Lynton and Lynmouth Cottages
Sitting on the edge of Exmoor, Lynton and its neighbour Lynmouth - give visitors the very best of North Devon.
The Victorians called Lynton and Lynmouth ‘Little Switzerland’ and, with hills clad in woodland dropping dramatically to a pretty valley below, it’s easy to see why. Natural beauty is what this area does best.
Lynmouth is a timeless village that has recovered from the depths of despair following the floods in 1952. The village was ravaged by torrents of water during the summer of 1952 but has since been lovingly restored, and a memorial museum now stands proudly in the village, offering a sobering experience of the moments after the floods struck. Today, tucked into the steep hillside below neighbouring Lynton, Lynmouth is an unspoilt treasure that simply must be experienced.
What’s there to do in Lynton & Lynmouth?
Naturally, owing to its rural location and proximity to the centre of Exmoor National Park, Lynmouth is a haven for adventurers. Here you can walk, cycle, ride, fish and much, much more.
Walkers are spoilt for choice. From the village, you can easily access the South West Coast Path. There is a stunning circular walk taking in the North Devon coastline, the Valley of the Rocks, and Watersmeet – where the National Trust has a shop and tea rooms. Of course, the heart of Exmoor National Park is packed with hundreds of walking routes, allowing you a diversity of walks. Many of which will take in moorland, woodland, farmland and valleys.
Cycling routes are also prevalent throughout the area, with separate routes available for road and mountain bikes. There will undoubtedly be a route for your requirements from the very challenging, to the very simple. We recommend getting hold of a cycle map from Exmoor National Park which colour codes routes. (Green for easy, through to black for very challenging).
Fitness of a different sort is required for a kayak on the Upper and Gorge sections of the East Lyn river. This is some of the best whitewater rafting available in the UK, which takes paddlers through stunning valleys of ancient woodland. Bear in mind the river is graded 5 in parts, so this kayak is not for beginners or intermediaries.
The Glen Lyn Gorge offers a peek into the ‘power of water’, and allows you to spin water wheels, fire water cannons and view the hydroelectric turbines (a small admission fee is required). The Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall is worth popping into, and down by the sea front you will be able to challenge your closest ones to a game of ‘putting’.
To fully appreciate the splendour of the countryside, coastline and seascapes, most visitors head first to the Victorian water-powered lift that links Lynton with Lynmouth below. It’s a journey of just 300m which offers utterly breathtaking views – on a clear day you’ll see across the Bristol Channel to Wales.
For gentler pleasures, the local beaches are a real treat. You have the shingle and rock of Lynmouth on your doorstep and, just to the west, Lee Bay, which is popular with swimmers. Sillery Sands, at the eastern end of Lynmouth Bay, rewards those who brave the steep path down from the road with a very secluded cove and delightful views.
The sand and shingle beach at nearby Woody Bay is definitely worth a visit. A sparkling waterfall plays down the rocks and it is rumoured that German submariners would sneak ashore under cover of darkness and replenish their supplies of fresh water here during WW11. Rock pools, visiting seals and a part natural swimming pool make Woody Bay a magical place to take a picnic on a fine day.
In Lynton you will be able to wander around the cobbled streets, exploring a myriad of boutique shops and grab a few holiday souvenirs. Oddly enough given its location, Lynton is home to a cinema. Based in a grade II listed former Methodist Chapel, this cosy cinema has seating for just 68 people. While there may be a retro feel to the place, you can still expect the latest releases (but much cheaper tickets), lots of legroom, Dolby SR sound, full air conditioning in the summer months and central heating in the winter. A real treat!
Where can you eat and drink in Lynton & Lynmouth?
Staying in Lynton and Lynmouth means you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking. Both Lynton and Lynmouth are packed with tea rooms, cafes and restaurants to leave you salivating for ever more. Of course no trip to Devon would be complete without a taste of the Devonian Cream Tea. There are several cafes like the Coffee Mill which sit along the quayside and offer outside seating, so you can soak up the sun whilst enjoying your cream tea. But our preferred choice is The Pavilion Dining Room, above the Exmoor Visitor centre, it serves a warm welcome with its traditional afternoon teas and by being next to the famous cliff railway, it offers breath taking views across the harbour and sea.
After a day spent crabbing and rock pooling on Lynmouth's pretty shingle cove, it makes sense to head for fish & chips at the Esplanade Fish Bar, which sits at the base of the cliff railway. Expect a queue in the summer but the wait is worth it. You’ll come away with crispy chips, white flaky fish clad in crunchy batter, mushy peas and a wedge of lemon. On wet or cooler days, sit inside and enjoy the moody black and white photos of the local landscape and coast hanging on the walls.
If you’re in the West Country, the chances are that, sooner or later, you’ll have a pasty. What you might not be expecting is the fillings that The Bake House in Lynmouth cram theirs with. Along with the classics like steak or ‘Cornish’, you can also buy beef and stilton, and beef madras. The perfect way to spice up your beach picnic!
With its exterior festooned with hanging baskets of bright flowers, The Village Inn advertises itself in advance as a cheery and welcoming place. It’s a good indication of what to expect inside. The pub is the kind of place where locals rub shoulders happily with visitors and an unpretentious menu serves up British classics like lamb shank, bubble & squeak or, for a real treat, a plate of Lynmouth lobster. There’s a good selection of local ales, a top shelf crammed with malt whiskies, and renowned local cider, Thatcher’s Cheddar Valley, on tap. Children and dogs are very welcome.
Also, the village of Parracombe offering miles of glorious rolling green fields amidst peaceful Exmoor countryside and its character village inn serving delicious meals and tempting bar snacks is just a few minutes’ drive away.
Take a little time to browse through our selection of holiday cottages in Lynton, Lynmouth and their neighbouring villages. We’re certain you’ll find something just right for a truly special Devon holiday.