Postcards from Lynmouth & Lynton

Thursday, 6 April 2017



 I first stepped foot in The Crown hotel, Lynton, three summer's ago. I was about four or five glasses of wine down - the result of being a sore loser in a pool tournament from the pub before, and consequently sulking into a bottle of Pinot Blush.

As we stepped inside, my step-dad scurried to the bar armed with the genius idea of buying us as many Jack Daniel's and cokes as he could fit in his hands, proudly placing one after the other in front of me with a cheeky grin exclaiming: 'they're doubles!'

Well, that cheeky grin soon washed off his face when half-way through the second I erupted like a volcano of vomit, soaking me, the chair, the floor, and pretty much anything else within a metre radius. The last thing I remember was the stern voice of captain obvious over the bar suggesting 'I think it's time you take her home.'

As we staggered back to the cottage where we were staying, we agreed, for the sake of everyone involved, to never tell my Mother of the incident, and it has, to this day, been referred to as 'the night we don't talk about'

So, when my step-dad, James, told me that he had booked us all into the Crown hotel for our trip back to Devon to celebrate his Mum's 80th birthday, my only thought was: "I really do hope I've put on enough weight in the last three years to become unrecognisable."



DAY ONE:
After an almost five-hour road trip, accompanied by two fast-food stops, an unnecessary amount of 90's music and a handful of near-death experiences, we arrived in Lynton, greeted with four well-earned pints of Thatchers Gold.

The atmosphere is the same as I remember, offering a welcoming kindness that doesn't always exist in our home town of Bognor Regis - walking into a locals pub there can often be compared to entering an Old Western Saloon, you'll end up spending most of the night trying to work out if pie-eyed Donna in the corner is staring at you because she's admiring your outfit, or if she's about to throw down her WKD Blue and challenge you to a fast draw.

After ditching the car on an awkward verge outside the B&B, we headed inside where we were welcomed by the B&B owners and handed our forms to fill out, an exercise that instantly confirmed that years of working from a computer on a daily basis has lost me my ability to operate a pencil.

We were shown to our rooms, following a steep, winding staircase - the lights flickered as we ascended, causing my sister to pick up the pace, nervously mumbling 'Jesus Christ' several times under her breath, as if we were about to fall victim to some sort of American Horror Story/The Shining scenario.


I don't believe in waking up before midday at the weekend, so breakfast being served between 8.30am - 9.30am on Saturday morning was quite the predicament, forcing me into an arduous battle between my indolence and my uncontrollable, constant need to stuff my face (spoiler alert: breakfast won)

Despite the miserable weather, we decided to take a walk through the village. If it wasn't for the modern automobiles blasting Ed Sheeran whilst awkwardly navigating around impossibly tight corners, you could easily assume you had been engulfed by a wormhole and dragged back to the 1800's, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Traveling from a town of next to no adventure, with broken buildings and pavements strewn with dog shit and cigarette butts, I think we all found it refreshing to be surrounded by beautiful historic architecture, rolling hills, and eccentric characters, restoring faith that England is, in fact, a beautiful place to live, if you look in the right places.


If you're the sort of person that thrives off adrenaline, such as sensing you may topple off the edge of the planet at any given moment, then the Cliff Railway is a fantastic mode of transportation. For just £3.80 return you can enjoy the feeling of your heart, stomach and various other internal organs, falling out of your arse.

Opened in 1890 and powered by water, the 862 feet of track rises to 500 feet, making it the steepest cliff railway in the world, and the 'best' way to travel between the historic towns of Lynton and Lymouth... I use the term 'best' loosely, as the only other alternative is to walk, which you would have to be off your fucking rocker to choose to do.

Each rickety carriage can fit up to 40 passengers at a time, a terrifying concept when you're already certain you're about to plummet to your death. My sister, Tom, Abby and I shuffled to the front, stood bundled together overlooking the cliff, and despite our apprehension, all agreed that the view was absolutely amazing. As the driver rang the signal bell, unlocked the safety locking device and turned the brass wheel to release the water that would get us moving, we barely noticed we were rolling downwards, and to be perfectly honest, felt like a bunch of twats for being nervous in the first place.

  

At the bottom of the Cliff Railway the town of Lynmouth, "where Exmoor meets the sea," appears to be a lot more tourist-friendly, with beautiful little cafes, bars and souvenir shops scattered around, and between the cobbled roads and patches of grassland, we soon found ourselves on the hunt for some decent, homemade fudge, justifying it with the fact we needed to keep our sugar levels up for the walk back.

Knowing we had to return to the hotel for midday to celebrate our Step-Dad's Mum's birthday with the rest of our extended family, our little adventure around the village was short and sweet. We managed to find ourselves enough time for a quick half of vintage cider in The Bath Hotel, a nautical-themed bar that overlooked the harbour, before jumping back on the Cliff Railway back up to Lynton, promising to spend time that evening planning our adventure for the next day. 

6 comments

  1. You have such a unique and talented way of writing! I absolutely love it. I can't wait to read more! (PS i love all of the photography in this post too!) xx

    http://www.grabyourcamera.co.uk

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  2. I've always wanted to visit Devon but never had the chance! I'm hoping I'll have time next year 💖

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  3. Breakfast always wins!! Damn those early breakfast servings :P xx

    Sophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk

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  4. The Cliff Railway looks beautiful! I swear I've either been past it or on it haha! I haven't been to Devon for a while but I think I'm going down this summer for a long weekend, exciting!

    Lovely post to read about your adventures! Can't wait for more travel posts.

    Abs x
    https://afababulouslife.blogspot.com

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  5. This place looks so pretty and picturesque and I love the photos. Your story about the first time at this hotel really made me laugh!

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes

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  6. Your photos are absolutely BEAUTIFUL. You have a fantastic way of making the most normal things look magical. I've been to Devon once, with the school on an activities holiday so didn't see much other than rock climbing walls but I'd love to go back. Your blog is absolutely gorgeous xx

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