A dog friendly walk from DogPeople

A dog-friendly walk from DogPeople
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Lynmouth, Watersmeet, Rockford and Myrtleberry Cleeve circular (9 ½ challenging)

The route to Watersmeet is well known and used.  Leaflets are available locally.  Hamish started from a car park near the main road bridge (A 39) in Lynmouth (on the left hand side of the road coming from Porlock – i.e. on the landward side) but only walked part way (returning via the Watersmeet Woodland Walk).

Leave the car park going upstream staying on its right hand side (RHS).  CONTINUE AHEAD past a concrete footbridge with white railings, down a few steps just after bridge.  CROSS NEXT FOOTBRIDGE (wooden) then TURN RIGHT to continue upstream on left hand side (LHS) of river in the direction of Watersmeet.  Keep close to river on main path – but be ready for diversions away from the river later in the route.  Don't take left fork to Sparrows Walk and Countisbury.  Follow the path as it climbs away from river following a landslide (original path is fenced off).  The diversion gives a different view of the river but after a second diversion the path goes through woods so views of the river are lost for a while.  After the path levels out follow a sign for Watersmeet down towards the river (not ahead to Arnolds Lynhay) - i.e. a RIGHT HAND FORK onto a footpath away from the more major path.  At next fork TURN RIGHT to riverside walk (not woodland walk).  Follow zigzag then CROSS footbridge.  

TURN LEFT and follow path upstream on the river's RHS. CONTINUE AHEAD over footbridge by house ('Myrtleberry'). CONTINUE AHEAD as path becomes a drive. CONTINUE AHEAD past concrete / stone bridge, staying on RHS of river.  CROSS two wooden bridges – note waterfall by the first – to reach tearooms, toilets etc. (we stopped for team and cakes).

When ready to continue, from the tea rooms continue upstream on the same side (i.e. the left hand bank).  Note finger post just beyond the toilets to Rockford and Brendon and follow the bank as indicated.  Go past sign pointing left to Countisbury.  Keep close to river on your right hand side (RHS).  GO AHEAD at footbridge still signed to Rockford, later bearing right with the path passing a bench.  GO AHEAD at a ford as you reach houses, keep to the path as it passes to the RHS of Rockford Lodge.

TURN RIGHT over a wooden footbridge then TURN RIGHT on a metalled lane past a pub.  Follow the lane steeply uphill (20% at first then 25%).  Go past St Bredan, Brendon Church on your RHS near the top of the hill.  Bear right with the lane at The Old School House, then LEFT signed to Lynton and Simonsbath.  GO AHEAD at next T-junction still signed to Lynton (not left to Cranscombe).  As the lane bears hard left signposted to Simonsbath and Lynton GO AHEAD on a lesser lane (not signed).  Follow lane downhill to reach cross road junction with B 3223.

GO AHEAD – CROSS ROAD WITH CARE – into lane signed to Bridge Ball (the B road goes right here to Lynton).  Follow lane steeply downhill, then ahead over a bridge, then uphill to reach a T-junction.  TURN RIGHT signed to Lynton.  Some distance further on go through a bend and over a bridge to reach a major road junction (we saw a fabulous Red Deer stag close to the lane along this section).  The junction is between this lane, the A39 and the B3223.

TURN LEFT and cross the A road with great care to reach the wide grassy verge on its RHS.  Go uphill signed to Blackmore Gate and Barnstaple.  As road bears hard left GO MORE-OR-LESS AHEAD on broad track marked as a bridleway to East Lyn and footpath to Lynmouth (through National Trust land Watersmeet).  GO AHEAD through Myrtleberry South Camp (ancient settlement site).  GO AHEAD at finger post to Lynmouth and Lynton.  GO AHEAD signed to Lynton and Lynmouth as bridleway bears left to East Lyn.  GO AHEAD as path goes right and downhill to Watersmeet.  After a stretch of trees superb views are available, on decent day, over the sea to Wales.  The path descends a little, then through two wooden gates.  Keep to the path as it zigzags down hill.  CROSS a footbridge then zigzag up again! (convenient benches for those who need them).  CONTINUE AHEAD (keeping valley on your RHS) as the path from West Lyn and Barbrook joins from the LHS (still heading for Lynmouth).

As the path bears hard left with a view of Lynmouth Harbour TURN RIGHT signposted to Lynmouth towards a small headland (Oxen Tor).  Follow the path off the headland steadily down hill – don't take a path forking left and uphill.  Keep zigzagging down hill and pass a National Trust Watermeet Estate sign – then CONTINUE AHEAD on public footpath to Lynmouth (a permitted path turns right here).  At T-junction TURN LEFT signposted to Lynmouth (permitted path re-joins here).  CONTINUE AHEAD on public footpath, as another permitted path leaves on the RHS, passing between stone walls.  CONTINUE AHEAD as permitted path rejoins from right.  When path joins a pavement by a road TURN LEFT then CROSS ROAD to return to the car park at the start of the walk.

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