Overlooking Lynmouth's tiny harbour and bay is this 14th-century thatched smugglers' inn. In turn, overlooking them all, are Countisbury Cliffs, the highest in England. The building's long history is evident from the uneven oak floors, crooked ceilings and thick walls. Literary associations are plentiful: R D Blackmore wrote some of his wild Exmoor romance, Lorna Doone, here; the poet Shelley is believed to have honeymooned in the garden cottage, and Coleridge stayed here too. Immediately behind rises Exmoor Forest and National Park, home to red deer, wild ponies and birds of prey. With moor and sea so close, game and seafood are in plentiful supply; appearing in dishes such as braised pheasant with pancetta, quince and Braunton greens; and roast shellfish – crab, mussels, clams and scallops in garlic, ginger and coriander. At night the oak-panelled, candlelit dining room is an example of romantic British inn-keeping at its best.
Historic inn with literary connections
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Free Wifi
- Parking available
- Closed: 2
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About The area
With magnificent coastlines, two historic cities and the world-famous Dartmoor National Park, Devon sums up all that is best about the British landscape. For centuries it has been a fashionable and much loved holiday destination – especially south Devon’s glorious English Riviera.
Close to the English Riviera lies Dartmoor, one of the south-west’s most spectacular landscapes. The National Park, which contains Dartmoor, covers 365 square miles and includes many fascinating geological features – isolated granite tors and two summits exceeding 2,000 feet among them.
Not surprisingly, in Dartmoor the walking opportunities are enormous. Cycling in the two National Parks is also extremely popular and there is a good choice of off-road routes taking you to the heart of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Devon’s towns and cities offer stimulating alternatives to the rigours of the countryside.
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