One of the village’s regular visitors is this heron who every evening around dusk arrives in search of supper. It stands patiently at pretty much the same spot in the river and whilst I’ve never seen it actually catch anything I assume it must do, otherwise it wouldn’t be there. Me, I pass it nightly in search of my own supper - of the liquid variety down at the Rising Sun - I always stop for a few minutes just to see how it’s getting on but I don't have its patience (not with my beer awaiting) - one of life’s simple pleasures :)
In early May the sun sets invisibly behind Hollerday Hill, to the east of the village. Even though you can’t see it setting its dying light still offers some amazingly surreal seascapes outwards over the bay with the Welsh coastline forming the horizon. On this particular evening the low clouds seemed to be growing out of the land, billowing darkly, providing a backdrop to the rolling breakers of the incoming tide and the whole bay was infused with a deep azure glow.
The pic here is unedited, the colours are exactly as the eye sees them - it’s small wonder that the area is so popular with painters, writers and, of course, photographers.
No-one seems quite sure how this recent event came about, but a few Augusts ago there seemed to be a spontaneous outburst of scarecrows around the two villages, some with charity collecting tins, others just appearing in all sorts of odd places. This has now become an annual ritual every August with an amazing variety of characters, sometimes in the oddest of places. The trick is to keep looking around, you never know where one is lurking and children especially enjoy making a game of spotting them.
See also my Lynton page for a travelog with more pics.
In addition to the annual raft race there is also the Lyn Duck Race, usually the Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, in aid of the local firefighters benevolent fund and other local charities. This event involves disgorging about 2,000 numbered yellow plastic ducks off the upriver bridge and allowing the river to carry them down to the footbridge just before the harbour. Spectators "purchase" a duck for a pound and the first duck to reach the footbridge earns its "owner" the 100 pound first prize.
The ducks take about 20 minutes to sort themselves out in the upper section of the river with the majority getting stuck in the many pools on the way down but a few find the natural current channels on the route to the finish.
They are still not necessarily freed from the river's hazards however, which this year included a little boy of about 4 years old, who, seeing the leading duck floating close to the shore, rushed out and plucked it out of the water with cries of "Look Mummy, I've caught a duck!" Mummy, needless to say, was somewhat aghast as she became focus of the thousands of spectators collective laughter!!
The annual Lynmouth Raft Race is usually held on a Sunday in July or August, with exact dates and times depending on the tides, and is one of the highlights in everyones' social calendar, whether participating actively or not. The raft race is organised by the local Lyn Lions and is a purely amateur event with all craft being home made with whatever materials are available. This is a great family fun day out with a collection of stalls in the village centre, live music and entertainment and of course the race itself.
Whilst the race can be very competitive it is not really taken TOO seriously; one of the traditions is that the spectators "bomb" the competitors with flour at every opportunity but remember that the participatants are allowed to fight back!
The event is well supported by local businesses and visitors and raises several thousand pounds for local charities.
For more pics see travelogues. Website below is general N Devon events page:
This is really a tip which could equally apply to most of rural England but we'll put it here seeing as we had a visit the other night.
Morris dancing is a peculiarly English tradition where "teams" of dancers visit local pubs to perform outside and collect money for local charities. It is thought to have originated as a means for peasants to supplement their incomes and the name "Morris" to have evolved from the word "Moorish" refering to the fact that historically the dancers would black thier faces.
Usually having finished thier performance and passed the collecting tin they will then pop into the pub for a beer or two and if you are lucky will treat the customers to an impromptu music session.