Lynmouth to Watersmeet Walk - Step by Step
If you are planning on heading to Lynmouth for a short break, we can highly recommend the Lyn Valley Guest House. Furthermore, it is perfectly located, just a stone’s throw from the start of the Watersmeet walk.
The Watersmeet trail commences on Tors Road, just off the A39, on the north bank of the East Lyn River. The first section of the walk takes you in an easterly direction along Tors Road, past a row of quaint stone b&bs and holiday lettings.
A short distance after passing the last property, the road ends and the real trail commences. You now enter the beautiful steep wooded gorge with the spirited East Lyn River thundering its way past you to the sea a short distance back.
Enjoy the East Lyn River up close
After approximately 0.75 miles (1.20 km) you will reach a wooden signpost where two route options are available to you - the Riverside Walk or the Woodland Walk. Both lead you to Watersmeet House so the choice is yours.
We decided to take the Riverside option outbound. Initially, the trail hugs the northern bank of the river but you will soon reach a wooden footbridge taking you to the southern bank upon which the Watersmeet walk continues.
The trail briefly climbs up the valley side before dropping once more to regain its position immediately alongside the river. Next, the path momentarily breaks away from National Trust land as you cross the private, Lodge at Myrtleberry. This would definitely be an idyllic location in which to enjoy a weekend getaway!
As you pass the Lodge at Myrtleberry the path becomes very narrow for a short distance, with the gushing waters dancing precariously close to your feet. Thankfully, the trail soon opens up once more and one’s fear of tumbling into the fast-moving torrent ebbs away as it does so.
As you continue along the Watersmeet Trail, you will catch sight of a stone bridge. Do not cross the river at this point but continue on the right-hand side. The Watersmeet National Trust House will soon come into sight across the river.
Watersmeet - Where Hoar Oak Water & the East Lyn River Join
Continue a short distance further and a wooden footbridge will appear on your left. This takes you across Hoar Oak Water which is a moorland tributary of the East Lyn River. What’s more, this is the point at which Hoar Oak Water and the East Lyn River join, hence the name, Watersmeet.
Whilst on the bridge, take the time to gaze upstream at the Watersmeet waterfall cascading towards you. If you would like a closer look at the waterfall from above, take the steps on the right immediately after crossing the bridge.
To get to the Watersmeet cafe for that well-earned cream tea, cross the next footbridge and then the delightful Watersmeet House sits before you, boasting one of the most spectacular locations for a tea garden anywhere!
On the homeward section of the Watersmeet walk, we opted for a little variety so took the trail aptly named, Woodland Walk. Upon leaving Watersmeet House, remain on the same side of the river and follow the path downstream.
Initially, the path sticks to the water's edge but soon the gradient increases as the trail leads you up the valley side leaving the river far below. This elevation gain certainly offers some super views back up the river valley, when sporadic breaks in the woodland occur.
After walking for approximately 1.25 miles (2 km) on this woodland section, you will find yourself back at the wooden signpost that you reached earlier in the walk. Here you rejoin the path on which you came, for the final stretch of the Watersmeet Walk back to the starting point in Lynmouth.
Watersmeet Walk - Our Thoughts
This really is a special walk through some of the finest nature that Exmoor has to offer. Mixing it up by taking the riverside route on the outbound leg and the woodland walk on the return was a good idea and certainly added some variety.
There are certainly sections where you must exercise real caution, especially where the fast-flowing river thunders right alongside the narrow path.
Of course, the break at Watersmeet House to enjoy refreshments in the idyllic tea garden is a real bonus as it truly is a perfect location.
Lynmouth is a beautiful town surrounded by some extraordinary natural beauty. As such, there are plenty of attractions to keep the activity minded individual busy for days. But, do not leave the area unless you have experienced the Watersmeet trail.
It will take just over two hours of your time to complete but the memories will stick with you for a lifetime!