Lynton and Lynmouth.

Wednesday 34£ July 2019

It has been a glorious day today full sunshine and the temperature in the low 20’s I think we have all caught the sun today, well personally I don’t burn just go a deeper conker colour.

We headed out to visit Lynton and Lynmouth and the area around it, I hadn’t remembered how beautiful Exmoor is or how high it becomes in places, at one point the altimeter on the sat nav showed 1240ft.

Lynton and Lynmouth are twin towns on the north coast of Exmoor and have a history dating back hundreds of years. Poets Percy Bisshe Shelley, Coleridge and Wordsworth composed poems whilst staying here.

In the late 1800’s Sir George Newnes MP a prominent publisher and editor of popular magazines including one that first serialised Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Sir George played a prominent role in the development of the area including the financing of the Cliff Railway, a unique water powered lift, the Town Hall and the 19 mile Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.

We paid our fee and took the Cliff Railway down to Lynmouth where we enjoyed some freshly cooked fish and chips sitting in the sunshine on the sea front, very british, all we needed was the deck chairs.

In 1952 torrential rain on Exmoor flooded the valleys of West and East Lyn, the flood water carried trees and boulders which burst through Lynmouth causing devastating damage and significant loss of life.

On leaving Lynton we drove the short distance to the Valley of Rocks which is a dry valley running parallel to the coast and has spectacular scenery.If you have time and the energy it is well worth a walk along the rocky outcrop, but sadly 96 year old legs weren’t up to it. We drove on from there along a toll road, £2 placed in an honesty box, past Lee Abbey a Christian retreat and followed an extremely narrow one track road which gave wonderful views down to the sea and coast line below us. I was extremely grateful I wasn’t in Homer.

When we eventually joined a main road we saw a sign for a railway station, curiosity taking the better of us we followed the sign and ended up at Woody Bay railway station. This station was reopened in 2014 and is the first stage of what is hoped eventually will be the complete reinstatement of the Lynton and Barnstaple railway.

Well who can resist the site of a steam engine and the smell of coal burning, 15minutes later saw us taking the short ride of one mile there and one mile back on the current restored track, a short and expensive trip back down memory lane completed with a tub of vanilla ice cream on our return to the station.

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