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Lynmouth Harbour is a small but attractive tidal haven on the Exmoor coast. A distinctive feature is the Rhenish Tower, built in the 1850s by abb General Rawdon to store salt water for the baths in his house. It was completely demolished in the disastrous floods of 1952 but carefully restored as part of thetown’s reconstruction. One of the oldest cliff lifts in the country – operated by water balance - connects the village with the twin town of Lynton, high above on the clifftops.
It is said that the villages owe their popularity as tourist destinations to Napoleon and that denied their usual continental holiday haunts because of the Napoleonic Wars, Britains sought out homegrown spots and found dramatic cliffs and coastlines here. The poet, Shelley, stayed here for several months with his bride and named the area, "Little Switzerland". Wordsworth and Coleridge are other literary figures who found the area amenable for writing. It is said Coleridge was inspired to write "The Ancient Mariner" after viewing Lynmouth's harbour.