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Published: August 25th 2008
After breakfast it was raining. We were disinclined to stay in our hotel. If you ever go to Porlock, go to the Ship and not the Castle. The Ship is a fine Inn and it has Otter beer which is excellent, not to mention local. It also has a lack of Elvis impersonators and thumping cheesy disco till the early hours. Which is more than can be said for the Castle.
Anyway, we took a stroll whilst deciding what to do and, very swiftly, I spotted an open top bus. We ran for it. It was going to.. Lynmouth. We got on and went upstairs where we became intimate with some wet trees. We went up onto Exmoor and when we seemed to have gone as up as possible we asked the bus to stop and got off, saying we would walk back. The driver told us we were crazy but we had a map and using the bus to go up seemed like a good idea.
W walked through some woods which soon became managed woodland - conifers in rows. We wondered why theywere behind electric fences till we started to see a load of pheasants. This was
Ashley consults a map
This is the Highest Inn on Exmoor
not the most attractive part of the walk. A path led us through ancient woods to an ancient stone which is named on the maps, then we walked to pub which is famous for being the highest Inn on Exmoor where we got coffee and a local walkng map. From there we walked mostly down to Robbers Bridge. This part of the walk was typified by pheasants. Not behind an electric fence but all over the place - flying up as we passed in that comical way that pheasants have.
From there we walked down the road to Oatford where we turned right and went upwards. Sharply. It was quite a climb and we got high up very quickly. On the way up we saw couple of adders, one of which stayed still long enough for us to see it properly and try to photograph it. It left as we climbed a bit further up the path. By this time it had got quite sunny.
The next part of the walk was over high moorland, where we saw many larks and several falcons - oh and a lot of crows. Eventually we were looking down towards the sea
and across at Wales. A sharpish drop past some small standing stones took us to the Coast Path which runs along through woods and forests, avoiding landslip, down to Porlock weir. That was a long stretch, with the sea visible down below for most of the way. We crossed over a number of tumbling waterfalls. This was mostly pretty old woodland of oak and ash and beech.
We had some orange juice and lemonade and a bag of crisps at Porlock Weir then headed back to Porlock by a footpath.
Tonight we got food at the Ship and drank more Otter Ale. We like Otter Ale.
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