The quaint villages of Lynton and Lynmouth on the stunning North Devon coast are encircled by cliffs.

This makes ‘Little Switzerland’ one of the most enchanting places to visit in the Exmoor National Park.

Lynton and Lynmouth have been relatively isolated for most of their history.

In the 19th century these villages became a tourist attraction, and many famous painters and poets visited this area.

Gainsborough described Lynmouth as “the most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast”. And he was right!

To this day tourists flock to Lynton and Lynmouth to explore England’s highest sea cliffs rising over 800ft (245m).

In Lynmouth you will find rows of charming fishing cottages and shops that cluster around the pretty harbour.

Lynton perched 500 ft above Lynmouth, is a vibrant Victorian village retaining a charming mix of times present and times past.

Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway

Both villages are connected by the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway.

This ingenious hydraulic system consists of two carriages on separate rails, counterbalanced by water tanks that fill up at the top with water from the West Lyn River.

This is most memorable way to move between the two villages. A must do!

Do visit the Cliff Top Café. This former Victorian cliff railway waiting room is one of the best places to stop for a Devon Cream Tea. And the views are simply breathtakingly beautiful!


Go and walk along the cliffs and coastal paths and enjoy the majestic view!

Start with a walk through Glen Lyn Gorge, a steep wooded valley, towards Watersmeet. This is one of the country’s deepest river gorges.

You can also explore the high cliffs on foot. An exhilarating 5,5-mile circular takes in the East Lyn River gorge and at Watersmeet the trail heads north towards Countisbury.

Here you will follow the South West Coast Path westward back to Lynmouth.

Tarka Trail

If you would like to explore this region further, then take on the Tarka Trail.

Inspired by the route travelled by Tarka the Otter from Henry Williamson’s famous 1927 novel, the Tarka Trail is a 180-mile, figure of eight walking and cycling route.

This figure-eight loop is centred in the historic market town of Barnstaple. The north loop heads inland along the tidal section of the River Taw.

At Lynmouth the Tarka Trail follows the South West Coast Path along cliff tops, visiting coastal towns and villages and crossing beaches before tracking back along the Taw estuary to Barnstaple.

Images by Cool Places Britain
Coleridge Way

Or follow in the footsteps of Coleridge!

Explore the Coleridge Way, a 51-mile walk through the stunning Somerset countryside of the Quantocks, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor.

From Nether Stowey, where Coleridge lived for three years, you can walk westbound all the way to Lynmouth.

At Lynmouth the path links with the South West Coast Path.

A delightful 30-mile circular walk can be made by walking from Porlock on the Coleridge Way to Lynmouth and returning along the coast path.

Samaritan’s Way South West

Starting at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Samaritan’s Way South West takes you across the Mendips, the Polden Hills, the Quantocks and the Brendon Hills.

This 100-mile journey ends at Lynton on the North Devon Coast.

Cool Places to Explore: Valley of Rocks | Heddon Valley | Porlock.