Mark took over The Rockford in August 2009 when he visited Exmoor from London. Along with managers Cathryn and Sarah Ward, he was taken aback by the pub's unique location and saw the potential of this 17th-Century rural pub and vowed to make a success of the little hidden jewel in Exmoor's crown. After a little restoration and some tender loving care, its traditional character has been retained, with its large (and lop-sided) open fire and four log burners signifying the traditional values of countryside living. A new lounge bar offers guests the opportunity to relax in the peace and quiet, and also doubles as an excellent space for parties of up to 50 people.
It's the location that really puts The Rockford on the map, however. Popular with local farmers, ramblers and fisherman, this is the place to go if you want some fresh air in your lungs. The East Lyn River is famed for its abundance of salmon and trout, providing a stunning backdrop for anglers with its dramatic gorges, waterfalls, rapids and pools. For those on two legs, the nearby Samaritans Way footpath (which connects Lynmouth and Bristol) runs along the length of the valley beside the river. And, for those on four legs, there are stables from which pony and horse treks across the moor can be arranged.
Returning to The Rockford, the weary explorer should take a pew by the river and enjoy a pint of locally brewed real ale. Next, sign up for some of the excellent home-cooked cuisine on offer - hearty steak and kidney suet pudding, Barn Owl beer-battered haddock fillet, or vegetable tikka masala perhaps. Then retire to one of The Rockford's five comfortable bedrooms and let the sounds of waterfalls and hooting owls fill your head as you lie back and think of tomorrow's adventures.