Lynton and Lynmouth, England

Article about Lynton and Lymouth for senior couples and mature solo travellers. Explore Devon and Cornwall as part of a small group tour of England by coach or on a walking program.

30 Mar 20 · 5 mins read

Lynton and Lynmouth, England

Lynmouth, Devon
The village of Lynmouth, Devon.

The twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth are the gateway to ‘England’s Little Switzerland’, the wilds of Exmoor. Each has its own character: Lynmouth is a quintessential seaside town, with a harbour full of fishing boats, while hilltop Lynton is elegant and Victorian. However, they share a sleepy, old-world charm that makes them an ideal location from which to base a tour of North Devon.

Odyssey Traveller makes a visit to this quaint village as part of our tour of Devon and Cornwall. Designed to delve into the long history of this English region with a Celtic twist, we visit Tintagel Castle on the north Cornish coast, held in the legends of King Arthur to be the birthplace of the mytical king, and the famous Glastonbury Tor, associated with Celtic mythology.

As we wind our way down the magnificent Cornish coastline, we see some of England’s most striking and varied scenery, ranging from the granite headland of Land’s End, to the subtropical Tresco Abbey Gardens on the Isles of Scilly. We pass along country lanes and through charming towns, including St Austell, Penzance, and Newquay.

Since 1983, Odyssey Traveller has specialised in educational tours for active mature and senior travellers. Our tours are designed for guests who want to learn as they travel, developing an authentic sense of place. We travel as a small group, led by an experienced travel director and local guides chosen for knowledge and expertise.

Our tour price generally includes accommodation, attraction costs, and the majority of meals. For more information, click here.

About Lynton and Lynmouth

The two villages are closely intwined, both geographically and culturally. Lynmouth, the busier and older of the two, sits on Devon’s north coast, while Lynton sits 700 feet (210 metres) above and is accessible by a cliff railway. The two towns share a local council, and together have a population of around 1,600.

The fishing village of Lynmouth appears to have become a tourist destination in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It attracted Romantic poets and artists, who sought inspiration for their work in the surrounding wilderness of Exmoor. For the painter Thomas Gainsborough, who honeymooned there with his wife, Margaret Burr, it was ‘the most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast’.

The Romantic poet, Robert Southey, gave it the title ‘England’s Little Switzerland’, while Percy Bysshe Shelley stayed in Lynmouth with his wife and sister-in-law in 1812, writing political pamphlets and his first long poetic work, Queen Mab.

By the end of the 19th century, Lynmouth had become accessible to the mass numbers of tourists who travelled by railway. As Lynmouth became crowded with tourists, the newspaper publisher Sir George Newnes paved the way for the development of Lynton.

Though little known today, Newnes played a crucial role in many of the cultural events of the late Victorian Era. Considered the ‘founding father’ of popular journalism, he was the editor of The Strand magazine, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries were first published. Newnes financed the British Antarctic Expedition 1898-1900, which preceded the more famous journeys made by Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. Having fallen in love with the area, Newnes built an elaborate clifftop mansion, Hollerday House, at the top of the cliffs.

Though the area that would become Lynton had been home to an church since the 13th century, it was barely developed. Newnes financed the building of the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway, the gala opening of which was attended by celebrities from around Britain, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and contributed to the building of several other buildings in the new town, including the Town Hall.

The cliff railway remains in operation today, with the only addition a new track built in 1908, and is a charming way to go from one town to another. Though Newnes’s mansion, Hollerday House, would burn down under mysterious circumstances in 1913, Lynton remains shaped by his legacy, a showcase of late 19th and early 20th century civic architecture.

The wilds of Exmoor inspired Romantic poets in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Exmoor National Park

Lynton and Lynmouth are the ideal point from which to launch your tour of Exmoor National Park. A high plateau above the sea, the moors of Exmoor are among the highest land in southern England, and among the wildest. Exmoor has the highest and most remote coast in England, lined with craggy cliffs that are often inaccessible by either boat or land.

The Valley of Rocks is a dry valley with panoramic sea views. It is well known for the wild goats that roam over the cliff edges. In 1797, the site was visited by the Romantic poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. The poets were inspired to write a prose tale called ‘The Wanderings of Cain’, but it was never completed. The valley has also inspired the Australian composer Miriam Hyde, who wrote the piano piece Valley of Rocks, after a 1974 visit with her husband.

The national park is home to over three thousand red deer, England’s largest wild land animals. Deer have lived on Exmoor since prehistoric times while in the Middle Ages, Exmoor was strictly protected as a Royal Forest, to provide hunting grounds and a source of venison to the King.

Exmoor was also the first place in Europe to be named an International Dark Sky Reserve, which recognised the national park’s particularly starry skies. Here, stargazers can easily marvel at distant wonders: while in the city, roughly 200 stars are visible to the naked eye, on Exmoor, it is easy to see over 3000 stars. The National Park Authority runs night time strolls, and rents out telescopes to aid in gazing.

On the eastern edge of Exmoor is the charming medieval village of Dunster, home to the fairy tale-like Dunster Castle. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 13th century, though the turrets were built in the 19th in neo-medieval style. Inside, the castle is filled with Tudor furnishings, 17th century plasterwork, and a grand staircase. Guided tours are on offer, with one taking you ‘behind the scenes’ to see how the servants lived and worked.

Exmoor - red deer
Red deer of Exmoor National Park

Articles about England published by Odyssey Traveller:

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to England:

Updated August 2021.

Related Tours

Early Bird
St Michael's Mount island in Cornwall

17 days

Sep, Apr

Devon and Cornwall, England

Visiting England

Our guided small group tour of Devon and Cornwall in England, designed for mature and senior travellers who are travelling with their partner or as a solo traveller. A journey filled with medieval treasures, charming fishing villages in the north Cornish coast, stunning cliff-top coastal views of the blue Atlantic, and atmospheric destinations traditionally linked to the legends of King Arthur.

From A$13,860 AUD

View Tour
England’s villages small group history tours for mature travellers

19 days

Sep, Jun

England’s villages small group history tours for mature travellers

Visiting England

Guided tour of the villages of England. The tour leader manages local guides to share their knowledge to give an authentic experience across England. This trip includes the UNESCO World heritage site of Avebury as well as villages in Cornwall, Devon, Dartmoor the border of Wales and the Cotswolds.

From A$14,750 AUD

View Tour
Whitby Abbey walking britain

22 days

Jun, Sep

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Visiting England

A walking tour into England, Scotland and Wales provides small group journeys with breathtaking scenery to destinations such as Snowdonia national park , the UNESCO world heritage site Hadrians wall and the lake district. each day tour provides authentic experiences often off the beaten path from our local guides.

From A$13,750 AUD

View Tour
Chichester Cathedral

22 days

Sep, Apr

Small group tours Medieval England

Visiting England

A small group tour of England focused on Medieval England and Wales. Spend 21 days on this escorted tour with tour director and local guides travelling from Canterbury to Cambridge, passing through Winchester, Salisbury, Bristol, Hereford and Norwich along the way. Castles, villages, Cathedrals and churches all feature in the Medieval landscapes visited.

From A$12,750 AUD

View Tour
Ancient Britain Walking Tour

21 days

May, Sep

Walking Ancient Britain

Visiting England

A walking tour of England & the border of Wales. Explore on foot UNESCO World Heritage sites, Neolithic, Bronze age and Roman landscapes and the occasional Norman castle on your journey. Your tour director and tour guide walk you through the Brecon beacons, the Cotswolds and Welsh borders on this small group tour.

From A$12,750 AUD

View Tour

Related Articles

Land's End in Cornwall

Exploring Cornwall

Short article about Cornwall for senior couple and mature solo travelers on a escorted small group tour of England. Join a discovery or a walking tour to learn more about St Michael's Mount, Tintagel the Scilly isles or Penzance within Cornwall.

18 Jul 21 · 7 mins read
Read Article
Lynmouth, Devon

Exploring Devon

Article about Devon for senior and mature small group tours couple and solo travellers interested in stone circles, the Romans or English history including the Industrial revolution.

18 Jul 21 · 6 mins read
Read Article

Highlights of Devon and Cornwall

Article for small group tour of mature and senior couples or single travellers interested in the key places of Devon and Cornwall such Tintagel, St Michaels Mount, Penzance, the Scilly isles and more.

16 Jul 21 · 28 mins read
Read Article
Tresco Island

Isles of Scilly, England

The Scilly isles form part of a day trip on the escorted small group tour of Devon and Cornwall for seniors and mature travellers. Whilst on this tour the group also visit St Michaels Mount, Penzance, Glastonbury and Tintagel.

1 Apr 20 · 6 mins read
Read Article
Lincoln England

Landscapes of Medieval England

Article about Medieval England supporting Britain's history from the Roman's to Queen Victoria and the industrial revolution.

15 Sep 21 · 12 mins read
Read Article
Tolcarne Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

Newquay, England

Newquay, part of the heritage of Devon and Cornwall is explored on an Educational small group tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers seeking to learn about ancient Britain through to the Victorian era.

12 Mar 20 · 4 mins read
Read Article
Port of Penzance

Penzance, England

Penzance Article for senior couples and mature solo travellers seeking to explore Devon and Cornwall. Explore our range of Educational small group tours.

12 Mar 20 · 4 mins read
Read Article
St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount, England

The counterpart to Mont St Michel. On the Devon and Cornwall escorted small group tour for senior and maturer travellers the group learn about the abbey of St Michael's mount built in the middle ages complete with gargoyles and grotesques.

1 Apr 20 · 6 mins read
Read Article
Tintagel, England

Tintagel, England

Tintagel, article explores the place in Cornwall that encourages the senior couple or mature solo traveller on a small group tour to follow the legend of King Arthur.

31 Mar 20 · 5 mins read
Read Article

Articles about England

Join 22,383 like-minded travellers receiving our weekly newsletter.

Special offers and promotions
A$350 AUD first trip travel voucher
The latest tours and articles