Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk

Walking trail

An moderate circular walk suitable for all the family. The trail meanders along the banks of the East Lyn River from Watersmeet House through beautiful woodlands. Look out for elusive otters in the river and for herons on low-hanging branches over the water.

family walking among spring flowers


Map route for Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk


Watersmeet public car park, Watersmeet Road, grid ref SS743487


From the car park, cross over the road and follow the steep zig zagging path (with some steps) down to the waterfalls beside Watersmeet House.


At the bottom of the steep path down from the road, you'll arrive at Watersmeet where the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water meet. Pause a while on the first bridge to look at the waterfalls as they cascade noisily over the rocks on their way to the sea. In the holiday season it's worth stopping at our tea garden, where you can enjoy our mouth-watering Devon cream teas. There's also a gift shop and toilets.

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If you're not stopping at Watersmeet House, cross the first bridge and then turn right upstream just before the second bridge. If you do stop at the tea garden, retrace your steps back over the bridge closest to Watersmeet House and turn left upstream. 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.


At the next fingerpost stay left signed 'Bridleway Rockford 1.5'. Just past here is the partially restored remains of an old lime kiln on the riverbank. Chose either path around the lime kiln. The right hand path is slightly easier and the left hand route has steps which maybe slippery when wet.

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At the fork in the track is a 3-finger sign post named Barton Wood. Follow Footpath Rockford to your left, down through Barton Wood towards the river. This beech wood is beautiful in autumn when copper-coloured leaves cover its floor; in spring the ground is carpeted with bluebells.

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When you reach Ash Bridge, cross the river and turn left at the finger post on the other side marked 'Watersmeet', walking downstream with the river on your left. Stay on the path back to Watersmeet House. When you reach Watersmeet House, stop for tea and cake if the House is open.

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Cross both the bridges next to Watersmeet House, back past the waterfalls and return up the steep path (with some steps) to the car park.

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Watersmeet public car park, Watersmeet Road, grid ref SS743487

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Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk


This circular walk follows a well-signposted route across undulating terrain, with some gentle inclines and steps. Suitable footwear recommended as some sections can be slippery when wet. Dogs welcome: please keep on lead as there is wildlife in surrounding woodland. No litter or dog bins along the trail.

Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk

Contact us

Telephone: 01598 753348
Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk

How to get here

Watersmeet Road, Watersmeet, Lynmouth, North Devon
By train

Barnstaple, 18 miles (29km) from Lynmouth

By road

A39 signed Lynton/Lynmouth. Nearest postcode for Sat Nav: EX35 6ND

By foot

Access via the South West Coast Path to Lynmouth then footpath up the East Lyn River to Watersmeet House

By bus

Minehead to Lynmouth, Service 300 with connections to Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, then footpath up the East Lyn to Watersmeet House

Watersmeet to Ash Bridge circular walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome
  • Unprotected path sides
  • This trail does include steps and uneven paths
  • Some parts of this walk are on a steep incline