Things To Do
There are so many possibilities close to Swallow’s Rest, here are just a few of them:
For young family fun
- Exmoor Zoological Park.
- Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre.
- Combe Martin Wildlife Park.
Older family fun
- Explore Geocaching: There are no less than 14 Geocaches to find in and around Lynton & Lynmouth.
- Lyn Model Railway.
- Fun for all at the Putting Green Lynmouth.
- Take a boat trip along the Exmoor Coast visit Porlock Weir, Lynmouth Lighthouse, England’s Highest Cliffs, Valley of the Rocks and Woody Bay
For Grown Up Fun
- Tee off at Ilfracombe golf club.
- Kayaking on the East Lyn The East Lyn is one of the most difficult rivers to kayak in England, in places Grade 5, and should only be attempted by skilled and experienced paddlers. Kayakers are welcome from Watersmeet House to Lynmouth between October 1st and March 31st.
- Take the surf at Lynmouth. Lynmouth Bay, is just 20 miles from the famous UK surf beach of Croyde. Under the right conditions Lynmouth is one of the best left-hand surf spots in the UK.
BREAK TYPE: point (sand and reef) WAVE DIRECTION: left IDEAL WIND: southerly IDEAL SWELL: westerly IDEAL TIDE: low - mid HAZARDS: rocks / submerged obstacles AVERAGE WATER TEMPS: 8°C - 16°C DIFFICULTY: intermediate (not very suitable for beginners) WATER QUALITY: basic pass, meets European designated bathing water standards
For the less active
- Lyn Valley Arts and Crafts Centre.
- Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway Enjoy stunning views of the North Devon Coastline as you glide up and down the 862 foot length of track; from Lynmouth nestling at the foot of the cliffs to Lynton perched 500 feet above.
- Lyn & Exmoor Museum A curious collection of personal, domestic and agricultural history.
- Lynmouth Flood Memorial Hall.
- A trip to a very special cinema in Lynton. Believed to be the smallest town in the country to have a full time cinema, with just 68 seats in total. It is a lovely experience and well worth the visit.
- East Lyn Valley stretching from Lynmouth to Oare is a totally unspoilt wild river valley and well worth a walk or drive.
- Heddon Valley, Horner woods, Woody Bay and Dunkery would be other local places to visit.
- Woody Bay Station the home of the Lynton and Barnstable Steam railway.
- Lynmouth Pavilion – The Exmoor National Park Centre.
Local Beach Babes
- Rock Pools, Surfing and Walking at Lynmouth Beach. Shingle and rock beach in Lynmouth Bay. Good for rockpooling and also good for experienced surfers., with plenty of parking in Lynmouth. Deck chairs are available to hire in the summer.
- Peacefully located with easy access at Lee Bay A rock and shingle beach past the Valley of Rocks within the Lee Abbey Estate. There is a car park and a 200m path down to the beach. The beach is good for swimming but beware of strong currents in deeper water.
- A serious decent but worth the trip to Sillery Sands A secluded, sand and shingle beech at the east end of Lynmouth Bay. The beech can only be reached by a footpath spurring off from the South West Coast Path and from the A39 on Countisbury Hill. The beach is quiet isolated, and it is a long and steep walk back up to the road which requires walkers to be fit and able. The walk is well worth it for the secluded location and beautiful views.
- Another hidden gem at Wringcliff Bay A secluded bay surrounded by high cliffs with a steep access path down from the Valley of Rocks. Not suitable for disabled visitors or young children
- Combe Martin. At low tide the beach at Combe Martin is a brilliant place for rockpooling. Fish including blenny and goby, crabs, sea anemones, prawns and many other sea creatures can all be found here.
For Serious Beach fans further away.
The well known beaches of Woolacombe, Croyde and Putsborough Sands are about 20 miles away, but are well worth the trip as all offer surfing, and other water sports.
- Exmoor is a walker’s paradise (Map: Visitor Map) There are five National trails which meet at Lynton and Lynmouth,
- Discover the South West Coastal Path The SW coastal path runs from Minehead on the edge of Exmoor to the shores of Pool Harbour in Dorset, a total of 630 miles of superb coastline. The highest cliffs in England are from Countisbury to Lynmouth so there are challenges to be had close by and you can walk across the farm to join the coastal path.
- Walk to Watersmeet. Watersmeet house is an old fishing lodge standing a the bottom of a deep gorge, at the confluence of the East Lyn River and Hoare Oak Water, currently run by the National trust as a tea room. Watersmeet is the starting point for over 40 miles of woodland, riverside and coastal walks.
- Two Moors Way, Coleridge Way.
- Tarka Trail.
- Samaritans Way SW.
This is in addition to local walks to Valley of the Rocks, Heddon’s Mouth and Valley and the Doone Valley.
For those who prefer the feel of tarmac under their wheels, Exmoor has some of the best road cycling in the country. For the past two years the Tour of Britain road race has held a stage that takes in some of Exmoor’s most scenic and challenging roads. This route has now been recognised as the Exmoor Cycling Route , which was launched in 2008. The undulating nature of Exmoor means that every climb is rewarded with a great view and our network of quiet country lanes provides something for all levels.
- The Westcountry Way is part of the National Cycle Network and provides a waymarked route, mostly on quiet lanes, between Bristol and Padstow, taking in some of Exmoor’s finest landscapes on the way. There are also organized Mountain Bike Events throughout the year .
- For more information on Mountain Biking events, bike hire and supported activities on Exmoor visit Active Exmoor.
- You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy off road cycling on Exmoor, and there are plenty of places where families and beginners can find a route. At Nutcombe Bottom, near Dunster there are three way-marked routes catering for all abilities – available online.
For the Wildlife Enthusiast
- Exmoor Ponies Found all over the moor, but can be seen easily on Countisbury Hill, Winsford Hill and Pitcombe Head.
- The Wild Red Deer. Exmoor has the largest heard of wild Red in England and deer are often seen at on the farm at Swallows Rest .
- Wildfowl The reservoir at Wimbleball is an excellent place to spot wildfowl and there are easily accessible paths and bird hides. The flooded tidal marshes at Porlock Marsh are a great place to see waders and wildfowl.
- Feral Goats at the Valley of the Rocks .
If you can not or choose not to bring your own horses, there are plenty of good riding opportunities available locally.
- Knowle Riding Centre, Timberscombe Tel: 01643 841342
- Huntscott House, Wootton Courtenay. Tel: 01643 841272
- Burrowhayes, Horner Valley. Tel: 01643 862463
- Liscombe Riding Centre, Tarr Steps. Tel: 01643 851551
- Brendon Manor Farm. Tel: 01598 741246
- Periton Park, Minehead. Tel: 01643 705970
- Doone Valley, Cloud Farm. Tel: 01598 741278
- Westermill Farm, Exford. Tel: 01643 831238
- Clatworthy Reservoir – Tel; 01984 623549
- Horner Water – contact Horner Tea Gardens.
- Wimbleball Reservoir – 01837 871565
Sea Fishing: Porlock Weir and Blue Anchor