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Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway

lynton and lynmouth cliff railway

Ride the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway

As it steeply ascends or descends the cliff face between the twin coastal towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, the water-powered Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway provides a thrilling experience and key connection along the spectacular Devon coastline.

Opened in 1890 to link Lynton’s lofty position on the cliffs with the lovely bustling harbour town of Lynmouth below, a ride on this unique railway allows you to soak up gorgeous seascapes from an ever-changing perspective. Here’s everything you need to know to ride this iconic Exmoor attraction.

lynton and lynmouth cliff railway

Getting There

The Lynton terminus of the railway is located near the centre of Lynton, while the Lynmouth station stands on the Esplanade near Lynmouth’s Pavilion and Eating House. Well signed in both towns.

By Car

Drivers can use the pay and display car parks in Lynton near the top station or in Lynmouth along the seafront. From the M5 Junction 27 follow the A39 towards Lynmouth.

On Foot

The nearby Valley of the Rocks and Coast Path allow scenic walks incorporating the Cliff Railway as part of longer hiking adventures.

Opening Times and Fares

The railway operates most days from late March until November between:

  • 10am – 5pm (October)
  • 10am – 6pm (July-September)

In winter and early spring it runs weekends and school holidays only. Check timetables online for variations.

A return cliff railway trip costs:

  • Adult: £3.50
  • Child: £2.20
  • Dog on a lead: £1.00

Combined attraction tickets like Museum+Railway tickets offer discounted entry.

History and Operation

The railway was built between 1887-1890 to connect Lynton residents with Lynmouth’s bustling Victorian harbour. This saved a long, steep walk down and back up the hillside.

The two charmingly nostalgic wooden carriages are pulled up and down the gradient on twin tracks by water counterbalanced hoists powered by the River Lyn. It’s an impressive feat of Victorian engineering still going strong.

lynton cliff

The Railway Journey

Carriages depart alternately up and down every 10-20 minutes, taking just a few thrilling minutes to ascend or descend the cliff face. Highlights include:

  • Boarding from the quaint Victorian Lynton station dating from 1890.
  • The beautiful views over Lynmouth and its beach expanding as you rapidly drop down the rocky hillside.
  • Passing thickly wooded slopes carpeted in ferns, lichen and mosses.
  • The satisfying “whoosh” as carriages pass midway on the elevated crossover bridge.
  • Arriving on the Esplanade amidst buzzing Lynmouth’s cafes and tearooms.

With more than 500ft in height separating the two stations, it’s a quick ride showcasing an ever shifting perspective of this rugged coastline.

cliff railway lynton

Riding the Cliff Railway with Kids

The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway promises a fun activity for families holidaying on this coast. Kids will love:

  • The thrilling ride up or down the steep cliffs.
  • Being transported from bustling Lynmouth with its chugging River Lyn and pretty harbour to the rugged splendour of the cliffs and Valley of the Rocks above.
  • Learning about the railway’s history, ingenuity and engineering through the exhibits.
  • Checking out views both directions across two quintessential coastal settlements.

With discounted child and family tickets available, it makes for an affordable adventure between sibling coastal towns.

Insider Tips

Enhance your cliff railway experience with these handy tips:

  • Check timetables online in advance as they vary by season.
  • Ride both ways – uphill and downhill. The shifting perspectives and views are part of the charm.
  • Pre-purchase attraction combo tickets online for deals like Museum+Railway.
  • Ride early or late in the day to avoid the largest crowds.
  • Stop for a cream tea or fish and chips after your ride in either delightful town.

Since whisking passengers between coast and cliffs for over 130 years, the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway continues to provide an essential Exmoor connection that delights all ages.

cliff railway

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed? – Yes, dogs on leads are welcome and cost £1.00 to go on the railway. They also provide water bowls for dog comfort.

Are the carriages accessible for wheelchairs or prams? – Yes, fully accessible and the driver will be glad to assist if requried

Is the cliff railway environmentally friendly? – Completely, it runs on water only and doesnt require electric or fossil fuels at all.

Other nearby attractions

There are loads of other great places to visit when you are at the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway. Try some of these places:

  • Valley of the Rocks – Dramatic natural rock formations on the coast near Lynton forming a scenic valley inhabited by wild goats. Striking coastal cliffs and scenery.
  • Watermouth Castle – Picturesque 19th century folly castle set in beautiful cliffside gardens with family theme park, harbour and restaurants.
  • Watersmeet – Idyllic river valley walk following the East Lyn River through woodland to a pretty waterfall. Peaceful spot with National Trust tearoom.
  • Lee Abbey – Tranquil medieval abbey near a tiny cove perfect for swimming and rockpooling. Lovely coastal scenery and tea gardens.
  • Heddon Valley – Dramatic wooded valley with walking trails following the River Heddon, leading to Heddon’s Mouth cove on the coast.
  • Arlington Court – Elegant Regency mansion once home to the Chichester family, set in acres of parkland. Carriage museum on site.
  • Big Sheep – Family attraction with shows, exhibits and sheep races. Opportunity to walk with alpacas and feed lambs.

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