Lyn Bridge to Lynmouth via Waters Meet, Exmoor, North Devon - Summary.
Distance: 5.0 miles / 8.0 kilometers
Time: 3 hours 00 minutes to all day
Map: OS Explorer OL9 - Exmoor
Though the walk is only 5 miles long, it is a whole day affair. The whole route is well sign posted over varying terrain ranging from tarmac paths, grass and woodland trails, some of the ascents and descents are quite steep and could be considered challenging. Though overall, this a good moderate walk with most of the route being flat and easy going. There are plenty of stopping points along the steep areas with benches to catch your breath and take in the views. There is a wide variety of birdlife and grey squirrels to admire. Some of the views are absolutely stunning with iron age points of interest along the way - definately qualifying as camera moments.
The walk starts at the car park of the Olde Cottage Inn, (a 17th century inn - formerly the Bridge Inn and before that Ye Olde Inn), and follows an initial steep climb up to Summer House Hill. There are some excellent views of Lynton and the Coast Line from Black Rocks and Sillery Sands to the Foreland Point Lighthouse. The trail from here is fairly level and gentle goig as it skirts the woodland boundary on the left and pasture land on the right. Then descends down to Waters Meet Waterfall. It is worth exploring where the waters meet to appreciate its attraction.
There are many highlights along this walk, one being the Waters Meet Waterfalls which is a very popular attraction. The cafe at the waterfalls is a great place to stop for a cream tea and rest in the garden, where there is the chance to watch and maybe photograph the odd grey squirrel, and feed the various birds (bullfinches, blue tits and robins) which are not afraid to pay a visit to your table. The river offers a play area for the kids and a place to paddle and cool off the feet.
From the Waterfall it is a leisurely and gentle downhill stroll along a well defined trail through woodland into Lynmouth as it follows the river, where young brown trout can be seen in the river, and may even be lucky enough to see an otter.
From Lynmouth there are a couple of options for the route back to the start. Option 1 is from opposite the church of St John the Baptist, taking the trail up 'The Cleaves' out of Lynmouth through the woodland, climbing up a steep tarmac pathway which can be slippery when wet, and is fairly challenging as it ascends Lyn Cleave. or Option 2 takes in a visit of Lynmouth to explore its beach area, with the option to do a bit of crabbing or even a trip on one of the boats if time permits. A visit to the Glen Lyn Gorge Visitors Centre, which is well worth a wee visit. There are plenty of cafes in Lynmouth to sample a cream tea and a scone or two. If another hill ascent is not appealing, then taking the Cliff Valley Railway back up to Lynton, maybe more appealing.
The trail then passes through Lynton, where it is also worth visiting the church of St Mary the Virgin with its 13th century tower, before returning to Lyn Bridge and the Olde Cottage Inn car park from where the walk started.
The Olde Cottage Inn is a 17th Century, Grade II listed building, and is recommended for a place to eat and a short drink to reflect on the many sights. The Inn, brews its own Fat Belly Ales, the Fat Belly Crafty Golden Ale is highly recommended. The Inn is also renowned for its Nartnapa Thai dishes, the hostess is a Thai master chef.