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332km (206 miles) W of London; 95km (59 miles) NW of Exeter

Our favorite places to stay along the rugged northern coast of Devon are the twin Victorian villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. The harbor town is Lynmouth, and the higher town is Lynton, rising 183m (600 ft.) over the port. The two villages are linked by a cliff railway.

Artists such as Gainsborough have long been attracted to the area for its scenic views. He called Lynmouth "the most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast." Other artists and writers have been drawn to the area, including Shelley, who honeymooned here with his 16-year-old bride, Harriet Westbrook. He wrote Queen Mab here.

Summer visitors come here to take boat trips along the Exmoor Coast and to explore the surrounding wooded valleys with waterfalls. From the North Devon cliffs, you can see some of the greatest views in the West Country, looking across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh coast.