Dramatic coastline just after Valley of Rocks near the start of our walk from Lynton to Heddon's Mouth on The South West Coast Path
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Lynton to Heddon's Mouth: Walk The South West Coast Path

Heading into The Valley or Rocks on the walk from Lynton to Heddon's Mouth whilst walking The South West Coast Path
The Valley or Rocks

Distance: 6.5 miles

Severity: Strenuous

Time it took us: 3hrs 34mins

Steps: 19,268

After ticking off 13.5 miles yesterday you’d think we’ve slept like babies. But after Molly, our cocker spaniel’s, unfortunate encounter with what seemed like the world’s population of ticks the previous day, we had a rather disturbed night.

As a result, today’s venture started out much later than planned after a painstaking hour with a ‘tick twister’ to remove the, now exterminated, blighters from the poor dog’s skin.

Dramatic landscape in the distance as a sheep grazes in the field at the Valley of Rocks near the start of our walk from Lynton to Heddon's Mouth
Lush fields aplenty

With Molly suitably recovered and itching for a change of scenery, we set out from Lynton armed with a hot flask of locally bought fresh coffee.

The Path first took us to Castle Rock in the picturesque Valley of Rocks. This U-shaped dry valley runs parallel to the sea and is known for its feral goats that roam free. A minor road took us past the Toll House and up some steep, wooded inclines, to the Woody Bay Hotel and Red House.

Turning left and hiking to the top, we emerged on the cliff edge. And when I say ‘edge’, I mean edge.

The South West Coast Path guidebook describes this section as a ‘superb stretch’, but I couldn’t really tell you that much because most of it was spent staring at my feet.

In my humble opinion – and based on my experience – it's not for the faint-hearted!

I spent most of it shuffling along a path less than a foot wide with sheer, terrifying drops, beneath me.

As we slowly make progress uphill, I suddenly find myself frozen to the spot. I’m suffering what I think is a panic attack. All I could do was breath heavily, sweat profusely and stare down at my feet. Which was a shame because I was reliably informed there are some 'stunning views'.

Looking through the trees back along the coastline on the walk from Lynton to Heddon's Mouth just before Woody Bay
Hole with a view

By now, it had become apparent now that I suffer from a degree of acrophobia and, if it hadn’t been for my husband’s calming words of comfort and encouragement, I think I’d still be up there today!

So, this was the ‘dramatic Heddon’s Mouth’ and, it had beaten me for today. We decided a pint was in order and dropped down to the valley floor and into the welcoming arms of The Hunter’s Inn.

As soon as we'd agreed enough was enough for one day, it dawned on me that I only had to climb back out again on the other side of the valley the very next day. I told myself: "I’ll cross that bridge tomorrow."

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Open plan Gwelmor
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Cornwall Tourism Award 2020 / 2021