The Valley of the Rocks is in North Devon, accessible from the nearby village of Lynton. It’s steeped in history, all sorts of Ice Age glacier references and rocky bits and pieces. The Wikipedia entry has what is now my new favourite word – fossiliferous – included in the description. Apparently parts of the book Lorna Doone were set there, although I can’t really picture that in my head, despite having read it relatively recently.
Anyway, to North Devon I ventured to complete the V of my alphabet adventure. From Lynton, there’s a narrow road leading past heaps of bed and breakfasts and guest houses, and eventually it leads out onto the pathway heading towards the valley and the rocks. It’s a steep drop, and there’s not much in the way of guard rails, but the view is fantastic – both of the rocks to the left hand side, and the masses of water to the right.
There’s also the goats. They’re wild goats, free to roam around the valley as they please (although I think someone must be looking after them a little bit, like the horses in the New Forest or the Exmoor ponies). The places they get to on the steep cliffs are amazing, and you can be walking along and suddenly a pair of horns/antlers appears out of nowhere on the side of an impossibly steep hillside.
It’s a beautiful walk, that gets progressively more interesting as you go along, until eventually you round away from the sea and then through the valley itself and back round to the village. It’s definitely a walk for good weather, and it was a very fortuitous day for me – breezy but no rain, which is as much as you can ask for in October. If it had been raining, it would be an absolute nightmare, totally exposed and with sheer drops to try and avoid.
Thankfully, that was not the case, and I managed to log a successful V in my alphabet adventure.