First thing to tell you is that that picture isn’t us!! It’s a library photo trying to show you the problems on Porlock Hill.
On Monday, after a very hectic week or so, we set off on our mini UK roadtrip – first stop Lynton and Lynmouth.
We took a cursory look at the map, saw an A road (the A39) and decided that was probably the best route; set up the sat nav (an Aguri set up for our outfit, which we then proceeded to ignore as we thought she was being stupid – we are humbled and will never ignore here again!!)
We simply had no idea about the A39 (also known as the Atlantic Highway) you see. So this is how we ended up, accidently, tackling Porlock Hill. If you haven’t heard about Porlock Hill can I respectfully suggest that you have a little read about it here….
When we got to the hill (remember, we had no idea about it), the first we knew about any issues was the notice at the junction of the hill itself and the alternative route of the toll road.
Note, the sign says that caravans are ‘advised’ to take the toll road. Let me spell this out, in case you’re in any doubt, DO NOT TAKE YOUR CARAVAN OR YOUR MOTORHOME UP THIS HILL!! I was going to say ‘especially if it’s been raining, or there’s dew or any sign of damp’ – however, this suggests that it’s okay for you to tackle the hill – which it’s not…. So I won’t say that!
The hill is 1in4 (or 25%) – think about that. That means that the road climbs 1 foot for every 4 feet travelled forward. It also has tight bends and steep drop-offs (luckily I didn’t really see these).
As the road got steeper the front wheels starting losing traction briefly. At this point I shut up, held tight, gritted my teeth and hoped for the best. When we got to a sharp left hander about halfway up on the steepest part of the hill, we lost traction again, but this time we coudn’t regain it.
So, we’re stuck in the middle of the road, with the nose poking forward instead of around the bend – we’re going nowhere 😦
But, we had a little advantage in that it was Calv in charge. We jumped out, unhooked the car, I jumped in and promptly reversed into the bank (not helpful really), Calv rolled down the hill and around me before he could regain traction on the other side of the road. (If you watch videos of people tackling this corner you can see that they all take it on the other side of the road).
By the time I rounded the bend he was gone, once started he floored it and made it to the top where we pulled into the first available parking area to re-attach the car.
Then came the downhill section into Lynmouth where we stopped and unhooked the car again, as we realised we were going to have to go up again to get to our campsite. This road up past Lynton to West Lyn was almost as steep – put it this way, in the little car I barely managed to get out of 1st gear – I tried a couple of times, only to have to quickly change back down.
Never have I been so relieved to arrive at a campsite – we certainly won’t be making that mistake again!
However, we’re going to pretend that we did it on purpose (and that we’re not actually idiots) so that we could tell other people about it 1st hand 🙂 (Are you buying that??!)
We’ve now researched the route for if you’re visiting this area, and would recommend the A361 to the A399.
Let me know if you’ve ever made the same mistake (it would be lovely to know that we’re not the only ones!)
Happy travelling everyone!
Our Campsite in Lynmouth – Lynmouth Holiday Retreat
Walks & Days out in North Devon