The current herd originated in December 1976 when three feral goats were released into the valley.
They came from the College Valley herd, based in the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland.
Each of the six large rooms have ‘feature beds’: Summerhouse has an enormous Rococo bedhead, Hollerday has a four-poster, and The Cleaves has a magnificent six-foot wide Jacobean.
The views are truly breathtaking: lush woodlands, moorlands dotted with Exmoor deer, two small, pretty seaside towns, and the North Devon and Welsh coastlines.
The sides are boulder strewn, some of the larger stones being remnants of Neolithic stone circles. We do not know how long goats have been in the Valley of Rocks but it is reasonable to assume that Neolithic peoples living in the valley some 6000 years ago would have kept goats of the same breed which graze the valley today.
The Doomsday Book records 75 goats in the Manor of Lyntonia.
Cooked choices include an Exmoor breakfast (a full English with locally-sourced ingredients), eggs florentine, eggs royale and fruit compote.
The food is home-cooked rather than gourmet, the portions are large and the presentation thoughtful.
Highcliffe House is owned and run by Karen and Mike Orchard, a welcoming, softly-spoken couple who know their patch inside-out, and who are happy to help guests out with suggestions for local things to do.