The West Country: Places to Explore

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Lynton and Lynmouth

A steep hill separates this pretty pair of Devonshire villages, which are linked by a Victorian cliff railway you can still ride. Lynmouth, a fishing village at the bottom of the hill, crouches below 1,000-foot-high cliffs at the mouths of the East and West Lyn rivers; Lynton is higher up. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley visited Lynmouth in 1812, in the company of his 16-year-old bride, Harriet Westbrook. During their nine-week sojourn, the poet found time to write his polemical Queen Mab. The grand landscape of Exmoor lies all about, with walks to local beauty spots: Watersmeet, the Valley of Rocks, or Hollerday Hill, where rare feral goats graze.

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