Countisbury and Watersmeet from Lynmouth

This Exmoor walk includes coast, valley and high level sections. Starting from Lynmouth, the route climbs to Contisubury before crossing high pastures to descend to Watersmeet. The return leg of the walk follows the River Lyn downstream to the coast.

Technical sheet
No. 293107
A Lynton and Lynmouth walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 16/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h45[?]
Distance Distance : 6.88km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 266m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 256m
Highest point Highest point : 269m
Lowest point Lowest point : 3m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Exmoor
Location Location : Lynton and Lynmouth
Starting point Starting point : N 51.230796° / W 3.830961°
Arrival Arrival : N 51.229887° / W 3.828705°
Download : -

Description

(D)Parking is available on the street on the west side of the river during winter. At busy times you may need to use one of the car parks that are signed off the A39. The start is the seafront opposite the lower station of the funicular railway (Grid ref SS722496) that links Lynmouth with Lynton. Turn right and follow the river upstream passing the small pier on your left. Cross the substantial foot bridge over the River Lyn following the South West Coast Path signs. Ahead you can see Foreland Point with Butter Hill to its immediate right. This hill is nearly a thousand feet high and gives some impression of the height of the cliffs in this locality.

(1)The path begins to climb the cliffs, gaining height steadily and in a few places quite steeply. Passing beside the A39 the path ahead is never in doubt and your efforts are rewarded with increasingly spectacular views. On a fine day you can see across the Bristol Channel to South Wales and the Brecon Beacons as well as enjoying the increasingly airy path as you climb up to the Church at Countisbury (Grid ref. SS747498).

(2)Turn right through the churchyard and walk down the lane to the main road. Cross the busy road with care and go left for a few metres to locate a footpath on your right. Follow the clear path across South Hill Common and descend to the edge of Horner’s Neck Woods (Grid ref. SS747490). As you cross these open meadows you get an excellent view of the wooded combes or valleys. The path follows a short ridge before starting to descend to Watersmeet in the valley via a series of zigzags.

(3)Reaching the valley path turn right and in a short distance you arrive at Watersmeet House (National Trust with refreshments in season). The junction of the two rivers here is quite spectacular after rain and you can try to imagine in the enormity of the flood when disaster hit in 1952. The onward route runs parallel to the river all the way to Lynmouth. However at the path climbs away from the valley bottom before returning to run alongside the river once more. Signage and waymarking is good, and it is important that you follow the path to Lynmouth. If in doubt take the widest path and be prepared for some ascent. Reaching Lynmouth cross the river either by the footbridges or road bridge to regain the start.

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 14m - Start: Lynmouth seafront
1 : km 0.53 - alt. 36m - Follow coastal path up cliffs
2 : km 2.66 - alt. 269m - Turn right through churchyard
3 : km 3.87 - alt. 153m - Turn right along valley path
A : km 6.88 - alt. 16m - Finish: Lynmouth seafront

Useful Information

This half day walk includes a spectacular section of coast, high pastures and mature deciduous woodland. Starting from Lynmouth, scene of the devastating flood of 1952 when many people were killed. The disaster was the result of a flash flood with high levels of water rushing down the Lyn Rivers from Exmoor to the sea. Today the scars have healed and Lynmouth is now a bustling seaside village that is best avoided in high season. This walk was researched in February when there were few visitors and parking was easy, although the tackier aspects of the seafront were still open.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments

Average

Global average : 4.33/5
Number of opinions : 3
Description quality : 4/5
Routemap quality : 4/5
Walk interest : 5/5


Walker
on Mon 12 Oct 2020 17:23:33 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 12/10/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

The initial section from Lynmouth past the Rock House up the Coastal Path to the main A39 Countisbury Road is through a winding wooded area. At the A39, follow the single track path alongside the main road where you will come to a layby/viewing point on your left. Here you can either follow the path along the A39 or on the other side of the road you will see a wooden gate, which follows the A39 albeit up along the hillside. The views from this side are wonderful and will eventually follow the road until you can cross further along and pick up the coastal path.

The walk does state it as easy, which I would agree with up the point down to Watersmeet. This track is hard and occasionally loose stones and although the gradient is not overly steep, it can be difficult if you have weak knees or ankles; however the walk gives you wonderful views of Oak woods and the view down to the river is worth the effort.

I would recommend the walk as it provides an all round experience of blustery coastal views and beautiful meanderings down to the river. The final stage of the walk following the river into Lynmouth is a lovely end to the experience.


Walker
on Wed 19 Aug 2020 17:16:30 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 19/08/20
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Interesting walk but described as easy I believe. First section climbing is more challenging than what I would describe as easy. Terrain/path is easy to follow but the climb is long so for those that are fit and used to it. Views out over the bay and back to Lynmouth are worth it.


Walker
on Tue 06 Nov 2018 19:31:10 CET

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 04/11/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

great walk very varied terrain from high level exmoor to the valley below. map and instructions were good to follow

Other walks in the area

Hollerday Hill, The Valley of Rocks and South Cleave from Lynton
distance 6.08km Vertical gain +289m Vertical drop -288m Durée 2h35 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Lynton and Lynmouth - Devon

This beautiful circular walk is perfect to discover the Valley of Rocks from several viewpoints. First, you will reach Hollerday Hill viewpoint before you go up to the South Cleave (steep section, avoid during wet conditions!). The views of these famous rocks from the paths which go to Lynton are gorgeous!

Watersmeet by Ash Bridge and South Hill Common
distance 4.89km Vertical gain +188m Vertical drop -187m Durée 1h55 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Lynton and Lynmouth - Devon

This short circular walk with steep ascents and descents provides a good way to discover the beautiful river gorge at Watersmeet where Hoar Oak Water meets the East Lyn River. On your way, you will discover a lovely waterfall and viewpoints over the valley.

distance 11.56km Vertical gain +246m Vertical drop -245m Durée 4h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Brendon and Countisbury - Devon

Starting from Malmsmead, this walk in the Exmoor National Park includes sections in Devon and Somerset. The main focus of the route is areas associated with the Lorna Doone novels. However expect much more with valley and moorland walking in this excellent Exmoor walk.

Holdstone Hill and Heddon's Mouth Cleave
distance 12.25km Vertical gain +424m Vertical drop -428m Durée 4h45 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Trentishoe - Devon

This interesting walk with ascents and descents close to Trentishoe is the perfect way to discover gorgeous viewpoints including Holdstone Hill or enjoy beautiful valleys along River Heddon and streams.

Cow Castle by Pickedstones Farm from Simonsbath
distance 12.88km Vertical gain +189m Vertical drop -191m Durée 4h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Exmoor (Somerset) - Somerset

This beautiful circular walk in Exmoor National Park visits Cow Castle using paths to Picked Stones. The return way follows Two Moors Way along River Barle and goes across gorgeous hills and valleys.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.