New Festival will celebrate the Victorian’s contribution to Exmoor tourism

The heritage team at Lynmouth Pavilion Project have been exploring the ‘History of Tourism’ in their third and final year. Moved by the impact of the Victorians in creating links, opening roads, inventing steam locomotion for easy travel, and ‘taking the waters’ in their bathing machines, Louise and Abbie have come to the conclusion that the Victorians practically invented Exmoor’s tourism.

In recognition of this, and the changes they brought, the team has been planning a Victorian Festival with events taking place from Monday 20th to Friday 24th June across Lynton and Lynmouth, Dunster, Porlock and Allerford.

Abbie Thorne said “we thought we’d take advantage of the Ilfracombe Victorian Festival happening the week before – there’ll be lots of Victorians in the area looking for other entertainments. We’re hoping they’ll stay on for a few more days and see more of Exmoor, in costume!” she added “we’ve tried to arrange a few interesting activities for the Victorians – watch out for them as you’re out and about.”

Louise Reynolds added “it’s a full line-up – heritage walks through Victorian Lynton as well as Porlock, illustrated talks, slideshows, films, special tours of Dunster Castle and more. There are even traditional Victorian craft activities. We’ve invited local businesses to be involved and know that some will be dressing up, like the Coach House in Lynton where traditional Victorian cream teas will be on the menu!”

Abbie explained that “the Festival will move from village to village during the week, starting in Lynton and Lynmouth on the Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday will see activities move to Dunster, with Porlock on the Thursday and Allerford on Friday.”

The Victorians were responsible for the steam era and so there will be Victorians at Woody Bay Station as well as a talk from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society. The Cliff Railway in Lynton and Lynmouth owes its construction to the Victorians and so the programme involves them too.

During the Festival the Project team will be sharing some Victorian postcards and images, and scanning your old photos too. A member of the project team will be at Dunster National Park Centre on the 22nd June from 2-4pm and at Porlock Visitor Centre on the 23rd from 2:30-4:30pm ready to scan your pictures.

 “There is a fairly packed programme” says Abbie “so check the line-up and we hope to see you at some of the events”. The programme is available on the Project Facebook Page and Twitter, or in the National Park Centres.

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