Bryony SymesSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Bryony Symes
I've been to Devon, and north Devon in particular, many times, so when colleague Peter Baber and I were planning our latest cover shoot I thought that there would be few surprises. I was wrong.
Many of you will remember the reader rallies that we used to hold at Stowford Farm Meadows, near Ilfracombe. It has been several years, so when choosing somewhere to stay during the shoot, we immediately picked Stowford as we know that the facilities are up to scratch, and they are open all year.
Returning to such a familiar touring destination can be quite reassuring, especially when you know you've got a long drive.
Despite this, the trip still managed to throw a few surprises my way. Our locations, for example; it turns out that during all those years attending the reader rally, I didn't actually see very much of the surrounding area at all.
I certainly never made it to the small, largely unremarkable village of Lynton; driving into the village, the road follows the side of a steep valley, but the village itself is quite flat.
Turn left instead of following the one-way system around to the shops, though, and you'll soon find that you emerge into a dramatic valley with rocky hillsides covered in golden ferns rising to either side.
It's quite a dramatic entrance, to say the least, and the generous (and height barrier-free) car park is ideal for parking the motorhome up to admire the view. Parking charges are reasonable, too.
And admire it we did; the rocky granite hillsides and tors were too tempting not to climb them. Although we were a bit alarmed by the steepness of the cliffs that local goats were scrambling around on.
Just a little further East and you get to the charming harbour at Lynmouth, and the section of the A39 after this was the focus of our next cover opportunity.
This is not a section of road for the faint of heart; at least not in a motorhome. At the very bottom of the hill, there is an incline of 25% - one of the steepest I've driven - and although this does even out to a rather more reasonable 20% fairly quickly, there is several miles of this to contend with, so you'll want to get comfortable in a low gear.
That being said, the views from the road are spectacular, and right at the top, as a reward for your perseverance, is a cosy traditional pub. The view from the pub garden is certainly one of the best I've encountered!
So I discovered plenty of new beauty spots, as well as visiting the old favourites of Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, after another successful trip to delightful Devon.
Read all about our trip in the next issue of Practical Motorhome. Subscribe today and you can get the next issue delivered to your door, to make sure you don't miss out!