Lynton & Lynmouth
Lynton and Lynmouth are England's 'Little Switzerland' - on the northern edge of the west country peninsula; This part of Exmoor is an area of incomparable beauty. Sweeping braken clad coombes (valleys) nestle between stunning heather topped hills and spectacular cliffs. Rivers and tumbling waterfalls wind their way through deeply wooded valleys to the sea, creating an outstandingly magnificent and charming countryside, which the Victorians refered to as the Little Switzerland of England.
Set amidst this spetacular scenery is Lynton, a bright airy Victorian village with a selection of shops, tea-room and cafes. A unique water operated cliff railway dating back to 1890 joins the village of Lynton to its sister village of Lynmouth, 500ft below.
Victorian Cliff Railway
In the 19th Century local economy struggled with trade and transport due to high cliffs seperating the coastal towns of Lynton and Lynmouth. The towns relied heavily on sea transport as travel over Exmoor was strenuous. Goods arrived in Lynmouth Harbour but then had to be transported up the steep hill to Lynton by horses.
Ponies were hired for 6d a time to take holiday makers between the two towns. Horses had a short working life.
It wasn't until the early 1880's that the Lynton and Lynmouth Recorder received an anonymous letter with the propoal of a tramway.
The railway eventually opened in 1890 with two cars each carrying a maximum of 40 passangers or to transport freight by removing the seats.
A cable runs around a pulley at each end of the line. Water from the West Lynn River a mile away runs through pipes into tanks after the upper car. Water from the lower car empties until the heavier top car begind to descend travelling a height of 500ft long a 862ft railway.
The railway is now listed as a monument and to date is one of the areas most popular tourist attractions.
Lynmouth is a the pretty harbour that nestles quietly beneath the cliffs providing the traveller with a romantic escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
It is an ideal retreat where you can wander through the quaint fishing cottages that tumble down the street towards the quay and the distinctive Rhenish Tower.
Valley of the Rocks
The remarkable Valley of the Rocks is 1.6km from Lynton. This spectacular 'dry valley' is unlike another combe on the north coast. The valley which was probably created during the Ice Age has spectacular weathered rock formations with names such as ' The Devil's Cheesering', Castle Rocks' and 'Ragged Jack'. The picturesque rocks in the valley have there own population of wild goats, who can be seen scrambling amongst the rocky outcrops.
There are several enchanting bays that lead westward from the Valley of Rocks offering peaceful and secluded sandy retreats for walkers travelling the coastal paths.
In complete contrast, the steep sided wooded valley of the East Lyn river follows the course of the water to Watersmeet. This Victorian fishing lodge is now a National Trust run tea shop. Dramatic waterfalls and spectacular autumn and spring colours provide the visitor with a constantly changing vista.
Inland from the coastal path, there are numerous walking opportunities in the rugged scenery of the Exmoor National Park. The Park has over 600 miles of marked footpaths. Exmoor is abundant with wildlife - ponies, sheep and the majestic Red Deer graze the open moorland, as falcons, buzzards and the rare merlin circle overhead.
Town Hall, Lee Road, LYNTON