2021, start of the year with a sunny January walk.

During lockdown life for us all becomes increasingly restricted, and let’s face it a walk in the rain does not quite appeal! So today we woke up to beautiful sunshine and made the most of it. A 3-4 hour walk from the house with Rosie our spaniel, a walk we had not done before despite living here 10 years. This just goes to show the amazing number of trails there are around here. This one is going to be a favourite! Rosie loves a good walk, especially when it isn’t raining!

With a bottle of water, flask, dog treats and two slices of my homemade malt loaf (which incidentally is delicious and not for the dog), binoculars, and a trusty map we set off from home in high spirits.

Down the zig zag path from home to Lynmouth taking just 5-10 minutes, and along the river a short way brought us to a path on the left: Sparrows path.

What a beautiful path it was, making its way up the hill from the river, and a gentle slope thankfully. The silver birch trees were showing off their bark in the sunshine and the green moss on the paths edges almost lit the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just as I was ready for some flat walking the path levelled off and the rolling Exmoor hills appeared. A great spot in the summer for a picnic.We headed on towards Countisbury, Rosie welcomed a stream and waterfall for a well deserved drink, but sadly the pub at Countisbury was closed due to lockdown, so instead we found a lovely sunny spot to settle down on the dry bracken for lunch.

                  

As we planned the route back Ian decided to explore Beacon Tor and the Iron Age castle site. Both were a worthwhile detour and provided fantastic views of the sea, Wales in the distance, Foreland point and Lynton.

 

 

 

 

 

Joining the coastal path we headed down to Lynmouth and the beach. The wild garlic flowers were already emerging, Sarahs thoughts went to her homemade Nettle and wild garlic soup, but in January……not usually, more like April! Walking back from the beach you could tell we have had our share of rain with the vivid grass and bubbling river. Luckily no flooding here at the moment, this usually occurs when there is a very high tide and heavy rains.


From Lynmouth it was just a short walk up the hill to get home to the warmth of the Aga and tea.

We really do appreciate how fortunate we are, especially at the moment, to walk out of our front door to all this. We hope very much that we can share it very soon with our guests. This unspoilt part of the country is very special and deserves to be admired and appreciated.

2020 What a year!

Well, what a year it has been! Thank you to all our visitors this year, we were so pleased to provide a much-needed break from the challenges of restricted everyday life. We have to admit though that lockdown provided a welcome opportunity for us to spend time looking after the garden, enjoying it, and the walks around and about, Rosie was very pleased too.! However, we really missed our visitors, so in July it was wonderful to open our doors again. The apartments were very popular, as was the bed and breakfast.

The town, pubs and restaurants in the area did us all proud and stepped up to the challenges.

According to many of our reviews Ian also excelled in providing some delicious breakfasts and dinners here!

Breakfast on the terrace anyone?

Fortunately, so far we have been blessed with relatively low rates of Covid in this area, so our visitor numbers were more than expected which was amazing for the area as a whole.

Looking to the future……

We will be following government guidelines, and all being well the apartments will be open throughout, as will our cottage in Appledore (search online for Sarah’s Cottage Appledore on AirBB). North Walk House bed and breakfast will open from Friday March 26th 2021.

 If you would like to visit us, we encourage you to book directly through our website or by phone for best possible rates and discounts.

Further posts this winter will keep you all up to date!

  

What to do during a global pandemic in isolation at North Walk House

We are sorry that so far this year we have not been able to share our lovely home and Exmoor with guests. Fear not, Ian and Sarah have been keeping busy! The fabulous weather has provided plenty of opportunity to get the garden in shape. Ian has done wonders, supported by Sarah who he has kept busy weeding, watering and generally tidying up. Food, drinks and encouragement in plenty. Here are a few photos of how things are progressing. Hopefully our guests will be allowed to visit again very soon.

 

Visit Exmoor this year

‘Visit Exmoor’ has some great information available. Heres a recent bit of news about our wonderful area.

Time Out Magazine not only listed Exmoor in its ‘Top Places to Visit in the UK 2019’ feature – but made it their number one choice!

“Classed as a Dark Sky Reserve, the landscape is made up of moorland with nature reserves, ancient burial grounds, wild valleys and rugged sea cliffs. It’s a lush place to explore by daylight but at night head to Holdstone Hill, County Gate, Brendon Two Gates, Webbers Post, Anstey Gate, Haddon Hill or Wimbleball Lake for impressive astral views.” Thanks to journalists Ellie Walker-Arnott and Lucy Lovell for that glowing recommendation. More info on stargazing here: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/dark-skies

Another Top Pick came from one of the UK’s best-loved magazines, Countryfile. Featuring a comprehensive guide on how to grow, recognise and see Snowdrops, writer Carys Matthews then went on to name our very own Snowdrop Valley in Wheddon Cross, Exmoor as her Top Snowdrop Walk in the UK; “Take a stroll in this picture-perfect valley carpeted in snowdrops.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. More info on Snowdrop Valley here: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/point-of-interest/snowdrop-valley

The inews featured a story (originally from Boundless Magazine) which revealed The UK’s 50 Best Driving Roads – with Exmoor featuring not once, but twice in the Top 10! We all know this of course, but good to see it brought to the attention of the nations’ drivers. We were equally pleased to see that Richard Webber of The Telegraph celebrated lots of our great Exmoor routes with his feature Great British Drives: A Big Exmoor Adventure in a Mini Clubman (other cars are available). More great routes to try here: www.visit-exmoor.co.uk/picturesque-car-routes

So, if it’s driving, stargazing, exploring flora and fauna or just exploring, we’d love to see you all on Exmoor.

Sunshine

Along with the rest of the country we are really enjoying the lovely warm weather. Breakfast on the terrace is a regular thing. The guests all say it is like having breakfast on the Amalfi coast!

If it all gets too much, there are some wonderful shady walks to be found right from the house, just leave the car in the car park for your holiday!

The Maritime Festival in Lynmouth, last weekend was fun, messing about in boats and a swimming race in the harbour all added to the amusements! My friend and I wandered down with our two dogs for a walk on the beach, they loved it.

Not to be beaten Ian took his friends Kayaking the week before, plenty of sun screen was required.

The wonderful thing about our position is that we see the sunrise (if you are up that early) and the effects at sunset. there have been some fabulous skies  in the last few weeks.

     

 

Glorious weather in a perfect spot and a busy June

This morning I glanced at our new Visit Lynton and Lynmouth website from the local independent Tourist information office. It is a fantastic source of information and the Calendar page is bursting with events particularly for this month. This website is definitely worth a look if you are thinking about visiting Lynton and Lynmouth: www.visitlyntonandlynmouth.com

A wonderful entry on the calendar sums up an event this weekend: Lynton & Lynmouth will once again offer the most beautiful backdrop for some of the most stunning cars in the South West. Super Cars, Classics, Vintage and even Tractors – vehicles for everyone. With stalls and activities for the family and touring car clubs throughout the day this is not your typical Classic Car Show. A real family attraction and this year destined to be bigger and better again – visit one of the UK’s best classic car shows. Car displays in Lynton & Lynmouth: Static classics on the Manor. Tours of Ferraris, Astons, Healeys & Porsches from Lynton to Lynmouth.

So lets hope the weather continues to be good.

Our garden has exploded into a colourful palette with Rhododendrons , azaleas and a host of other shrubs at their best. The work on the garden is really beginning to show. Sadly the weeds are also enjoying the weather, so plenty to keep us busy!

 

 

Spring time at last.

After the snowy winter it is a joy to welcome the spring weather, it is a busy time of year with plenty of jobs in the garden, replanting shrubs and tidying up generally. The garden is taking shape and it has been lovely to welcome guests to our home again after our winter break visiting family in Colombia.

There are also other local jobs like herding the wild Goats in the Valley of Rocks for their spring check. I stayed at home looking after our guests, but Ian was up bright and early and in the valley at 6.30am. It was a stunning morning and a fun and useful opportunity for locals to get together, the bacon butties afterwards were worth all the chasing after goats!

This year brings plenty of activity and things to do in the area, apart from just enjoying the stunning scenery and slow pace of life. Here are just a few events in the next couple of months. May 12th the Cliff Railway Day should be lots of fun: Victorian street games, Lynmouth beach clean, Music, Food, Crafts and much more. June 10th for the weekend Lynton and Lynmouth will once again offer the most stunning backdrop for some of the most interesting cars including super cars, classic, vintage and even tractors!! If beer and music are your thing The Fat Belly Craft Beer and Music Festival on the weekend of June 15th will be returning to The Cottage Inn in Lynbridge. Otherwise you can always rely on the Lynton cinema to provide an evenings entertainment.

Lynton and Lynmouth are however just magical for a quiet getaway. I am pleased to say we continue to offer organic food and wild fish whenever possible. We are also endeavouring to reduce our plastic usage dramatically, whilst encouraging others to do the same. I am now involved with a local group involved with getting Plastic Free status for lovely Lynton and Lynmouth. Every little bit counts.

I failed to enter enough stuff on our blog last year, things always seemed to get in the way. So this year I am aiming to enter something on the blog every few weeks, so watch this space!

 

Winter on Exmoor

My goodness we have had so much rain this winter, but fortunately not too cold so far! In fact the snowdrops and daffodils are blooming together.


Lynton and Lynmouth have been busier than usual this winter with guests enjoying a variety of activities from surfing to winter walks and our self catering accommodation has been providing a cosy retreat.

Theatre in the Valley of Rocks

There has been much excitement at the Valley of Rocks with the outdoor theatre during August. The Importance of being Ernest followed by Lorna Doone, were very well worth attending and great fun. The acting was superb and the venue out of this world!

              

Both Lynmouth and Lynton have been buzzing with visitors enjoying the area. It is wonderful to see new events coming together, and everyone enjoying themselves. We hope very much that the outdoor theatre will be back next year, fingers crossed!

The Colours of Exmoor

Firstly an apology for such a long break such the last blog, due to mainly to a busy time of year and not enough hours in the day! However I have now settled down with a bit of time to update you all. Despite being busy we have been managing quite a few walks in this glorious part of the world and a wonderful picnic at Valley of Rocks at sunset.

The colours on Exmoor never cease to amaze us at this time of year. Just minutes from our house the walks provide surprises around every corner. It is at this time of year that walking our spaniel Rosie is such a delight, especially amongst the patchwork of gorse and heather.

We are lucky enough to be able to walk onto Hollerday Hill from our garden behind the house. The garden is a challenging project being on a very steep hill. However this year some of our hard work with a great deal of help from our gardener is paying off!

With all the rain we have had the hydrangeas are at their best…..

            

On those rare occasions when we have time and the weather is just right we head off to the Valley of Rocks for the sunset, after all it is only 5 minutes away!

On this particular evening the weather was wonderful and we all enjoyed it. Some of you may have read in the press about the goats there, they were enjoying it too!

                          

 

 

 

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