Nature has an amazing ability of making you feel very small at times. Walking through the Valley of the Rocks during my recent trip to North Devon was definitely one of those times for me. It really is a place that lives up to its name as it is, quite literally, a valley full to the brim with huge rocks. But I can assure you that it’s far more beautiful than it sounds.
It’s a place that looks as though it really could have once been home to giants. In a way it reminded me of Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall, a cove that got its name from the legendary giant that used to use the rock formations that sit just out to sea as stepping stones between the beaches.
Not quite situated on the coast itself, however, the Valley of the Rocks runs parallel to the coastal path just outside of the village of Lynton. Situated on the Northern edge of Exmoor, the deep valley is flanked on each side by craggy cliffs and you only have to park your car up and walk for a matter of moments before you find yourself on the coastal path, with the sea stretching out in front of you.
The walk along the coastal path is lovely and leads to Lynton. Along the way there are several points where you can detour slightly to climb up onto the cliff tops, from which you can enjoy the panoramic view of the unusual landscape around you. Surrounded by gorse and wild grasses, the huge rock formations jut out impressively from the landscape for as far as you can see.
As you’re walking a long, try to divert your eyesight from the coast from time-to-time as you might even see one of the many goats that live and roam freely within the area too! Although I wasn’t lucky enough to see any of them while I was there, I was told that they can often be seen balancing precariously from the cliff edges as they graze.
Parking in the Valley of the Rocks:
There are a number of free car parks in Lynton itself if you wish to start your walk from there, but there are also a couple within the Valley of the Rocks itself. Remember to bring some spare change as you’ll need to pay to park in some of the car parks.
Complete with its own tearoom that sits adjacent to the lower car park, you can break up your walk through the Valley of the Rocks with a relaxing lunch in the wonderfully quaint garden. Swinging open the wooden gate, I felt as though I had just entered into a fairy garden. Fenced in, to keep the wildlife from snacking on the gorgeous flowerbeds that lined the edge, there was a small path leading up to the tearoom. Selling an array of pastries, some delicious looking sandwiches and a few other light snacks, it’s the perfect stop off between walks.
Distance and terrain:
The coastal path has been concreted and other than one steep stretch on one side, it has relatively few inclines so it’s a relatively gentle walk to complete.
If you’re completing the circular walk from Lynton to the Valley of the Rocks, it is roughly 2.7 miles long, but you can shorten it by parking up in one of the many car parks within the Valley of the Rocks and completing the loop from there.
All in all, it would be easy to pass a good few hours in the Valley of Rocks, with every turn of the bend producing another jaw-dropping and picture-perfect expanse, and a tea room to stop off at to quench your thirst.
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