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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.


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


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


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


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.


Luckily the river was nice and calm today!


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


It led us through a pretty forest...


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


After a while we crossed the river...


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


Instead, we walked towards the sea.


We followed a narrow coastal path.


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


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


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


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


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


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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