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Lynton And Lynmouth: Floods, Tarka The Otter And Much More!

Feb 8, 2008
Lynton and its neighbouring town of Lynmouth are located on the edge of Exmoor National Park. The two towns are connected not only by steep, winding roads but also by a funicular railway. This is a water powered railway that has been running daily since it opened in 1890. You can also walk up a track alongside the some of railway. As you'd expect from the description, the cars are powered by water which is fed into them from the nearby West Lynn river. The lower car is filled with up to 700 gallons of water and it then gets gently pulled up the slope by the weight of the top car.

The novel Lorna Doone was set in the area, so you should be able to recognize a number of different places in the area when you visit.

Probably one of the most famous events that Lynton and Lynmouth have been subjected to was a massive flood, which took place on the 15th of August 1952. You can see the massive boulders that were moved during the flood when you look into the mouth of the East and West Lyn rivers. There are also marks along the gorge to show how high the water level rose to - well above the footpath you're viewing them from. The flood was caused by the six and a half inches of rain that fell in the area during the first two weeks of August.

The visitor centre in Lynmouth has a permanent exhibition dedicated to the devastating flood and you can see photographs of the village before and after over one hundred thousand tons of boulders and other debris were swept through the village.

Nowadays, the two villages thrive on the tourism trade that has been generated by the tragic flood as well as people who come to the area to experience the incredible scenery.

The tourist trade means that there is a wide choice of hotels and guest houses in the two towns, so you are bound to be able to find somewhere to stay. And don't worry, lots of work has been done in the area to ensure that the flood will never be repeated, so your visit will be safe.

Both towns cater well for tourists. There are plenty of shops that you can browse around, selling everything from ice cream cones for those warm summer days through to other assorted memorabilia.

History fans will want to make sure that their visit includes the Lynton Parish Church, St Mary. This has some great views of the sea and the surrounding town and its tower dates back as far as the thirteenth century.

If you like hiking, the two towns are on both the South West Coastal Path and the Tarka Trail. The latter is a series of paths - both footpaths and cycleways - that follow the route that Tarka the Otter took in the famous book. The paths follow a figure of eight route and depending on how energetic you are feeling, you could take in some or all of their 180 miles.
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Find plenty of places to stay in Lynton and also lots of guest houses in Lynmouth.
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