For our second camping trip we headed to Cloud Farm in the Doone Valley. On the way we stopped at Lynmouth to break up the journey. We scrambled across the rocks to stretch our legs and then sat on the wall to eat fish and chips.
We arrived at the campsite in the evening and soon had our cosy bell tent set up.
The next morning was a mixture of sunshine and showers. Aaron discovered that it is lots of fun to throw a small light ball at the tent and catch it as it rolls back down.
The children were keen to paddle, so we went off to explore the stream that runs through the site.
Meanwhile, Colin’s parents arrived in their little camper van. The children were thrilled to see Granny and Grandad and climbed up into the poptop roof while I hung up some damp clothes.
In the afternoon we drove into Porlock, admiring the spectacular views on the way.
We set off down a little lane to try and find the beach.
At the bottom, there was an unfinished boardwalk stretching across the marsh towards the sea.
We walked slowly along the pebble ridge, throwing stones into the sea and not paying much attention to the marsh behind us.
We had been aiming for Porlock Weir but, as we climbed back over the ridge onto the footpath on the marsh side, Colin and I realised that something was not quite right. We turned around and hurried back.
By the time we got to the boardwalk, the previously dry ground was completely underwater! The only warning sign about the marsh being tidal was on the ridge side, so we hadn’t noticed it earlier.
Aaron went across first, closely followed by me. I’m not sure if it was the adrenaline or the swirling water below my feet, but by the time I reach the deepest part in the middle I was feeling rather dizzy and lightheaded. I had visions of me fainting and falling into the water, leaving Colin to struggle alone! But I couldn’t stop, so a silent prayer for help and a few deep breaths steadied me enough to keep going.
Colin and Tabitha followed behind a little slower.
There was a gap in the boardwalk near the end, so we had to wade through the rising water.
By the time we were all safely across, some parts of the unfinished boardwalk were already covered by the tide. Had we been a few moments later, we would have been stranded on the pebble ridge!
That evening it began to rain. I cooked a delicious chicken and mushroom casserole under the windbreak canopy and we ate inside by candlelight. During the night we had heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms, but the tent held up brilliantly. I did have to get up at 3 am to take the cooking shelter down though!
The rain continued the next morning so we spent some time inside the tent, colouring in masks and sharing cheese and olives with Granny and Grandad.
Later we drove out to Minehead, taking Granny with us, and had a ride on the West Somerset Railway.
We alighted at Watchet, a rather strange little harbour town.
Back at the campsite, we decided to go home early as Colin wasn’t feeling well enough to stay longer. The weather stayed dry just long enough to get everything packed away into the car and roof box.
Driving through Exmoor is a lovely experience, except for the nerve-wracking 25% gradient hills! The steep hills and valleys we passed were so very different from the ones at home, despite being only 25 miles away.
We weren’t planning to stop at Lynmouth on the way back, but as we drove through we noticed there was a very high tide and got out to have a look at the waves splashing over the walls. It was a great end to a lovely holiday.