Lynmouth and Lynton
Place: Lynton and Lynmouth
Date of Visit: 6th April 2006
On the face of it the coastal villages of Lynton and Lynmouth appear to have little to offer. However as a carless student with no means of escape on my day off from a National Trust Working Holiday i managed to squeeze about a days worth of interest from these two villages.
The main thing to know about Lynmouth is that there was a massive flood in 1952 that wiped out most of hte village.
In testament to this the local church has a model of pre-flood Lynmouth.
Other Water Orientated Options are
The Power of Water Exhibition (which has closed by the time i got back from Lynton)
The Flood Memorial Centre (closed for maintanence when i turned up full of hope)
however i did see the Wooden Cross erected on the site that the two rivers of Lymouth met and created an even more massive wall of water.
This cross is a symbol that town has risen again and was commissioned by the Bishop of Exeter.
Also while walking down the single street of Lynmouth keep an eye out for signs on the shop walls showing the flood level.
Of Non flood related interest
A model railway, near to the church, this was also closed but could be amusing.
In fact rubbished out by the dull toursity shops and closed exhibtions of Lynmouth i walked on past the highstreet and round the corner to a highlight of my day
The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway
Unique among railways this magnificent beast climbs up a slope of 1 in 1.75 powered merely by gravity.
The whole thing is run on a pair of watertanks that refill by gravity making it one of the most environmentally friendly locomotives in the world. Get a return ticket as coming down again at teh end of the day is nearly as fun and going up at hte beginning of the day. An excellent guide book priced at 95p is available from the Lynmouth (bottom) box office.
Once in Lynton
Make your way up to the Grand Town Hall and Public Lavatories Complex. Not only is there a board in side chronicalling some sensational victorian murder , but a case ful of victorian clothes foundin a trunk in someones loft, or possibly cellar. Once these glories have faded pop into the community bookshop and give them a hand reaching their monthly total.
The other side of hte building has the Tourist information (you don't need it) and a cinema that shows a film of Lynton and Lynmouth in teh day time and concedes to the artless mistress of Hollwood i nteh evenings.
Hopefully you will have learnt about the MP George Newnes who built the town hall and donated it to the town, who pushed legislation for the cliff railway through parliament and funded it.
To celebrate this go into the George Newnes Tea Shop (Tea Council accredited) and have a cup of tea and read the bit in teh back of the menu about George Newnes.
Once satiated have a peek in the Printers Shop( the one with the old fashioned post cards in the racks) not only do they still print things there, but the owner has a vast collection of Railway mugs displayed around the tiny shop.
Wander along a bit and you'll find a the Cottage Hospital complete with nurse stuck to the wall and holding a bucket to catch the coins you throw at her.
Also worth a nose is the Craft Centre which is the other Big House along hte street, mainly for the wonder glass insects created by a local artist, the rest of hte stuff is the twee water colours and baby bootees( save your wool based purchasing instincts for later) you'd expect from a rural craft centre. Having exhausted this section of Lynton take a spin to the Valley of the Rocks (past the mens loos, take a shufti at the map it's helpful) which not only affords great views of the sea and an interesting rocky valley, but is home to both the Cricket Club and a herd of Wild Goats. These goats eat the flowers in the cemetary but are council approved.
Once the exhausting rigours of walking over a hill are over and you are back in Lynton you are ready to experience more Ungulates. Walk down the hill to John Arbon Textiles (opposite the church) and marvel at the cuteness of Alpacas, and the wondersoftness of their hair (and hte huge price tag it commands) now is the time to buy some beatiful knit wear. They also have some intruging looking sock making machines that will please the mechanically minded. Worn out by this wondrous day ( and it can be a day if you read all the information and take things nice and slowly) go back down the cliff on the Vertical Railway and Have fish and chips on the beach.
The Exmoor Brass Rubbing Centre and The Craft Place are also in Lynmouth- I diskard them. Current Mood: Yay, Dr Who in 15 mins.