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11 BEST Things To Do in Lynton & Lynmouth

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Found on the northern edge of Exmoor National Park and connected by the world’s steepest water-powered cliff railway, there are many fun and interesting things to do in Lynton and Lynmouth to keep you busy for a couple of days or longer.

From iconic landmarks and historic attractions to stunning walks, coastal views and even wild mountain goats, there’s much to discover in and around these charming sister towns.

Read on for 11 of the best things to do in Lynton and Lynmouth, plus some bonus day trip ideas. We’ll also offer some suggestions for where to eat and stay during your trip.

Psst! We discovered these activities when we were invited to stay at a luxury B&B in Lynton. As always, what follows are our personal experiences, thoughts and opinions following our visit. Enjoy!

11 Best Things To Do in Lynton & Lynmouth

1. Step back in time aboard the historic Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway in Devon

One of the most popular things to do in Lynton and Lynmouth connects the two towns and is also the towns’ claim to fame.

I am, of course, talking about the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway.

This 19th-century water-powered funicular is grade II listed, the UK’s only fully water-powered railway and is one of just three examples of this kind of railway left in the entire world.

And as this railway has to traverse a 500-foot-high cliff at a gradient of 58%, the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway is also the highest and steepest of its kind!

Today, you can hop aboard the railway for as little as a few pounds each way and take in the views as you ascend or descend the cliff.

It’s well worth doing – especially if you’ve never seen this type of railway before.

2. Walk the “Poets Walk”

If you don’t want to use the Cliff Railway, then you’re more than welcome to walk between Lynton and Lynmouth via the “Poets Walk”.

While it might have a poetic name, this path is steep and zigzags multiple times, so you’ll definitely want to wear sensible footwear.

It takes about 15 minutes to walk down the path; considerably longer if you’re going to walk up it.

When Scott and I visited, we walked down to Lynmouth via “Poets Walk” and caught the Cliff Railway back up to Lynton once we’d finished exploring Lynmouth. We’d probably do it this way again given the chance.

3. Take in the views from the South West Coast Path

Speaking of walks, Lynton and Lynmouth are home to many walking trails, which come complete with stunning vistas and plenty of nature.

South West Coast Path near Lynton & Lynmouth in Devon

For example, the 630-mile-long South West Coast Path, which connects Devon to Cornwall passes directly through Lynton and Lynmouth.

So, you should find it easy enough to join the coastal path.

From there, it’s up to you how long you want to walk for. But from Lynton and Lynmouth, you can walk (or hike) to various locations, such as Countisbury Hill, Foreland Point, Woody Bay, Heddon Valley and the Valley of Rocks – the latter of which we particularly recommend.

4. See the Valley of Rocks landmark

Sunset at Valley of the Rocks in Devon

The Valley of Rocks takes roughly 20 minutes to walk to from Lynton (or 30 minutes if you’re following the South West Coast Path). You can also drive there and park up relatively close to the Valley of Rocks as well.

Once you’re here, you can admire a deep U-shaped valley featuring craggy cliffs, bracken-strewn hills, sea views and the interesting rock formations that give this area its name.

And if you visit close to sunset, you can enjoy these stunning views during golden hour.

5. Look for the wild mountain goats

If you visit the Valley of Rocks, look out for the wild mountain goats that seemingly call this area home.

You might spot them scaling the craggy rocks (nothing seems to faze these goats!) or they might even join you along part of the South West Coast Path.

They just happened to cross our path before climbing the Valley of Rocks. We certainly enjoyed watching them for several minutes!

6. Sit back and enjoy a movie at Lynton Cinema

If you’d like to enjoy a more relaxed pace, then Lynton has its own little cinema, which resides within a Grade II-listed former Methodist Chapel.

Lynton Cinema in Devon

So, watching a film here is bound to offer you a unique experience during your visit.

Throughout the summer, the cinema has two showings a day (usually for new cinema-release blockbusters) while just one showing a day during the winter months.

As there’s only room for 68 movie watchers at a time, you’ll probably want to book your tickets in advance by phone.

7. Enjoy the Glen Lyn Gorge exhibition and walk

Glen Lyn Gorge in Lynmouth, Devon

Not many people know this but the towns of Lynton and Lynmouth pride themselves on how they use water for power.

You’ve already read about the water-powered cliff railway earlier; now it’s time to read about Glen Lyn Gorge – another top thing to do in Lynmouth.

This permanent exhibition and stunning walk focus on the Lynmouth Flood in 1952 (more on this later) and how the town now uses the river for renewable energy.

The hydro generator at Glen Lyn Gorge actually generates 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Very impressive for such a small town!

You can learn all about this inside the exhibition before following the river for a gentle and beautiful walk.

Note: This exhibition only accepts cash payments. The owner explained to us that this is because they want to conserve their energy. This makes sense when you think about it!

8. Walk to Watersmeet

Speaking of rivers, you can also enjoy a riverside walk to nearby Watersmeet from Lynmouth.

This circular walk follows the East Lyn River and is roughly 3.7 miles long. You can even wander through some woodlands as part of this trail.

When you arrive at Watersmeet, you can look forward to tea and cake at Watersmeet House, dip your feet in the river (if you’re brave enough!) or continue your walk.

If you’re visiting in the summer months, then look out for the abundance of foxgloves that grow here. We’ve nicknamed them “foxglove fields”.

9. Shop in independent boutiques

Both Lynton and Lynmouth have charming highstreets, which feature several independent shops and boutiques.

Shopping in Lynmouth, Devon

These are well worth mooching around in to find unique gifts, souvenirs, homewares, used books and more.

Why not team your shopping trip with fish and chips and ice cream from Lynmouth? You don’t have to tell us twice!

10. Take a look at the Lyn Model Railway

In Lynmouth, you’ll find a little museum, which is free to visit and features a large model of a London & North Eastern Railway layout.

This model is based on the years 1935 to 1940, so it’s well worth a look if you like history (and trains!)

Rather fitting to have this in a town renowned for its historic Cliff Railway, doncha think?

11. Discover some local history at the Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall

Speaking of large models, you can also visit the Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall for free. Here, you’ll find a large model of Lynmouth and how it looked pre-flood.

Lynmouth Flood Memorial - the model

You’ll also be able to read newspaper clippings and personal accounts of people who witnessed the flood firsthand and you can watch a short documentary film to tell you more about what happened.

Just in case you don’t know about the Lynmouth Flood, it happened overnight in August 1952 following a storm and heavy rainfall.

It devastated the town, washing away many buildings, homes and shops before claiming 34 lives in total.

Since then, the locals have rebuilt the town so you’d never know about its history. That is until you visit the memorial hall, of course.

BONUS: Enjoy a fabulous day trip or two

Abandoned coastguard station at Hurlstone Point

If you have longer to spend in Lynton and Lynmouth and you want to venture further afield, then these towns also make ideal bases to see more of Exmoor National Park and beyond.

While there’s much to see and do in the area, some of our favourite day trips from Lynton and Lynmouth include:

  • Hurlstone Point: Where a picturesque walk, stunning sea views and an abandoned coastguard lookout await. From Lynton and Lynmouth, it’s roughly a 30-minute drive to Bossington (where the walk to Hurlstone Point starts).
  • Dunster & Dunster Castle: Here, you can visit a beautiful National Trust property and wander around the local village. It takes about 40 minutes to drive to from Lynton and Lynmouth.
  • Arlington Court: Another fabulous National Trust property; this time just a 20-minute drive away.
  • Ilfracombe: Home to a charming seaside resort town and harbourfront. You can also see a towering 66-foot-high statue created by Damien Hirst here (a beautiful Devonshire hidden gem). You should reach Ilfracombe within about 40 minutes.
  • Clovelly: This famous village is about an hour away from Lynton and Lynmouth. Its cobbled streets, sea views and quaint cottages “tumbling” down the cliffs once inspired the likes of Charles Kingsley (the author of “Westward Ho!”, which is also the name of a nearby town.) Perhaps you might want to combine both in one day trip?

Where To Eat in Lynton & Lynmouth

There are various restaurants dotted around Lynton and Lynmouth, but many of them get very busy at peak times, so you’ll want to book ahead.

If you love steak, then check out The Old Bank in Lynton (a must for meat eaters!)

Or, seeing as you’re by the seaside, why not enjoy traditional fish and chips? You’ll find several takeaways in Lynmouth.

We especially enjoyed our takeaway from the Esplanade Fish Bar. Just make sure you watch out for seagulls!

Where To Stay in Lynton & Lynmouth

The Cleaves bed at Highcliffe House in Lynton, Devon

Thanks to the towns’ popularity, you’ll find various accommodation options in this area.

We stayed at Highcliffe House, which is a luxury 5-star bed and breakfast in Lynton and it was fabulous! You can read our full review here.

But if you don’t have time to read that right now, then we can sum up our stay at Highcliffe House as luxurious, romantic and delicious (the breakfast that is!)

Check prices and availability on Booking.com now >>

Or book direct with Highcliffe House >>

I hope this guide to some of the best things to do in Lynton and Lynmouth was helpful. If you have any questions ahead of your trip, then please drop us a line in the comments below and we’ll reply asap!

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11 BEST Things To Do in Lynton & Lynmouth
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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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