An Inspiring Inn on the Edge of the Moors
On the wild “Heritage Coast” of England, the inseparable Lynmouth and Lynton (linked by a famous century-old train that uses cables and pulleys to service the twin towns) nestle in a dramatic and romantic corner of the West Country where Somerset becomes Devon, on the edge of Exmoor National Park. Richard Doddridge Blackmore found the inspiration for his classic novel Lorna Doone here, while staying as a guest at the old smugglers’ inn, the Rising Sun.
A quayside 14th-century inn of crooked beams, uneven floors, and thick walls, it oozed inspiration to the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley as well, who chose the inn’s private thatched-roof cottage for his honeymoon in 1812. It is a cozy refuge with a four-poster bed, lovely views of the odd little harbor and its bobbing boats, and “a climate so mild,” wrote Shelley, “that myrtles of immense size twine up our cottage, and roses bloom in the open air in winter.”
From here, one of countless footpaths makes the perfect starting point for forays into the sweeping moors of the bordering national park, or down the breathtaking descent across the face of Countisbury Cliffs, at 1,200 feet the highest in England. Enjoy bracing sea winds and breathtaking scenery before ambling back “home” to the lovely Rising Sun, whose smiling staff, creaky floors, and burning fireplace make the restaurant’s freshly caught salmon and lobster taste particularly scrumptious.