The Local Area
The twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth are located on the breathtaking North Devon coast, surrounded by the rugged beauty of Exmoor National Park. The local area boasts stunning scenery and is steeped in a rich heritage which can be explored on foot, by bike or car.
Top attractions in Lynton & Lynmouth
The Cliff Railway
A short walk through the town leads you to the Victorian water powered lift, also known as the cliff railway. The railway links the two villages of Lynton and Lynmouth.
The steepest water-powered railway in the world, it is unique and sustainable as no electricity is used. The cars are powered by water and gravity alone and are joined by a cable using a pulley system - the upper car lifting the lower as it jettisons water from its tank under the carriage.
The Valley of Rocks
A short walk from the guest house, either along the coast path or through the back of the town, leads you to the enigmatic Valley of Rocks. This is where the Romantics, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley, are said to have drawn inspiration for their poetry and ballads.
The strange coastal landforms are as unique as their names would suggest - where else are you to find a stack of rocks called "Devil's Cheesewring"? The valley also features the village cricket pitch which hosts matches throughout the summer.
From here, you can either return to Lynton via the road which makes for a pleasant circular walk, or continue along the coast path to Woody Bay and beyond.
Once a traditional North Devon fishing village, Lynmouth was transformed by the Victorians, who would travel via paddle steamer to this popular tourist resort.
The harbour is fed by the East Lyn and West Lyn rivers. An interesting feature is the Rhenish Tower which was used to store salt water for indoor baths and was later fitted with a light beacon to mark the harbour entrance.
The Bristol Channel has the second biggest tidal range in the world which makes surfing here popular if not quite challenging. Boat trips out into the bay are popular during the summer.
One of the prettiest walks in the area is between Lynmouth and Watersmeet, following the East Lyn river.
The walk takes about 1 hr and 15 minutes and there is lots of wildlife to be seen. Migratory salmon and sea trout frequent the river during summer and course fishing is popular.
At Watersmeet, Hoar Oak Water flowing from the moors meets the East Lyn river from Brendon and there is a beautiful waterfall and National Trust tea garden and shop.
Exploring Exmoor National Park
Designated a National Park in 1954, Exmoor National Park was once a Royal hunting forest and has been inhabited since the Mesolithic era (10,000 BC). Evidence of Bronze and Iron age settlements are close by.
It is primarily an upland area with a dispersed population of about 10,000 people. The largest settlements are Porlock, Dulverton, Lynton and Lynmouth.
Exmoor was listed as an environmentally sensitive are and has 'Dark Sky' status. The reduced light pollution in the area means that more of the wonders of the night sky can be observed.
The Exmoor Heritage Coast stretches some 34 miles from Minehead to Combe Martin with Lynton and Lynmouth located roughly in the middle.
Featuring some of the highest cliffs in Great Britain, including Great Hangman, the Exmoor coast offers a rich and diverse environment.
With its scenery of rocky headlands, huge waterfalls and caves, this dramatic coastline has become an adventure playground for both climbers and explorers.
The South West Coast Path, at 630 miles, is the longest National Trail in England and Wales. It begins at Minehead and runs along the Exmoor coast continuing around Cornwall and Devon, and ending at Poole in Dorset.
Animals & Wildlife
Largely an agricultural environment, the Exmoor landscape has been has been shaped by farming for more than 3,000 years. Many varieties of sheep feed on the moorland grasses and heather. North Devon cattle are also farmed in the area.
Most iconic of all are the indigenous Exmoor ponies which graze freely on the moors. During World War Two, the moor became a training ground and the breed was nearly killed off with only fifty ponies surviving. The ponies are classified as endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust with only 390 breeding females left in the UK.
The moorland is home to hundreds of species of birds and insects. Many birds of prey can be seen around the local area including buzzards and peregrine falcons. There are many marine species which nest on the high cliffs of Exmoor.
Places of Interest
The attractions of Exmoor include 208 monuments, 16 conservation areas, and other open access land. Exmoor receives approximately 1.4 million visitor days per year.
Many come to walk on the moors or along waymarked paths such as the Coleridge Way. Attractions on the coast include the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, which connects Lynton to neighbouring Lynmouth, where the East and West Lyn River meet.
Woody Bay, a few miles west of Lynton, is home to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, a narrow gauge railway which used to connect the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth to Barnstaple, just over 19 miles away. Nowadays it runs for about mile and a half.
Further along the coast, Porlock is a quiet coastal town with an adjacent salt marsh nature reserve and a harbour at nearby Porlock Weir. Watchet is a historic harbour town with a marina and is home to a carnival, which is held annually in July.
Inland, many of the attractions are centred around small towns and villages or linked to the river valleys, such as the ancient clapper bridge at Tarr Steps and the Snowdrop Valley near Wheddon Cross, which is carpeted in snowdrops in February and, later, displays bluebells. Withypool is also in the Barle Valley. The Two Moors Way passes through the village. As well as Dunster Castle, Dunster's other attractions include a priory, dovecote, yarn market,inn, packhorse bridge, mill and a stop on the West Somerset Railway.
Exford, lies on the River Exe has been the setting for several novels including the 19th century Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor by R. D. Blackmore, and Margaret Drabble's 1998 novel The Witch of Exmoor. The park was featured on the television programme Seven Natural Wonders twice, as one of the wonders of the West Country.