We became National Trust members today! Very excited to have access to areas of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and car parks throughout England, and other commonwealth countries.
We used our membership to visit Lydford Gorge, on the west side of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. The gorge has two trail heads, with ‘tearooms’ on either end– these are more like minimal cafes where you can buy a snack before or after your hike. This didn’t matter for us as we were there for the waterfall loop! It’s an easy 40 minute walk down to the White Lady Waterfall. The creek was clear and blue green, and the moss climbing the trees made it feel a bit like the Hoh rainforest.
Driving through Dartmoor, you spot sheep and ponies grazing along the road, both in big puffy coats of wool and fur. The vast swathes of golden grasses are a different kind of beauty than what we’d been seeing along the Cornish Coast. There are also wooded areas with gnarled tree branches stretching out over the roads. Again, my only complaint on this entire trip was that the roads usually weren’t large enough to pull over to get really great pictures of the scenery! For the pictures below we were lucky enough to find a small shoulder in the road to get some good ones.
Atop of the Haytor Rocks you can see for miles across Dartmoor park. A tor is a hill or rocky peak, and they were scattered all along our drive through Dartmoor. Though very windy, we couldn’t resist climbing the large boulders, and we found that someone had created mini stone steps into the sides of the tor to help us reach the top.
We backtracked a bit from Haytor to return to a town with a very pretty stone church, and three pub options. We ate a late lunch at The Old Inn, and we learned that if you book early, you can get a seat out in the bright conservatory space at the back.
After our day in Dartmoor, we decided to travel to Exmouth. Exmouth is a Victorian seaside town with a promenade that boasts an entrance to the Jurassic cliffs. We booked one of the guesthouses, wandered the town’s main square, and enjoyed asking our dinner server about the highlights of going out for a night on the town. It sounded like the just-turned-eighteen crowd definitely tears up the dance floor with the over fifty-five crowd at many of the late night pubs. The next morning, I went for a run, but this time didn’t have the same urge to stay another night so we planned to head to Dorset for our last two days.
Just a note that we missed some of MJ’s suggestions in Devon since we didn’t drive north of Dartmoor. He shared that the coast up in this area is so forgotten yet so beautiful. Looking forward to hitting up these listings in the future:
- Braunton. Nice shops.
- Saunton. Great beach and a lovely place to eat on the beach car park.
- Then that little coast road through Georgeham. Great pub called the rock. I have been drinking in there forever and onto Woolacombe.
- From here aloud of things close by. But for me Lee harbour is beautiful and so forgotten.
- Woody bay.
- Then you have Lynton and lynmouth. Amazing drives and up into Exmouth.
- Go to the Valley of the Rocks.
- Simonsbath just outside of Lynton.
- Hiking great walks here along the dunes at Woolacombe bay. Park up on Marine drive.
- The blue ball pub. Up the hill out of Linton. Amazing. Then the circular walk through the valley at Simonsbath.