Walking

The Top Things to Do in Lynton and Lynmouth, Exmoor

Lynton and Lynmouth exist side by side on the North Devon coast within the boundaries of the stunning Exmoor National Park. Connected by the highest and steepest Victorian cliff railway in the world, life between the villages is easily intertwined and all those who visit enjoy flitting between the two. From the array of local attractions to the tranquillity of the park to the beauty of the coast, this pocket of Devon is certainly unlike anywhere else.

 

A view of Lynton harbour from the water with fishermen's cottages and boats in the background

If you’d like to spend time discovering all there is to see and do in the clifftop Victorian village of Lynton and the harbourside village of Lynmouth, there is plenty for you to look forward to. To help you on your way, we’ve picked out some of the best attractions in Lynton and Lynmouth for you to enjoy during a solo escape, romantic break or family holiday with all the gang. Whether you’re looking for action or leisure, there’s something for you.

Things to Do in Lynton and Lynmouth 

Blacklands Beach

Lynmouth Harbour covered with boats at low tide with Blacklands Beach in the background

If you’d like to make the most of the coast during your holiday in Lynton and Lynmouth, then head on down to Blacklands Beach. A 500-meter-wide shingle beach at the foot of Lynmouth, it is surrounded by high cliffs covered in thick woodland and divided by the East Lyn River. Dog-friendly year-round, it’s great for paddling, walking, surfing and picnicking and is one of the country’s few beaches where wildlife watching ranges from deer to dolphins.

The Lynton and Lynmouth Railway

Looking down from the top of Lynton and Lynmouth Railway towards Lynmouth at the bottom

If you’ve got a head for heights, then a trip on the Lynton and Lynmouth Railway is a must. A famous cliff railway and the oldest and steepest of its kind in the world, this fully water-powered railway runs for 862ft between the two stations and rises to 500ft high. Ferrying passengers back and forth between Lynton and Lynmouth since 1890, it’s a must for the bucket list. 

Watersmeet 

The path that leads from Lynmouth through Watersmeet Gorge to Watersmeet by the river

Not far from Lynton and Lynmouth is Watersmeet, a dramatic river gorge engulfed by one of the largest areas of ancient oak woodland in Britain. At 2,000-acres in size, there’s a huge amount of woodland to explore. That said, we particularly recommend the walk that leads you from Lynmouth, along the East Lyn River and through the Watersmeet Gorge – recently covered by Julia Bradbury in ITV’s Britain’s Best Walks.

The Top Attractions in Lynmouth

A view of Lynmouth Harbour near Lynton at low tide with boats resting in the dry harbour with the village's shingle beach and fishermen's cottages in the background

Glen Lyn Gorge

Set back from Lynmouth town between the banks of the East and West Lyn Rivers is the Glen Lyn Gorge. A great family-friendly attraction, here you can learn all about the town’s 1952 flood disaster, how to make electricity, fire water cannons, play with water wheels and more. An all-weather attraction, there’s also the chance to see beautiful waterfalls in the gorge too. 

Lyn Model Railway

Located within Lynmouth next door to the village’s Anglican church is the Lyn Model Railway. A pocket-size venue, this attraction is free to enter but donations are welcome. Inside, you’ll find a large model of the 1935-1940 London & North Eastern Railway. Impressively detailed, it includes trains, houses with wispy smoke curling from their chimneys, electric lights, tiny figures and more.

Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall

On the night of the 15th August 1952, a heavy storm in Lynmouth led to a disastrous flood. In total, 100 buildings and 28 bridges were destroyed, 420 people were made homeless and 34 people died. Today, the Flood Memorial Hall in Lynmouth exhibits images and models of the village before the flood, and also shares many first-hand accounts of the events of that devastating night. 

Lynmouth National Park Centre

Lynton and Lynmouth are both superb bases from which to explore Exmoor’s coast, woodland, river valleys and moorland. The best place to find out more about the ecology and history of Exmoor National Park, as well as the many activities and walking routes available, is the Lynmouth National Park Centre. Here, friendly and informed staff will be able to give you all the latest advice and tips on what to see and do.

Rhenish Tower 

The Rhenish Tower in Lynmouth is an iconic sight for locals and visitors alike. First built in 1832, it was originally used to store salt water for indoor bathing, before later being repurposed as a beacon. In 1952, the tower was destroyed in the town’s infamous flood and was rebuilt in 1954. Today, it can still be seen standing proud on the harbour overlooking the village and sea beyond and is a very photo-worthy subject.

The Top Attractions in Lynton

Looking down towards the Valley of the Rocks from atop the cliffs in Exmoor National Park

Hollerday Hill

The 800ft Hollerday Hill is the backdrop to Lynton’s Town Hall and separates the village from the famous Valley of the Rocks. Perfect for dog walks and strolls throughout the day, it affords incredible panoramas overlooking the Valley of Rocks and the Bristol Channel. Near the summit are also the faint remains of the grand Hollerday House that burned down in 1913.

Lyn & Exmoor Museum

Nestled within the streets of Lynton is Lyn and Exmoor Museum, housed in one of the oldest domestic dwellings in the village. Revealing insights into the village’s agricultural and domestic past, its exhibits include old engravings and paintings of Exmoor, a Victorian doll’s house, fossils, maritime relics and traditional agricultural tools and more. There’s also information about the flood in 1952 and the remarkable Louisa lifeboat rescue in 1899.

Lynton Toy Museum and Shop

Set the imagination whirring and fire up the nostalgia with a trip to Lynton Toy Museum. A small museum and shop on Lee Road, this family-friendly attraction is home to a large array of toys, games and figurines that date from the 1960s to 1990s – with everything from original Game Boys to Sindy dolls to Star Wars figures. There’s also a little toyshop next door where you can buy vintage toys and collectibles.

The Valley of Rocks

One of Exmoor’s most famous natural attractions is the Valley of Rocks, an unusual valley basin with steep sides that, on the seaward side, rise up in places to create verticals wall between the valley and the ocean. Renowned for its unusual geology, resident herd of feral goats (yes, really) and beautiful aesthetics, it makes for an incredible destination for walks and is less than a mile from Lynton. There’s a seasonal café and facilities too.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Lynton and Exmoor.

The coastal path that runs from Lynton in North Devon to the Valley of the Rocks - one of the most famous features in Exmoor National Park and the South West

 

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