Woody Bay, Lynton, Devon
It doesn’t take a genius to work out how Woody Bay in Devon got its name; this small rocky cove on the Exmoor coast is backed by – yep, woods. The steep path zigzags down through them to the shingle and rock beach where there’s a waterfall and a ‘Victorian bathing pool’. It’s a good place for what they call ‘wild swimming’ (otherwise known as ‘swimming’), or when the tide is low, for spuddling about in the rock pools.
The upside of the tricky access is that Woody Bay doesn’t tend to get crowded, which is far from the intention had by a man who owned it in Victorian times; his idea was to develop the bay into a resort on a par with the likes of neighbouring Lynton and Lynmouth, and Ilfracombe, but it never came to fruition as he ran out of money. Had he not done so Woody Bay would be a far cry from the ‘hidden cove’ it is now; it’s unspoilt and still has the air of good old fashioned Enid Blyton holidays and that’s so hard to find these days. There’s no tea shop, no pub, so take a picnic, a proper one, with sausage rolls, egg sarnies, and lashings of ginger beer.
All information correct at the time of writing