"Lynton and Lynmouth" Lynton and Lynmouth Tip by King_Golo

  Taking the funicular railway down to Lynmouth
by King_Golo
  • Taking the funicular railway down to Lynmouth - Exmoor National Park
      Taking the funicular railway down to Lynmouth
    by King_Golo
  • Donating money in Lynton - Exmoor National Park
      Donating money in Lynton
    by King_Golo

The twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth are a popular tourist destination on the Exmoor coast. This is mostly because of the funicular railway which connects them via an incredibly steep cliff, but also because of their pleasant location at the end of the mystic valley of the East Lyn River. Another top sight is the Valley of the Rocks nearby.

When you come from the east, you'll first arrive in Lynmouth, the lower of the two towns. It is a friendly looking place squeezed between the sea and the densely wooded East Lyn River valley. What nowadays looks idyllic became the scene of a terrible catastrophe in 1952. 229mm of rain had fallen within 24 hours and the rising water levels of the river simply swept the town away. It has never been proved, but conspiracy theories suggest that the English government was performing a secret military operation nearby which included "cloud seeding" and hence led to the freak weather conditions. A little memorial garden on the river bank commemorates the 34 victims of that day.

Walking towards the beach, you'll soon find the lower station of the funicular railway. Let your view wander up the hill, and you'll immediately understand why this railway with its two carts is often called a masterpiece of engineering. An ingenious system built between 1887 and 1890 uses water from the river that fills the tank of the upper cart causing it to descend as soon as the brakes are released, while simultaneously the lower cart is pulled upwards. The steep cliffs (58% gradient!!!) that had for so long divided the two towns had at last been conquered.

Once you have arrived in Lynton, the upper town, you should stroll through its picturesque streets. It's a touristy, but otherwise rather sleepy place with some nice buildings and a few interesting shops. If you come with kids you should go to the building of the Lyn District Health Care where there is a funny installation for collecting donations.

Directions: Lynton and Lynmouth are approximately 25km east of Ilfracombe

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 9, 2016
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