North Walk is easily one of the most stunning stretches of the South West Coast Path, clinging to the cliff face with views across to Wales and along the Exmoor coast.
It is easy to walk along North Walk from Lynton, and out to the Valley of Rocks, and it is equally easy to forget the work once involved in constructing it.
At the time, Sanford had recently purchased Lynton's Cottage Hotel. Sanford had a close association with Charles Bailey, the estate bailiff at Lee Abbey. North Walk was ostensibly commissioned by Sanford in order to provide an easy walking route to link his Cottage Hotel with Lee Abbey and Charles Bailey. The path was constructed incrementally and is effectively cut into the cliff face.
The view from the path is stunning, and in this modern day the view looking down on it from a helicopter really brings home what an incredible path it is.
The link to the Castle Hotel
Extending in the other direction from the Cottage Hotel is an old forgotten walkway, abandoned for the last twenty or more years. This was in fact built in 1889, at a time when both the Cottage Hotel and the Castle Hotel (now Castle Heights) and been in the same ownership. The walkway acted as a link between the properties, enabling the then owner to get to his new smoking and billiard room. Once these properties fell back into separate ownership the walkway was used less, however was completely abandoned when the Castle Hotel burned down. Today the walkway still remains amongst the trees, collapsed and in disrepair. The Castle Hotel site has been completely redeveloped as apartments.