Driving along the main road from Lynton towards Ilfracombe, a drive my husband and I have made several times over the years, one of the most arresting sights along the route is the beautiful, sheltered inlet at Watermouth. The inlet, with its small boats taking advantage of the tranquillity of the spot, is surrounded by striking coastal scenery, with two lush green headlands guarding the entrance to the harbour. Set among all this loveliness is Watermouth Castle, a relatively new one, built in 1825. It looks like any other castle from the outside, but is actually a family attraction, with delights such as Gnome Land, Dungeon Labyrinths and Merry-go Land. Not my cup of tea admittedly, but it seems to have got the thumbs-up from TripAdvisor.
A short walk along the coastal path from Watermouth leads to Hele Bay, with a beach overlooked by grassy cliffs and with rock pools exposed at low tide. There is a 16th century corn mill with a restored water wheel which is open to visitors, who can take a look around the mill. Between Hele Bay and the much larger Ilfracombe there is a high promontory called Hillsborough, which used to be an Iron Age hill fort, but is now a nature reserve.
Map of the area.
|Widmouth Head and Watermouth Bay. Photo by John Rostron, via Wikimedia Commons|