Skip to content
Watersmeet through the trees in autumn
A glimpse of Watersmeet through the trees | © David Sellman

Lynmouth to Ash Bridge circular walk

An interesting circular walk from the historic seaside village of Lynmouth via Watersmeet House Tea Garden to Ash Bridge, along the wooded banks of the East Lyn River.

Flora and fauna

This trail is rich in wildlife and birds – you may ieven see otters if you're very lucky. In early spring, the woods near Ash Bridge are filled with bluebells.

Total steps: 13

Total steps: 13

Start point

Lynmouth public car park, Countisbury Hill, grid ref: SS724494

Step 1

Walk out of the car park at the top left corner, heading towards the white metal bridge that crosses the river just ahead of you. Cross the bridge and turn immediately right. Continue walking upstream, with the river on your right, until you meet a road. Cross over (stay vigilant as it's a public highway) and follow the public footpath upstream towards Watersmeet.

Step 2

Follow the green signpost for Watersmeet. Keep an eye out for dippers, they can be seen on the rocks in the centre of the river. Across the water you can see the Middleham Memorial Gardens.

Step 3

Walk past the bridge spanning the river, carrying on upstream with the river on your right.

Step 4

At the next fingerpost, the path forks. Turn right here, following the sign for 'Watersmeet Riverside Walk'. Follow the path down towards the river, cross over the bridge and turn left. You're now walking upstream with the river on your left. Stay on this path, continuing to follow signs for Watersmeet.

Step 5

Just before you come to seven stone steps in the path, stop and look to your right where you will see a natural spring called the Lynrock Fountain. A pottery ginger beer bottle and an information panel set into the rock face nearby designate the site of the Lynrock Mineral Water Factory - destroyed in the 1952 flood. A fireplace and mantelpiece are all that remain.

Step 6

When you come to Watersmeet (where the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water meet), pause a while on the first bridge to look at the waterfalls. In the holiday season, stop at our tea garden and try our famous Devon cream teas. There's also a gift shop and toilets.

Step 7

If you're not stopping at Watersmeet House, cross the first bridge and then turn right upstream, just before the second bridge signed 'Rockford'. If you do stop at the tea garden, retrace your steps over the bridge closest to Watersmeet House and turn left upstream, keeping the East Lyn River is on your left. You will notice a mine adit in the rock face to your right, just by the bridge. This is a remnant of speculative mineral exploration by wealthy Victorian local landowners.

Step 8

At the next fingerpost, signed 'Rockford 1.5 miles', keep to the left. Just past here is the partially restored remains of an old lime kiln on the riverbank.

Step 9

At the next fork in the track is a three-finger signpost. Follow the footpath for Rockford to your left, down through Barton Wood towards the river.

Step 10

When you reach Ash Bridge, cross over the river and turn left at the fingerpost on the other side, signed 'Watersmeet'. Walk downstream with the river on your left. Stay on the path back to Watersmeet House.

Step 11

When you reach Watersmeet House, stop for tea and cake if the House is open. Follow the gravel track from the house towards Lynmouth, keeping the river on your left. Just past the house you'll pass an information board about Glenthorne Fisheries, showing the permitted fishing pools and contact information.

Step 12

Carry on past the stone bridge that you passed earlier on the opposite bank. Follow the footpath straight ahead signed 'Woodland Walk Lynmouth'.

Step 13

Stay on this footpath all the way back to Lynmouth. Where the path opens out, just before the small car park to your right, cross over the wooden bridge and walk back to the car park with the river on your right, past the Middleham Memorial Gardens located on the hillside to your left.

End point

Lynmouth public car park, Countisbury Hill, grid ref: SS724494

Trail map

Map of Lynmouth to Ash Bridge circular walk, Watersmeet, Devon
Lynmouth to Ash Bridge circular walk, Watersmeet, Devon | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

A small waterfall in a river

Lynmouth circular walk via Watersmeet and Countisbury 

This interesting and varied walk from a picturesque harbour town offers spectacular coastal views, woodlands, waterfalls, Iron Age archaeology and some intriguing wildlife.

DistanceMiles: 5.5 (km: 8.8)
Visitors at the tea garden in the 19th-century fishing lodge, surrounded by trees, at Watersmeet, Devon, with water rushing over rocks in the foreground and a footbridge crossing the river in the background

Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk 

Enjoy amazing views of the Devon countryside on the Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk along the East Lyn river, with the chance to spot otters and herons.

DistanceMiles: 2.2 (km: 3.52)
A broad river rushing around rocks flows under a wooden footbridge, framed by green-leaved trees

Countisbury and Westerwood figure-of-eight walk 

Explore the varied landscape around Countisbury and Watersmeet, from open Exmoor coast path to sessile oaks, riverside paths and the impressive ramparts of an Iron Age hill fort.

DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8)

Get in touch

Watersmeet Road, Lynmouth, Devon, EX35 6NT

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Man canoeing down river rapids at Watersmeet

Things to see and do at Watersmeet 

From fishing to canoeing, there's an outdoor adventure to suit everyone at Watersmeet. Take a walk through ancient woodland or along the banks of the river.

The indoor seating area at Watermeet, full of colour and life, decorated with bold colour on the walls and flowers on each table.

Eating and shopping at Watersmeet 

After a walk or a spot of canoeing, grab a bite to eat or a drink at Watersmeet tea-room. You can also pick up a pre-loved treasure from the second-hand bookshop.

Family walking on the estate at Arlington Court, Devon.

Walking in Devon 

From rugged coastline with captivating views to gentle woodland strolls, these are some of the best walks in Devon this winter.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.