Lynmouth - A hidden gem and a real find!
Now a favourite place to stay along the rugged northern coast of Devon, Lynmouth is a simply the best, so stunningly beautiful that the artist Thomas Gainsborough, described it as “The most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast".
The area was “discovered” in the first decade of the 19th century when the Napoleonic Wars had closed the Continent to English visitors. As they were unable to make the Grand Tour due to conflict in Europe the Victorians visited the area, naming it “Little Switzerland” as it reminded them so much of the country.
“Little Switzerland” lies on a heritage coast in Exmoor National Park and is centred on Lynmouth where the East & West Lyn rivers meet and flow into Lynmouth Bay. The village at the bottom of a gorge below the twin village of Lynton are connected by a world famous water-powered funicular cliff railway.
The harbour was built in the 18th century for the herring fishery, which was once important, for centuries local fishermen brought big catches of herring into the harbour, until suddenly in 1797 the fish deserted the coast leaving the impoverished fishermen to turn to smuggling to supplement their incomes.
Whitewashed cottages and shops are backed by the dramatic hills and valleys of Exmoor that run down to meet the rugged coastline forming the highest sea cliffs in England. It is this spectacular beauty that inspired famous literary figures such as Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blackmore. Percy Bysshe Shelley, the 19C English ‘Romantic’ poet honeymooned there during the summer of 1812 at Mrs Hooper’s Lodgings, now Shelley’s Hotel.
Lynmouth made news in 1952 with the devastating flood that took the lives of 33 people. Today rebuilt and re-established on the tourist itinerary, the village is a hidden gem, an ideal base from which to explore the national park and the region beyond and very well worth a short break. The bottom line, it’s the perfect choice for a few days away from it all, a few days of rest and relaxation providing the traveller with a romantic escape from the stresses & strains and hustle & bustle of today’s modern life.
Go for it!