Dwight Peck's personal website

Late summer 2003 -- A few weeks in Devon and Cornwall

North Devon near Exmoor

Well, we've been wandering lost in admiration through the spires and greens of Oxford and checking out the business opportunities in Wells, but now we're in Devon on the north coast, visiting the Tims.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The Tims, until recently conservation colleagues at Ramsar and WWF International but now proprietors of the DJEnvironmental consulting agency, are restoring this ancient creekside mill in the teensy Sterridge Valley leading down to Berrynarbor on the north Devon coast. The house has been traced in the records back to 1720 so far but was well established on the site at that time.

We joined the Tims' regular team in the Sunday night Berrynarbor pub quiz and, though we foundered on some of the British sitcoms and sports stars, won (Kristin was awarded the T-shirt and baseball cap as prizes).

There is one road through the Sterridge Valley and there is never a good time to be on it. Much of it is at a 45% grade and all of it is 3/4 lane wide, but our little hired red SEAT (above) made it down and up several times without a sinistre, against all expectations. ("Not suitable for caravans.")

The old mill creek on the left, a rainy day before setting off for a hike at Woody Bay, and the main house seen from the second building, where the Tims have their office.

The Tims having a laugh at Kristin standing out in the rain, preparatory to her going off on a good long hike at Woody Bay.

Preparations all made and alles in ordnung, and off we go.

A hasty look back as we speed along the coast path

The Devon Coast Path looking west from Woody Bay, part of the Exmoor National Park on the north Devon coast, 20 October 2003.

The Coast Path continues westward, but on the far side of a great whacking river valley.

According to the map, the ladies' room is right round here somewhere.

That quite beautiful shirt, which is just over 27 years old, bears the message: "a choice of life, for safeguard the Nature!"

Kristin preparing to investigate the lunch offerings at the Hunters Inn at the bottom of the valley, by way of fortifying ourselves for the second half of the walk.

Ancient lime kilns are ubiquitous on the Devon coast, every reasonable landing place has one -- one can only guess what they were doing with all the kilned lime.

The Hunters Inn down near sea level in the valley between Trentishoe and Martinhoe, a picturesque and popular spot for day-lunchers and priced accordingly, but with a nice National Trust station with nature exhibits, etc., just nearby

-- Do you want mustard or ketchup on that?

Excellent architecture and scenery and a disappointing ham sandwich, Hunters Inn, October 2003

Suitably fortified, Kristin follows the path ascending back out to the seacoast.

A view of the pre-Hunters Inn part of the Coast Path

A view of the post-Hunters Inn part of the Coast Path

Topping out on the hilltops and circling back towards Woody Bay

Trentishoe church, quite old, and accommodations for the local dead

Lovely colors as the shadows lengthen

Hastening eastward, where as we recall we left the car

We're heading back to Woody Bay just before nightfall, anticipating a hearty pub meal and an evening reading bits of The Guardian and The Independent to each other with oily fish and chips and great bitter.

Back to the Tims in Berrynarbor and some more drizzlish sightseeing on the morrow, charming old Lynmouth, specifically, and the hike from the fine old church at Selworthy on Exmoor, over the Selworthy Beacon, and then back in rain squalls to the fine old church at Selworthy on Exmoor, and then another wonderful pub dinner YES!

Devon and Cornwall, October 2003

Summer 2002

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 22 November 2003, revised 21 September 2008, 11 May 2013, 9 March 2021.

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Devon and Cornwall, 2003