Some say that North Devon is relatively undiscovered when compared to South Devon. It’s most likely true and part of me is delighted by that. The other part of me wants to invite the whole world to show them just how incredible North Devon is.
Did you know that North Devon is home to the stunning Exmoor National Park? Exmoor is a unique landscape of vast moorland, lush woodland, deep valleys and secret coves, all patiently formed over thousands of years.
Nestled amongst these wooded valleys and cliffs are the beautiful coastal villages of Lynton & Lynmouth. The Victorians referred to this area as Little Switzerland; it’s easy to see why when you see the towering hills and sloping valleys. One of the best ways to see Lynton is from Highcliffe’s Breakfast Room or Garden Terrace.
If you’ve never visited Lynton & Lynmouth before, here are a few reasons why you should…
Exmoor National Park
Exmoor boasts some England’s highest sea cliffs at some at approx. 800ft tall – wait till you see the Hangman Cliffs! The coastline of North Devon is breathtakingly rugged and dramatic, hiding the quaintest harbours and secret coves. One of the best ways to really appreciate this incredible coastline is to walk sections of the South West Coastal Path. Whether you’re a walker, cyclist, paddler or driver, there is a spot in Exmoor – just for you.
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
This is one of the steepest and longest water-powered funicular railways in the world. Funicular means the carriages are counterbalanced, ascending and descending along a cable. This stunning old railway joins the old Victorian towns of Lynton & Lynmouth and offers some spectacular views from the top. Everything about this railway oozes Victorian charm and the journey, although short, is a truly memorable experience.
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
There’s something really magical about the sounds of a steam train as it clatters along its journey. And you don’t have to be a trainspotter or rail fanatic to enjoy this charming stretch of the railway – it’s quite breathtaking. The railway itself is a single, narrow gauge track with impressive looking steam trains travelling for approximately one mile. The railway boasts ambitious long-term plans to reinstate the entire line from Lynton to Barnstaple, which will be one of the most spectacular journeys in the South West.
Valley of Rocks
Very often the valley has been described as ‘other-worldly’ and it’s easy to see why when you get there. This dry valley is some 500ft above sea level on the doorstep of Lynton & Lynmouth. The valley is famous for its herds of wild goats, bizarre geology and stunning views. Located just minutes from Highcliffe House, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with friends, watch the sunset with a loved one or just escape into your own world.
The walk along the East Lyn River to Watersmeet, and beyond, has to be one of the most beautiful in England. Relentlessly, the river rages and cascades down towards Lynmouth and out into the Bristol Channel. Walking under the leafy canopy dappled with sunlight, past moss-covered valley walls is reminiscent of fantasy realm where elves and mythical creatures dwell. As you arrive at the National Trust’s Watersmeet House, you’re greeted by an almost deafening convergence of two rivers surrounded by ancient woodlands.
If you know the Lorna Doone story, this is the breath-taking countryside in which RD Blackmore set his novel ‘Lorna Doone’. Enjoy ambling through this beautiful valley with bubbling streams and the most picturesque scenery. Relax by the famous Badgeworthy Water as it bubbles through Malmsmead on its way to Lynmouth.
If this isn’t enough to convince you then there’s so much more;
- Dunster Castle
- Arlington Court and Carriage Museum
- Marwood Hill Gardens and Broomhill Sculpture Park
- Quirky cafes like Charlie Fridays, Cliff Top Cafe
- Exceptional restaurants like The Oak Room, The Rising Sun and The Coach House by Micheal Caines
and so much more.
Take a look through our Discover pages for more inspiration.
When you’ve made your North Devon checklist, choose the perfect bedroom to relax in after your day’s exploration and activities.