Travelled : 196 kilometres from Padstow, West Cornwall to Lynton North Devon.
Visited : Cycled 20 kilometres of the Camel Trail (National Cycle Path #32). Croyde Bay, North Devon £5 parking. Lynton, North Devon £1 parking. Exmoor National Park (free).
Stayed : Brendon (Exmoor National Park) free parking with a toilet nearby (and views you cannot buy). N51.22426 W03.72963
We have a very quiet night in the big carpark in Padstow. Purchased another parking ticket at 8 am for £2.50, so avoided the overnight charge. Given lunch yesterday we need to cut corners and economise where possible.
Padstow sits on the mouth of the River Camel (remember that for trivia), the old railway line following the river has long been closed, the sleepers and rails removed to form the Camel Trail Cycle Path. So it’s some fruit for breakfast and we head off to Wadebridge about 10 miles up river.
Pam stops to check the safety aspect of the bridge at Dinas. It’s a lovely ride following the Camel upstream. It’s low tide as we ride, lots of swans and their signets along the waters edge and squirrels on suicide missions darting across the trail as you pass.
Looks a bit gloomy but it was sunny and warm for most of the way.
We arrive in Wadbridge to find several cycle hire places. Obviously the Camel is big business.
Looking down steam with Padstow in the distance.
Our park and pay ticket has run out and it’s time to go. We put the bikes on the carrier and head out of Padstow continue north. It looks like being a warm day and our Lonely Planet guide states that Croyde Bay is the best surfing beach in Cornwall so that will do for lunch and a rest stop.
The sun is shining and its a beautiful day as we come down into Bideford, but out to sea we can see a wall of mist or fog. By the time we get to Croyde and find a parking spot the mist starts rolling into the cove.
5 minutes later the bells sound and they close the beach at 2 pm due to sea fog ! One of the strangest natural phenomena we have seen. We put the bed down and have a nap, in campercar world it doesn’t really matter.
I’ll give it to the English they love the beach, Croyde Cove is pack with swimmers and given the fog or mist packed with people walking back to there campsite or holiday house. The vast majority are wearing 3mm steamers so I gather the water is a bit on the chilly side. We cannot report that the surf was up to Cronulla standards as although we could see the sand we couldn’t see the waves. Time to move on and we did. We continue our journey north-east into the Exmoor National Park…
We are starting to think about a stop for the night as we drive into Lynton. The road follow follows a canyon down the Lynmouth. It is truly a pretty place, a bit touristy but in a classic sort of way.
We find a park in a dedicated motorhome spot, but it says no overnight parking for motorhomes. Not a sign I normally get excited about, so we go for a walk to the port and have a drink in this little pub and use there wifi.
We wander back to the carpark feeling a little mellow. The other motorhomes have all departed and I get this urge. Our Wild Camping data base shows an off road park up on the moor about 5 miles further on, so it’s off again.
It was the right decision, we park up on the crest of a hill on the moors. A small overnight hut and toilets block just across the way. There are about a dozen cars in the carpark but they soon disappear and we are joined by an English couple and a Swiss couple driving something they made themselves. We have a good old chat.
The view back into the Brendon Valley and the moors beyond. I get the Webber out and cook some salmon and mushrooms, Pam whips up some salad and before you know it the sun is going down, must be nearly 10 pm.