"A North Devon Timewarp" Top 5 Page for this destination Lynmouth by johngayton

Lynmouth Travel Guide: 56 reviews and 187 photos

Lynton and Lynmouth - Siamese Twins

Lynton and Lynmouth are a pair of villages on the North Devon coast, Lynton at the top of the hill, Lynmouth at the bottom, connected not just by road but also by the unique water-powered Victorian cliff railway.

Lynmouth itself is a picturesque little fishing village, though tourism is, and has been since Victorian times, its main industry. The harbour is still home to a dozen or so inshore fishing boats whose catches are mainly sold locally. Despite its reliance on tourism the village does manage to succeed without becoming overtly commercial in a tacky manner, there is still a sense of a working community to the village and it tends to attract a more discerning class of visitor rather than the "kiss me quick amusement arcade" types to be found in the larger North Devon towns.

Lynton and Lynmouth really came into prominence in the 1800's and famous visitors of the period included the English poets Shelley, Wordsworth and Coleridge who were attracted by the relative isolation and natural beauty of the area. Even today, despite the ubiquitous infernal combusting engine machines, the area maintains a degree of isolation and the villages make an ideal base for exploring the wilds of Exmoor and the grandeur of the scenery following the coastal path both to East and West.

Red Rocks and Sunsets

The cliffs on the Eastern side of Lynmouth bay spend most of their life being a normal sort of grey rock colour but in certain lights, and especially during sunsets from late May to early July the rocks positively glow with a warm red pigment, whilst the green above takes on an almost yellowed hue in contrast. Add to this the aquamarine blue of the bay and you can see why Lynton and Lynmouth are so beloved of photographers and painters.

Lynmouth Bay also provides for some spectacular sunsets with the hills on the left acting as a half-frame and the harbour with its tower providing a shadowed foreground - in fact this could almost be a nightly pursuit: leaving the pub with the camera just long enough to see what tonight's sunset will bring, then straight back to the pub of course! There will eventually be a set of travelogs here with more pics, even more spectacular than this and as a taster I'm going to start one now - The Bird at Sunset 9th July 2006 :)

Lynmouth and the Flood

The rivers East & West Lyn and Hoaroak flow into the Bristol Channel here at Lynmouth: “where Exmoor meets the sea” as the local blurb goes. Exmoor itself, given its elevation, much like its more southerly sibling Dartmoor, attracts a higher than average level of rainfall over the course of the year than the rest of the North Devon region.

On the 15th August 1952, following several days of exceptional rainfall, the night was to bring about one of North Devon's most serious natural disasters. On the day itself the total rainfall was estimated to be about 10 inches in a 24 hour period and eventually all this water had to go somewhere and Lynmouth it was to be. Dragging not just the usual uprooted trees and other debris with it, the torrent was sufficiently powerful to carry boulders of up to 40 tons down the river gorges, carving out widened watercourses as it went.

On arrival at the village this mass swept everything it encountered with it, including 93 buildings, several in their entirety, 132 various vehicles, all of the boats in the harbour and much of the harbour wall itself. In the village itself a total of 16 people lost their lives along with another 18 from the region.

Rebuilding the village was funded by a relief fund and took over 4 years. Today the Flood Memorial Hall has a permanent exhibition in commemoration of the tragedy and there is a plain wooden cross on the riverside at the point that the floodwaters broke through.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Natural, Undeveloped Beauty
  • Cons:Maybe a few too many day-trippers
  • In a nutshell:This is the place to just chill-out, leave your cares at home!
  • Intro Updated Jun 14, 2011
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Reviews (35)

Comments (17)

  • Orkaena's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    Hi John! "B" day is coming!! ("B" for beer, obviously) well, be ready for that my friend. Hugs from here.

  • ardnas67's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    love te read your tips about Lynmouth and Lynton. We we're there last year. Very frighten to get there!. I will soon write more tips of that beautiful England. Greetings from Holland, Sandra

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Happy Birthday John !! A well written and researched page!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Great tips!

  • allelli's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2008 at 8:50 PM

    nxt time I visit Lynmouth i will try the restaurant in your tips, keep up the good work

  • Sage49's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    John, enjoyed reading your stories as much as going through photos. You are truly a wonderful story teller.

  • joanj's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2007 at 3:03 AM

    Hd fun reading your pages, v. good. Also reading about the Lynmouth flood reminded me I still have the book I bought for 5 shillings in l958 about the flood.

  • Oct 15, 2007 at 3:08 PM

    Did someone mention goats?? But it's not Wednesday is it? ;-)

  • Aug 16, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Who were the winners last year?

  • May 5, 2007 at 8:35 AM

    The Raft Race sounds and looks like a very fun fundraising event - laughed out loud reading the second part to it!! Cheers, Marina

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