Rob Holmes, Se­nior Art Ed­i­tor Miles walked this month: 53

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Britain's Best Walks -

Hol­i­day­ing on Devon’s north coast re­cently, we were keen to spend some of the break ex­plor­ing lo­ca­tions close to our base. I mean, when you’ve driven for five hours to get there in the first place, who wants to spend much more time be­hind the wheel? Luck­ily for us, our cho­sen camp­site was per­fectly sit­u­ated – just a mile or so in­land and an easy stroll to the stun­ning Valley of the Rocks; wild and windswept and boast­ing the fab­u­lous con­trast of be­ing home to both feral goats and a choco­late-box-cute tea room and gar­den.

Later in the week we opted to turn our backs on the hon­ey­pot beaches of Il­fra­combe and Woola­combe, in favour of the more lo­cal Woody Bay. As we de­scended the steep, zig-zag­ging path to the bay, (curs­ing my­self and the kids for bring­ing too much ‘stuff’), I was more than aware that spir­its were start­ing to flag.

I needn’t have wor­ried. Our tired legs were re­warded, not with ex­pan­sive golden sands, but with a charm­ing, near-de­serted rocky bay, ripe for ad­ven­ture like some­thing straight out of a Fa­mous Five novel. With its own tiny trickle of a wa­ter­fall and an ut­terly gor­geous tidal bathing pool that pho­tog­ra­phers would die for, (thanks to the Vic­to­ri­ans for that, ap­par­ently), it made for a per­fect (and crowd-free) af­ter­noon by the sea.

Note to self:

When you find your­self ques­tion­ing “Was this worth the walk?”, more of­ten than not the an­swer is a re­sound­ing “YES!”

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