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Clare
Clare

Day 2: Exmoor

It had rained quite a lot overnight and was still quite damp when we woke up this morning. During breakfast we just managed to get enough of a signal to check the forecast, which suggested it was actually going to be a reasonably dry day, with not more than a 30% chance of rain at any point. After a short morning stroll around the area where we're staying, we decided to head north today towards the Exmoor National Park.

I had invested in a Devon guidebook prior to this trip, and one of the things it recommend as being a highlight of Exmoor was a place called the Tarr Steps. Google had suggested this was only around 35 miles from where we were staying, although the journey ultimately took longer than I expected thanks to the small and winding roads!

We arrived some time after 11 and were happy to find that there was both space in the car park and a parking machine that accepted cards :) A small path led downhill from the car park.

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The path took us to the Tarr steps, which are what is known as a "clapper bridge" across the river Barle.

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It's essentially a bridge made out of huge slabs of stone, thought to date from at least medieval times.

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The bridge was a bit busy when we arrived, but soon emptied out a bit so that we could take some photos :) 

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Although the bridge looks like it's been here forever, it's actually been washed away several times by floodwater and had to be rebuilt.

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Luckily the river was nice and calm today!

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We followed a short circular trail which leads alongside the river.

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It led us through a pretty forest...

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...with some lovely views of the surrounding countryside.

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After a while we crossed the river...

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...on a normal bridge this time...

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...and walked back in the direction we had come.

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We had a final view of the Tarr Steps...

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...followed by a bit of an uphill climb back towards the car.

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Our next destination was a place called Valley of Rocks, about a 20 mile drive away across Exmoor.

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We got a little glimpse of the sea as soon as we parked, which was exciting :) 

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It was a rather unusual landscape, in some ways a bit similar to the Brimham Rocks which we visited on the way to Northumberland last month.

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Some people were climbing to the top of the rocks, but we didn't fancy that.

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Instead, we walked towards the sea.

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We followed a narrow coastal path.

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We didn't have to walk very far before we turned round and found the most amazing views :) 

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I didn't know what to expect from the north Devon coast, but I didn't expect it to be quite this beautiful.

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It was difficult not to keep taking the same photos over and over again :)

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Obviously it wasn't a circular walk this time around, so we had to be careful not to walk too far.

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It wasn't a hardship to turn around and walk back towards views like these, though!

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All in all we've had a lovely day in Devon :) And the weather turned out to be a lot sunnier than I expected when I got up this morning :) 

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