5th July – Porlock & The Hill of Doom

With the tent packed up, it was onto my next site at Lynton. Before reaching the site I had a few places to visit. The first of these was Porlock.

I’d only decided that morning to visit, mainly because the distance between the two campsites is only 20 miles, and I would have got to Lynmouth & Lynton to early.

I should have realised what I was going to face on the way out, after the drive into Porlock; which is down a very steep road. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

This area is famous for the Doones’ and the town has a Lorna Doone Hotel.

I had a lovely sausage bap in the Olde Chapel which is a pub run by a chap from Reading, who is slowly heading further east as time goes on.

The Church has a conical spire, I’ve no idea why but it looks rather good in person. The lane next to the Church is called The Drang; I’d not heard the name before, but it popped up again in Padstow where there is a Drang Gallery.

This is one of the streets in Porlock.

So onto the way out of Porlock, something I didn’t know about or expect. As you get to the edge of the town there are two ways to go, left up the hill and right avoiding it. I went left.

There is a massive sign warning drivers of what is to come, but all I saw was ‘Lynmouth’ and knew that was where I was headed, and the satnav probably told me to go left, it was fond of doing that.

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The first section of the hill is no problem, a normal hill but then it all goes a bit steep.

Firstly this gentle right hand bend…

Which is soon followed by this sharp uphill left hand bend…this is the approach

This is what it looks like on the bend…

and looking back towards the same bend.

That bend caught me by surprise, and the air was blue as I approached and as I went around it, all in first gear. Several times up the hill, on the approach and after that bend, I tried to get into second but the car didn’t want to move forward…although trying to select second wasn’t a good idea, I’m quite proud of the fact that I didn’t stop or use the handbrake when quickly getting back into first!

Once past this point it’s pretty straightforward and you can get through the gears.

Another view of the corner from a German website.

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This last picture I found whilst looking for images of the hill. It’s from the 1920’s and I really wouldn’t want to be in a Sharabang either going up or down this hill.

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With thanks to the following sites:

http://exmoorencyclopedia.org.uk/contents-list/49-p/784-porlock-hill.html
http://kaisermeetsstreet.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/england-from-its-bizarrest-side/
and http://www.rural-roads.co.uk/a39/a39_4.shtml, I drove the same route as shown on this blog.