lynton & lynmouth scene 2008
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DESCRIPTIONEXMOOR NORTH DEVON - The Best Visitor Guide 2008 for Lynton & Lynmouth and North Devon & Exmoor
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Welcome to Lyntonand Lynmouth
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis is the tenth edition of the Lynton and LynmouthScene and has been produced by the Lyn Associationof Commerce and Tourism. With thanks to Lynton and Lynmouth Town Council, Rural Enterprise Gateway and all our advertisers. Our thanks also to Artavia Design and Take One Media for their valued help. The tireless eort of the volunteer committee without whom this magazine would never be published; Helen Dockery, Richard Briden, Stuart Heslop, Cli Bench, Ray Allam, Kelvin Jacobs & Keith Gray. Eric Hewlett for his hard work procuring advertising and all those who have made contributions.
All reasonable eorts have been made to ensure the accuracy of information in Scene 2008 and any advice that may make future additions more useful to readersis welcome. All advertisements are the responsibilityof the relevant advertiser and the publishers of Scenecannot be held liable for any statement made or impliedin any advertisement.
Through the pages of the 2008 Lynton and Lynmouth Scene, we wish to convey a senseof the uniqueness and dramatic beauty of this unspoilt area. Situated on the spectacular North Devon coastline and in the heart of Exmoor, Britains smallest National Park, this isone of only three areas in the UK classed as tranquil.
The area is steeped in history. Ever since the late 1700s when the poets Coleridge, Wordsworth and Southey and then Shelley found great inspiration from its unique landscapes and atmosphere, it has proved to be an ever popular holiday destination.R.D. Blackmore set his novel Lorna Doone in the area, and modern writer Ray Connolly has recently found it to be the most perfect place for a romantic story. Such an area of natural beauty quickly becomes a rm favourite with visitors, many of whom return year after year. Whether you are old friends or rst time visitors, we hope that you will nd the Scene 2008 an enlightening and informative guide.
Turn the pages and discover the special charm of our twin villages: the quaint shops, friendly local pubs, award winning restaurants and quality accommodation and hospitality. Browse through the articles, discover the walks, the wildlife, the activities and attractions that will help you make the most of your stay in this area of great natural beauty. Delightful coastal scenery, beautiful moors, deep wooded gorges, challenging rocky outcrops and the abundant wildlife never fail to impress. The Valley of Rocks has become another wonder of the world, linking back to prehistoric times.
The National Trails of the South West Coast Path, the Two Moors Way, the Tarka Trail and the Samaritans Way South West all pass through, and the Coleridge Way and McMillan Way West are on its fringes. The term, The Walking Capital of Exmoor, is no idle phrase.
Lynton, Lynmouth and the Lyn Valley Englands Little Switzerland await your discovery.Words and pictures can only tell part of the story, so visit us, share our love of the area and discover the magic of this most beautiful part of England.
We look forward to welcoming you...
4 A little bit of Devon A little bit of Heaven6 Festival and Events Hot dates to ll your Diary7 Music and Food Festival Spice up your Life8 Doone Run and Cycling-Mountian Biking Get o the Beaten track9 Things to do Discover the Thrill of it all10 Lynton Cinema Big screen Small town11 Railways round Exmoor Cli Tops and Whistle stops13 National Trust Castles, Courts and Special walks14 Exmoor Outdoors - Horse Riding Ride on for Moor16 Exmoor Outdoors - Fishing Hook, Line and Sinker 18 Historic Events Ordinary people, Extraordinary stories
19 Walking Capital of Exmoor Spoilt for Choice small strolls to big trails20 Scenic Walks Walk your socks o your free walks guide22 Hollerday Hill and Valley of Rocks The view from the Top .23 Maurice Bishop See the Scene, see the artist and get the art24 Shopping and Where to Eat Tempting treats and Tasty tables 28 Explore Exmoor Take the high road discover Moor to Sea30 Exmoor Wildlife All creatures great & small31 Photo Competition Snap to it32 Accommodation Fab beds and Zzzzzs38 Self-Catering Cottages, Caravans and Camping At home or One with nature your choice39 21 mile drive See Little Switzerland in a day
Inside this issueUSEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERSBarnstaple Hospital ..................... (01271) 322577Lynton Health Centre .................. (01598) 753226Minor Injuries Unit ...................... (01598) 753310Out of Hours Doctors Service ...... (0845) 6710270NHS Direct ........................................ (0845) 4647Lynton Chemist .......................... (01598) 753377Lynton Post Of ce ...................... (01598) 753313Lynton Tourist Information .......... (01598) 752225Lynton Town Hall ........................ (01598) 752384National Park Visitor Centre ........ (01598) 752509Lynton Cinema ........................... (01598) 753243Police .......................................... (08705) 777444
THE WALKING CAPITAL OF EXMOOR
A hidden gem of the English seaside brings
out the romantic in Ray Connolly who uses it as the setting for his
own love story.
A little bit of Devon... a little bit of heaven
You wont nd a place called the North Devon Riviera on any map or in a guidebook because it doesnt actually exist. I made the name up to describe a beautiful stretch of the coast for a novel Ive written calledLove Out Of Season.
I didnt want to upset the people of Lynmouth by reordering their beautiful little town so that it tted my story. Novelists do this all the time. Usually, though, we dont own up to it.
But when I rst visited Lynmouth about four years ago and walked the surrounding clis and moors, it seemed to me to be the most perfect place for a romantic story. I think its one of the prettiest and most unspoilt seaside places in England.
I say unspoilt, meaning in the commercial sense, of course. Because, as the older people of Lynmouth remember to their distress, it was very badly spoiled in 1952 when, after 24 hours and 9in of rain on the Exmoor hills, roaring torrents of water and tumbling boulders ripped the village apart.
In a night the place known as Englands Little Switzerland because of its neat, steep,
wooded beauty was totally vandalised by nature. The massive damage was repaired decades ago, and now Lynmouth once again enjoys the relationship that it always had with water - the water that wrecked it but which also makes it so special. Because quite apart from Lynmouth being a little port, water also created and still contributes to the extraordinary beauty of the hills and gorges, provides some of the local electricity and made possible a staggering piece of Victorian engineering which must be ridden to be appreciated.
The characters in my story visit the North Devon Riviera in the winter, chosen by one of them because it seems a bleak, inaccessible hideaway, tucked under Exmoor, peeping out at the Bristol Channel. The perfect place for a quiet weekend. But in summer its completely dierent, almost Neapolitan from some angles.
With the forest dropping straight down to the sea to the west of the town, Lynmouth, with its white hotels set in the woods, seems to stroll with late Victorian/ Edwardian ambience - a sparkling splinter of that tranquil England which was left behind when the modern
world ew o to sunnier climes in charter jets. What fascinated me when I rst visited were the gorges cut deep by the two rivers which converge in Lynmouth itself - the East Lyn, wide and babbling and made-for-picnics at Watersmeet a couple of miles upstream; and the West Lyn which charges through the narrower Glen Lyn Gorge. If you have children the Glen Lyn Gorge should not be missed.
There they can generate their own hydro-electric power on a tiny model and even make their own rainbows. No less interesting, however, are the walks through the woods in Glen Lyn and all around Lynmouth, where the spray from the waterfalls and the abundant rainfall has created something of a microclimate and with it a dense forest, where giant ferns, larches, beeches, oaks and Spanish chestnuts wrestle upwards.
All the walks around Lynmouth are spectacular - whether you venture inland to Exmoor and to whats become known as the Doone Valley, after the novel Lorna Doone by R.D.Blackmore, or concentrate entirely onthe cli paths, which at 800ft are some ofthe highest in Britain.
Why didnt I know more about this area, I always ask myself as I gaze out at the Valley of Rocks, a prehistoric looking place just behind the clis, where the exposed granite stones look like a line of huge ragged teeth? I dont know. But I didnt. Its been a well kept secret.
To fully appreciate Lynmouth, you have to visualise the geography of the place, to
understand that its really less than half a settlement, the greater proportion of the place, Lynton, being a pretty village of grey and pastel walls and roofs 500ft above the little port.
There are three ways to get from Lynmouth to Lynton: a winding road for cars; a crippling zigzagging climb through the wet woods; and the third method - one of the most interesting tourist attractions youre likely to nd in Britain, the Lynton and Lynmouth Cli Railway.
For this, we are all indebted to the 19th Century popular magazine publisher and millionaire philanthropist George Newnes. Having apparently fallen in love with Lynmouth on a visit, he was appalled to see the plight of the pack horses as they struggled up the steep and winding road from the port to Lynton.
So when someone appeared with a revolutio