My partner, baby and I booked a cottage in Lynmouth for a mid-winter break, returning after zooming down here on a scooter for our first date. In December it was more than dead; it was buried and mummified. The furnicular railway linking Lynmouth and Lynton was closed, and although there were visitors wandering during the day wrapped up against the elements, the walks along Watersmeet were beautiful and the beach was suitably blowsy and slate-grey, after dark the only sound you could hear was the wind whistling through the empty streets and the shutters of the closed fish and chip shop and cafes clanging in the distance. Sadly, this isn't so much a village now as a museum piece; there was nowhere to buy a pint of milk or even a newspaper and of the three pubs and bars open there was only one we could take our baby into for dinner and that was just into the empty dining area, not the warm and cosy bar.
If you want to stay here in the winter I would recommend staying up the hill in Lynton, where there were human beings visible after 4pm, open shops to buy food and provisions, a greater selection of eateries and when we visited, a great Christmas shopping festival. We couldn't fault our little cottage on Watersmeet road, but next time we will be visiting Lynmouth for a trip to in the day and making Lynton our base.
Exmoor has some fabulous walking - we were in Lynton & Lynmouth, the 'walking capital of Exmoor' and had three splendid days' walking, staying at Shelley's in Lynmouth. Four National Walking Trails pass through the twin villages, or you can just follow one of the many shorter local walks, they're all great!
8 Watersmeet Road
Lynmouth Exmoor Devon EX35 6EP
Woody Bay is a remarkably secluded, peaceful spot. It does require a long, winding walk down a cliff to get to it - but do not let that deter you.
Every minute you spend with the kind of quiet you will find there makes it worth the effort.
If you’re driving around north Devon, then you can easily be crossing Exmoor without realising it. It’s a National Park that extends from the Lynton and Lynmouth coastline to the Quantock hills of Somerset and features some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes in England.
It offers some spectacular walks and is home to a huge range of wildlife, not least its very own Exmoor pony.
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