Lynmouth area

About this route

This area on the beautiful coast of Exmoor National Park is home to a number of fascinating geological features.

To the west of Lynton is the famous Valley of the Rocks. The site has excellent exposures of the Lynton Beds which are rich in fossils and are some of the oldest Devonian rocks in north Devon. However, it is perhaps the topography of the site that is most dramatic, with many classic landforms on show. These include a dry valley and a number of periglacial features demonstrating the effects of the freezing temperatures present here during the Ice Age when glaciers reached as far south as the north Devon coast.

To the east, at Lynmouth, a large boulder fan can be seen extending into the Bristol Channel from the mouth of the East and West Lyn rivers. This bears witness to major flooding over thousands of years and in particular to the disaster of August 1952 following a period of very heavy rainfall. Water flowed in sheets over the surrounding open moors and the resulting volume of water – estimated to be the equivalent of three months discharge of the River Thames – moved over 50,000 tonnes of boulders, some of more than 10 tonnes each. Many of these boulders can still be seen in the river beds and other features associated with the flood, such as boulder field deposits, can still be observed in the upper valleys.

Getting Around

On foot: the South West Coast Path runs through Lynton and Lynmouth.

By bus: a number of services are available from nearby towns, including Barnstaple, Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, see the Travel Devon website for the latest times.

By road: follow the A399 from Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, or north from the A361, then take the A39 towards Lynton and Lynmouth.

Lynmouth and Lynton are popular visitor spots and have all facilities.
A mix of easy walking in Lynmouth through to more challenging terrain in the Valley of the Rocks.

Interesting information

The Lynmouth area falls within Exmoor National Park, it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Information on the floods can be found in the Power of Water Exhibition at Glen Lyn Gorge in Lynmouth.

Photo of the north Devon coast, looking out over rocks and sea at Valley of the Rocks
Valley of the Rocks by Ruth Sharville

You can explore more in this area

Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail walking route

Inspired by Henry Williamson’s much loved novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ which was based on real places, this 163 miles/261kms recreation
Photo of bracket fungus

Watersmeet, Exmoor

Watersmeet is one of the largest remaining ancient woodlands in the south west. Oak dominates the canopy, but other species
Photo looking down the river to Lynmouth town

Devon’s Little Switzerland

This circular walk is based on the scenic little town of Lynmouth, on Devon’s Exmoor coast. A walk of contrasts,