Lynton and Lynmouth first became popular as a holiday resort in the 19th century when the Victorians named it “Little Switzerland” due to its charm and the scenic location, with Lynton perched above high on the hill and Lynmouth nestling below in the valley.
A water powered cliff railway was built to connect the two and is still in operation today. Earlier visitors to the area were the romantic poets Southey and Shelley, who were inspired by its beauty.
It is said that Shelley spent part of his honeymoon at the Rising Sun’s “Shelleys Cottage” in 1812 with his then 16 year old bride Harriet Westbrook, and guests can enjoy a romantic break in this 14th century thatched cottage with its own private small garden and wonderful views of Lynmouth and along the Lyn river valley.
Just over a mile from Lynmouth is the famous Valley of Rocks with its herd of wild goats, from where you can take a coastal walk along a high clifftop path with panoramic views.
Much of Lynmouth was devastated in the notorious flood of August 1952 which destroyed many buildings and where 34 lives were also lost. The river has since been re-routed to prevent a further occurrence and memorabilia and photographs of the village before and after the flood can be seen in the interesting exhibition at the Flood Memorial Hall.