2 short circular walks 1) East along the South West Coast Path past Foreland Point 2) Along the narrow, steep sided River Lyn gorge to picturesque Watersmeet (NT)
|Length||15.5km / 9.6 miles (Foreland Point Loop : 7.8km/4.8miles, Watersmeet/Lynmouth Loop : 7.7km/4.8miles)|
|OS Maps||Explorer: 9 (Exmoor)|
|Toughness||5/10 (Foreland Point Loop : 6/10 - up and down cliff path, level back; Watersmeet/Lymnouth loop: 4/10 - 1 steep climb at the end)|
This walk consists of 2 short walks from Countisbury (nice pub, car park) on the main Exmoor coast road, with a regular summer bus service from Minehead and Lymington. The walks can be done together as a figure of 8, but they both are exellent walks in their own right.
The Foreland Point loop heads to the coast via Butter Hill to reach the point, then follows the South West Coast Path east along the side of a partly forested hill sloping own to the see. It returns over the top of the hill
The Lymington/Watersmeet Loop is something quite different. It follows the SWCP west along the coast, gently descending to Lynmouth. It then follows the River Lyn through a very narrow steep sided, forested gorge. The gorge is 200m/600 feet deep in places. After 2 miles, at Watersmeet, which has a popular NT cafe, the gorge splits in 2 to form the East and West Lyn rivers - both in narrow, steep sided gorges. A little further, there is a steep climb out of the gorge to return to the pub at Countisbury.
|Walk Options||The is can be done as 2 short walks, or 1 longer walk.|
The 300 bus (Lymnington - Lynmouth - Countisbury .... Minehead, April-October only) stops outside the pub at Countisbury. If you starts from Lynmouth, there are more year round choice from the West or South.
Countisbury, EX35 6NE, on the A39, with a National Park car-park nearby, is the best place to park. Lynmouth or Watersmeet (steep climb up to car park) would also be possible.
|Lunch and Tea||
Exmoor is a small National Park (NP) on the north coast of Somerset and Devon. It has a dramtic rocky coastline with the highest sea cliffs and largest coastal forest in England. Inland are steep sides valleys which lead up to bleak moorland plateau ("The Chains") and the NP's highest point - Dunkery Beacon at 519m / 1703 feet. The southern side of the plateau, bisected by steep valleys slopes much more gently, as is used for sheep farming. Formerley a royal forest, the NP has few towns, but 2 large seaside resorts outside it - Minehead and Barnstable. See Exmoor's wiki page
There are no train stations nearby. To get here, take 1) a National Express Coach to Minehead or 2) a train to Taunton, and then a bus to Minehead.
Regular buses run along the coast on the SWCP day 1 route to Porlock, then a summer only services along the SWCP day 2 route to Lynton. The coastal road heads inland, and doesn't rejoin the coast until the end of SWCP day 3 route - a summer weekend only bus service. NB the #300 bus along the coast runs in 2 sections: i) Minehead to Lynmouth, and ii) Lynmouth to Illfracombe
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
|Map Walk||This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.|
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone. OpenStreetMap (not OS) mapping is used in the PDF for licence reasons.