History

Old-Map

The Hunters Inn was originally a thatched farm cottage that became a meeting place for the local people. Ale has been served here since the eighteenth century, if not before, and may well have first been served when the owner rewarded his workers at the end of the harvest. The Berry family were the original tenants of the Inn and their descendants still live locally. In 1895 disaster struck; the postman saw smoke rising from the Inn and raised the alarm, but to no avail as the Inn was almost entirely destroyed by the fire.

Fire-Story

The owner, Colonel Benjamin Lake, who owned most of the land locally, had ambitions to establish a tourist resort at Woody Bay, only being three miles along the coast. He built most of the houses there including the Woody Bay Hotel, he also paid for the construction of a pier in a bid to attract steam ships but this was washed away in a storm. He made the area more accessible by building the coastal coach road. The Hunters Inn was re-opened in 1906 and designed to resemble a Swiss Chalet due to the district of Lynton and Lynmouth being known as ‘little Switzerland’. The Inn began to attract the earliest holiday makers at a time when tourism was in its infancy, becoming frequented by many wealthy and famous people. As horses gave way to motor-vehicles the Inn drew visits from day-trippers on charabanc outings and this coaching trade continued, reaching its peak in the 1970’s.

The Hunters Inn was often known as the ‘Honeymoon Hotel’ and has its own guest book for honeymooning couples. Many customers who return to The Hunters Inn tell us they were last here on their honeymoon. The Hunters Inn, and its surroundings, appear in many films and television programmes. Today, you can visit and stay at this historic Inn to experience the beauty of the Heddon Valley and the surrounding Exmoor National Park.