Europe

Valley of the Rocks

Dramatic idyll: The Valley of the Rocks

For some hikers, the Valley of the Rocks in Exmoor National Park has almost dramatic features. Others are so fascinated by the idyllic landscape in the “Valley of the Rocks” that it takes their breath away. Most outdoor freaks among holidaymakers choose the twin cities of Lynmouth and Lynton as the starting point for their excursions through one of the most impressive nature reserves in England.

Wild goat territory

The Valley of the Rocks was the declared territory of a herd of wild goats for a long time before the coast of the Bristol Channel was discovered by nature lovers. One of the most interesting and varied hikes through the labyrinth of rocks leads from Lynton along the banks of the East River Lyn to the so-called South West Coast Path. This leads right along the cliffs in a spectacular section. Those who take on the hardships of this demanding tour will be rewarded with spectacular views.

Roaring sea and steep cliffs

After the difficult climb, a trip on the Cliff Railway is recommended, which commutes between Lynmouth and Lynton and which has earned the reputation of being the steepest water-operated railway on the globe. The romantic coast with the “valley of the rocks” is visited by connoisseurs of this region especially in the weeks of spring. Then the meadows are green and the omnipresent gorse opens its yellow flowers. And all of this from the perspective of the often roaring sea at the foot of the steep cliffs.

A treasure trove for geologists

For geologists, this area not far from Exmoor is a real treasure trove, as the Devonian rocks are rich in fossils. The valley found its way into literature as early as 1797 when, after a joint visit, the writers William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a prosaic story they called “The Wanderings of Cain”. The wife of the Australian composer Miriam Hyde was so taken with the idyll of the Valley of the Rocks in 1974 that she subsequently put an important piano piece on the sheet music.

Why Porthcurno Beach is worth a visit

A beach for everyone
Porthcurno Beach is in the Cornwall region of southern England, near the town of Penzance. The beach has been convincing young and old for decades with its white, clean sand and turquoise-blue water. If the conditions are right, surfers get their money’s worth. The beach is also extremely popular with families with children or study travelers.

Fascinating wildlife up close

Observing animals in the wild is certainly a formative experience. On the beach of Porthcurno it is not uncommon to see dolphins in the immediate vicinity of the beach. With a little luck you can spot porpoises or minke whales. Bird lovers will delight in the rare chough birds that breed around Porthcurno Beach each year.

Numerous attractions around Porthcurno

The gardens of Penberth and Chygurno in Lamorna are in the immediate vicinity of the beautiful sandy beach. A visit to the historic Minack open-air theater from 1932 is worthwhile on the one hand because of the fabulous view and on the other hand because of the open-air theater performances.

After about 30 minutes on foot, you will reach the granite rock Logan Rock.

The best travel time

In the summer months, a day trip to Porthcurno Beach is most worthwhile. Whether swimming, bathing or paddling – everyone gets their money’s worth here! There is also a lot to discover in the colder months: For example, seals can be observed near the beach all year round. Millions of rare birds reside around the picturesque landscape of Porthcurno Beach in autumn and spring. Regardless of the season, moderate hikes to the nearby Lands End headland are ideal.

Swaledale

Wild Yorkshire countryside

Swaledale is very interesting for study tour participants as it has a history that goes back to prehistoric times. The special wildflower pastures on which the Swaledale sheep graze are interesting for botanists.

Swaledale: In the footsteps of the Vikings

Danish Vikings once settled in Swaledale. All places in the valley are named after the Viking families who lived and worked there. Travelers will find their traces throughout the region and the ruins of abbeys of the monks who succeeded the Vikings in the Middle Ages. The small museum in Reeth has an interesting exhibition about Swaledale in the former school. The old forge at Gunnerside reports on the mining of lead in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Swaledale is a prime hiking area between May and the end of September. The starting point for many circular hiking trails, mountain bike trails and the Coast-to-Coast Walk is the village of Reeth. In August the Swaledale Festival and the mountain bike festival “Ard Rock” take place. The motorcycle off-road race “Scott Trial” is known nationwide.

Valley of the Rocks