This film is part of Free

Lynton and Lynmouth

Could these holidaymakers have imagined the violent potential of an idyllic Devon landscape?

1921 12 mins Silent


Tourists potter around beautiful coastal scenery in Devon that would one day witness devastation. This attractive travelogue offers a valuable record of how Lynmouth looked before deadly flooding destroyed the harbour village in 1952. Seeing a stunning vista filmed from the cliffside railway, it's easy to see why romantic authors like R.D. Blackmore (of Lorna Doone fame) were inspired by this rugged corner of Exmoor.

A favourite spot of the painter Gainsborough and the poet Wordsworth, this was long considered a special area in the British creative imagination. But only when a funicular railway was built in 1890 between Lynton and Lynmouth did it take off as a holiday destination. With its succession of masterfully composed shots of the local geography - including Castle Rock and Doone Valley - this visual showcase still makes a compelling case to book a visit. The 1952 floods are the subject of Lynmouth - A One Time Beauty Spot (1952) and Lynmouth Floods' Anniversary (1977), both also available on BFI Player.