Unsurprisingly Lynmouth and Lynton attract a lot of artistic people and one of the most prominent is Maurice Bishop whose studio is on the main drag of Lynmouth's Riverside Road.
Maurice specialises in oil paintings of local scenes and he can be seen at work most days at the front of his studio cum gallery. His range of subjects is diverse, from Exmoor wildlife, pastoral scenes, the amazing Lynmouth sunsets and lately he has begun producing eye-catching illuminated "giclees" (which are fine art standard inkjet prints onto canvas).
His studio and gallery are open most days, certainly during the summer, and original works and prints can be purchased and if necessary delivery arranged.
Lynmouth's location - "Where Exmoor Meets The Sea" - makes it an ideal base for exploring the delights that the National Park has to offer. The area is criss-crossed with public footpaths and bridleways offering stunning coastal walks, riverside strolls and cardio-vascular workouts inland up, down and atop the cleaves.
The National Park Information Centre, situated in the Lyndale car park next to the road bridge, provides friendly advice on suggested routes along with maps (free and for sale) as well as assistance with accommodation, public transport info and a host of other helpful stuff (including suggestions re local pubs!!).
The office is open from 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week from April to October as well as some weekends and half-term holidays out of season - website has all the details.
The 21 Mile Drive is a 'scenic' figure of eight drive around the beautiful 'Little Switzerland' area of Exmoor National Park.
The route takes in Lynton & Lynmouth, the Heddon and Brendon Valleys, Woody Bay, Valley Of Rocks and Watersmeet. We were not disappointed, we managed to take lots of great pictures, Heddon Valley and the short walk down to the smugglers cove at Heddon's Mouth, on to Woody Bay and the Valley Of Rocks. Then of course Lynton and Lynmouth and along to the beautiful Watersmeet and Brendon Valley.
The drive was so beautiful, my husband and I did the 21 mile drive and as keen photographers, one of our main goals while on Exmoor was to experience the stunning dramatic coastline and scenery.
A breathtakingly dramatic drive along cliff edges and through deep valleys with some lovely walks and stunning vistas to enjoy along the way.
A beautiful drive, well worth doing with lots of viewing points and short walks to break up the drive.
Lynmouth is an ideal base for walking the North Devon part of the South Coast path but also offers the option of more gentle inland walking opportunities such as following the River Lyn up to where it meets the Hoaroak at Watersmeet and the NT teashop at the cleft. This about 2 miles out from the village and is gently undulating as it follows the rivers upwards course towards Exmoor proper with a bowl of soup or pasty (or both - but NO BEER!(; as the just rewards. For those more strenuously inclined, and I definitely mean INCLINED, miss out Watersmeet and go up Countisbury Hill to The Sandpiper where there is beer!
A little fascinating thing about Lynmouth is that long before we started to realise that our complacency regarding energy usage is effectively destroying our planet and in the meantime rapidly using up the finite resources that have taken millions of years to mature and become useable, here's little Lynmouth trailblazing well over a hundred years ago with its water-powered cliff railway, with its own hydroelectric plant, its forestation being sustainably harvested.
The Glen Lyn Gorge here is the UK's largest independent electricity producer using nothing but the power of water, diverted from the West Lyn,to drive the 300Kw Pilton Wheel turbine and provide all the energy needs for the whole village with some to spare. This really is well worth the visit and the walk up to the ravine and the hydroelectric intake takes you through the stunningly beautiful river course with its waterfalls and woodland canopy. OK it costs 4 quid to get in but if you take a packed lunch or picnic there are ample seated areas to sit in the tranquility and enjoy a liesurely lunch with the local flora and fauna for company and the symphony of the river as background :)
PS The little guide map illustrated by Sarah Glynn is worth the 4 quid alone!!!
One of Lynmouth's little features is that it has one of the highest tidal variations in the country with an average tidal range getting towards 10 metres. In early September/October the high tides can be over 10 metres and locals mention 13.2 metres as the highest ever. Even at over 10 metres the way the harbour fills and the river backlogs is quite impressive bringing locals and visitors alike to just come and watch the tide coming in. Sounds a strange thing to do but is really quite fascinating.
After the rebuilding of the village following the 1952 flooding the Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the disaster and houses a macabrely interesting collection of photographs, newspaper reproductions and miscellany.
Also on display is an amazingly detailed scale model of the village as it was before the flood by a guy called Tim Prosser, who having retired as an engineer, came to Lynton in 1996. He is also the author of a book (which I haven't actually read as yet), "The Lynmouth Flood Disaster".
Admission to the hall is free, though any donations are gratefully received.
The wild goats of Lynton and Lynmouth have a history going back as long as history has been recorded but in 1853 according to The Friends of the Lynton Goats the goats were deemed a nuisance to the local sheep and were removed from the area (they don't actually say how they were removed, but one can guess). An attempt in 1897 to reintroduce the goats failed after a couple of generations due to the breed being one of the domesticated varieties, and by the 1960's the goats were no more.
In 1976 a further attempt was made but this time with a hardier breed from the Cheviot Hills and the offspring off these have now formed a viable population in the area. Although originally introduced to the Valley of Rocks the goats now roam freely around the area and can quite often be seen down at the bottom here at Lynmouth.
The pics were taken from the car park beside the harbour.
...........well around the bay anyway!
I haven't actually been out on this yet but for a different viewpoint of the North Devon coast a trip up the Bristol Channel sounds like a good idea. The boat leaves Lynmouth harbour once a day at various times depending on the local tides and loops around the channel with commentary provided by the local skipper.