Another great day of sunshine like yesterday. Ideal for travelling and we had made a few changes to the itinerary and attempted to make today a bit more of a travel day. Didn't quite work out that way even though we did over 300 klms.
First we were going to St Ives, and no, we didn't meet a man with seven wives. It is possible he was on the road but that's the way it went. We did see one of the cats in St Ives though. Very quaint, picturesque old town with the streets around the waterfront still cobblestones. I had picked a couple of way points for the GPS to get to specific places so I can't blame it when we ended up on a very narrow cobblestone street where I was watching the right hand side door and Therese was monitoring the lack of space between the left-hand mirror and the block wall of a building. We made it through unscathed.
A nice drive up the coast to Port Isaac followed. We parked the car and went for a walk as again, the streets are too narrow and crowded with cars and walkers that it isn't worth the hassle and difficulties associated with driving. Port Isaac is where the TV show "Doc Martin" is filmed so the photos of the harbour and "Doc's House" should ring a bell with fans.
Driving up the coast from Port Isaac to Lynton/Lynmouth is a really great picturesque drive. Lynton and Lynmouth see themselves as twin towns, Lynton is located at the top of a cliff around 152 metres above Lynmouth below, at the mouth of the Lyn River. Like every where else it seems, the towns are well maintained and have the obligatory narrow streets and limited parking. The key attraction in the towns is the cliff railway. Around 263 mtrs of track climb the 150 mtr cliff and the two carriage train is operated purely by water. Opened in 1890, the two carriages are connected by a cable. The carriage at the top is filled with 3,000 litres of water. This acts as a counterweight to the carriage at the bottom and as the driver of the carriage at the bottom releases the water, the top carriage begins the trip down and pulls the bottom carriage up. Simple and it works.
At Dunster, we stopped for a look at the Gallox Bridge, built in 15th century to enable pack horses to cross the River Avill. Near the bridge we two beautiful examples of thatched roof cottages we frequently see along the road.
Being a bit castled out, we bypassed a few of them today but one building that had caught our eye was Cleeve Abbey at Washford. This Abbey is reasonably complete and built from a red sandstone giving it a distinctive appearance. The abbey was built in the 13th century then remodelled in the 15th century. Closure came on the orders of King Henry VIII in 1536 and the attached church was destroyed with only the foundations remaining. The abbey is a lovely old building to walk through and explore the ground, second and third levels. Some parts of the building have been restored and the tiled floor of the original refectory has had centuries of soil build-up removed and is now covered by a protective building for display. These tiles at first glance appear to be painted but they are made by a process of stamping the pattern into the clay tile then filling the pattern with another coloured clay, then the tile was glazed and fired in the kiln.
Tomorrow we head for Cheddar then on to Bath.