Shelley's, Lynmouth, Exmoor, Devon
Established for well over 200 years, Shelley's takes it's name from the famed 19th Cent. English 'Romantic' poet 'Percy Bysshe Shelley', who honeymooned at the cottage, then known locally as 'Mrs. Hooper's Lodgings', during the summer of 1812 with his child bride, Harriet Westbrook.
Shelley's is an award winning hotel which commands spectacular breath taking sea views across Lynmouth Bay. The hotel itself has been sympathetically refurbished to create a warm, friendly and welcoming ambience.
We have lovingly restored it to a very high standard throughout while under our personal supervision it has developed its own unique character, elegance and style that comes only from attention to detail and precise service.
You are our valued guest and our aim is to make your stay with us, a truly memorable time.
Lynmouth is a village at the confluence of the East & West Lyn rivers, it is much more picturesque than Lynton in the true sense of that word.
The quay and pier were built in the 18th century for the herring fishery, which was once important, and a machicolated tower at the end added early in the 19th century by General Rawdon in imitation of the towers on the Rhine.
For centuries local fishermen brought big catches of herring into the harbour, until suddenly in 1797 the fish deserted the coast leaving the impoverished fishermen to turn to smuggling to supplement their incomes.
Whitewashed cottages and shops backed by the dramatic hills and valleys of Exmoor meet the rugged coastline forming the highest sea cliffs in England. It's spectacular beauty inspired famous literary figures such as Wordsworth, Coleridge and Blackmore. Percy Bysshe Shelley, the 19C English Romantic Poet honeymooned there during the summer of 1812 at Mrs Hooper's Lodgings, now Shelley's Hotel.
Lynmouth was discovered in the first decade of the 19th century when the Napoleonic Wars had closed the Continent to English visitors. As they were unable to make the Grand Tour due to conflict in Europe the Victorians visited the area, naming it Little Switzerland as it reminded them so much of the country.
Exmoor is unique in that it has the greatest concentration of Red Deer in England and they have lived there since pre-historic times. There are a few thousand in North Devon and West Somerset, living on the moor and using the woods as a place of safety. Red Deer are the largest wild land animals in England these days, adult stags stand 115 cm at the shoulder and grow antlers which they shed in April and early May. During the rut in October and November you can hear the stags belling or roaring, the hinds give birth to their calves the following June & July.
Exmoor has the highest coastal cliffs in England, the 'Great Hangman' coastal hill is 318 metres (1043 ft) high with a cliff face of 244 metres (800ft) while Hollow Brook at Martinhoe is amongst the highest waterfalls in Britain, it drops 200 metres to the sea in a series of cascades over a horizontal distance of 400 metres and includes two nearly vertical leaps of 50 metres each.
Exmoor covers an area of some 267 sq. miles/69,280 hectares, has over 745 miles/1200 kms of way marked 'Rights Of Way' with it's highest point being Dunkery Beacon at 1704 feet/519 metres.
Exmoor has the longest stretch of naturally wooded coastline in the British Isles, woods stretch along ten miles of cliff from Countisbury to Porlock and beech trees grow at greater altitudes than anywhere else in Britain.
The Bristol Channel or Severn Sea has the second highest tidal range in the world after the Bay of Fundy in Canada. The difference varies considerably with the phases of the moon, the weather and along the coast with mean spring tides on the Exmoor coast ranging from 8 to 9.6 metres, the highest tides are greater and can reach well over 10 metres, especially if backed by strong winds.
Most of Exmoor's rocks were formed in the southern hemisphere about 350 million years ago with continental drift has causing them to gradually move thousands of miles to the north since then. Parts of the surface of Exmoor are amongst the oldest landscapes in the world, the surface of the Chains and the Vale of Porlock are thought to be at least 200 million years old, in fact older than most continents and far older than most of the world's mountain ranges.
Exmoor ponies are a unique species, the closest breed to the original wild horses which roamed Britain in prehistoric times. There are only a few hundred on Exmoor, they are rarer than the giant Chinese panda.
Exmoor has species of plants which are found nowhere else and over a 1000 different flowering plants and grasses flourish there.
Britain's longest national trail, the South West Coast Path, goes all along the Exmoor coast, the start is in Minehead and the finish is at Poole in Dorset, about 613 miles away. It takes roughly 40 days to walk the entire route and the Exmoor section includes the highest and remotest parts of the path. It takes two or three days on average days to walk and includes ascents totalling more than the height of Ben Nevis.
Exmoor is defined as a 'Heritage Coast', the shoreline is the most remote in England and because of the height and steepness of the cliffs, there is no landward access to the six mile stretches of shoreline from Combe Martin to Heddon's Mouth and Countisbury to Glenthorne, there are very few places where you could even land a small boat.
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This page was last updated: 30 May 2010