which you can see the yellow gorse bushes on the other side of the valley or the primroses currently flowering amongst the grave stones. A place of peace indeed.
Then we drove back to the cottage and C went off beachcombing again, returning later with over a hundred pieces of beach glass ranging in size from an inch or so across to barely an eighth of an inch across. The colours range from white through pale bluish green, three different shades of green, an occasional piece of blue, and a rare find – a piece of red glass. C says she wants to make a mosaic of a mermaid using the glass as well as necklace which she would make by twisting wire around the pieces of glass.
Wed 23.04 C took me for a ride on the Victorian water-operated cliff railway up to the village of Lynton. Two carriages, one starting from the top and one from the bottom of the track make the trip regularly throughout the day and the views along the coastline are stunning. We walked back down a very steep path to Lynmouth.
Our day trip out took us first for lunch at the Black Venus Inn. On enquiring about the origin on the name we were told that there used to be 7 pubs called the Ring of Bells in the area. 5 of the pubs had decided to change their names and this was one of them. It took its name from the Black Venus hill on the other side of the valley. Black Venus was a breed of sheep.
Lunch was excellent and we went for a woodland walk afterwards. There were masses of primroses everywhere and the bluebells are just starting to appear in more sheltered spots. The young needles on the larch trees were just starting to sprout in their brilliant pale green. There are many walks in this area of outstanding natural beauty and we did another short walk in Holcombe woods before returning to the cottage.
In a garden we spotted this stone gazebo. This looks just the sort of place that would make a perfect writer’s retreat!
When we got back to the cottage C went beachcombing again for more sea glass.