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  • Writer's pictureClaire

Exmoor Holiday Part Three: Excellent circular hike from Lynmouth to Watersmeet and the 1952 Lynmouth flood

I've as yet struggled to find a walk that quite matches the one I did in Malham Cove until now. This walk was so varied with two great opportunities to stop for lunch and post walk refreshments, which is needed as this walk may not be that long in miles it certainly makes up for in hills.

The walk started at Hillsford Bridge, high up in the valley where the East Lyn and Hoaroak Rivers run and eventually meet at Watersmeet. The start of the walk is very high up on the Two Moors Way with outstanding views across the valley and out to see where you can see Lynton and Lynmouth. Looking at the valley in this way helps you understand the Flood disaster of these towns in 1952. And in Lynmouth there is a museum dedicated to this natural disaster and the lives that were lost when it happened.

We stopped at the top to admire the view and have a sandwhich. Then there was quite a descent amongst the ancient woodland to reach Lynmouth Harbour, however at each turn there a more spectacular views or rich, lush, green enchanted woodland.

When we reached Lynmouth we felt we were at the halfway point so had a lovely cream tea at Lyndale Tearoom.

In Lynmouth we visited the museum that is dedicated to the lives lost in the 1952 flood, where 9 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, which is still one of the heaviest periods of rain recorded in England. My eldest has also been learning about natural disasters at school so I felt this was a well timed piece of education!

The walk then takes you up the river to the Watersmeet Estate. This part of the walk Digby enjoyed the most as he could have a paddle in the river, as did our two boys. The views again are spectacular but now you are in the valley so the views are altogether different, almost making this feel like two different walks, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

At Watersmeet (the literal meeting place of these two rivers) there is a National Trust tea room, so it gave us another chance to stop, take in the views and have a drink, and a quick deviation to the right and you can view Watersmeet waterfall.

The walk then finishes with an ascend the valley again, this time of year with a very strong smell of wild garlic which was lush, back to Hillsford Bridge where we had parked.

Labrador walking along woodland on a hillfort on the Two Moors Way

View over looking Watersmeet Valley

Dog looking out over the valley to Lynton and Lynmouth

Waterfall in the Watersmeet estate

Foxgloves high up over the valley

View overlooking the Bristol Channel to Wales

View of Lynmouth Harbour

Lyndale tea room

Cream Tea at the Lyndale Tea Room

The 1952 Lynmouth Flood news article

River in Lynmouth

River in Lynmouth

River leading to Watersmeet

Kids and dog playing in the river

The two rivers at Watersmeet

Dog in the river at Watersmeet

National Trust tea room at Watersmeet

Two rivers that meet at Watersmeet

Waterfall at Watersmeet


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