Walk Lynmouth to Watersmeet (just like Julia Bradbury did)

Perhaps a little more challenging than you would have thought from the ‘Best of British Walks’ on the telly… But what a wonderful walk. You do need a fair degree of fitness to tackle the 2nd part, but you could turn back after visiting the tearooms to avoid the steep bit!

A couple of days following our extended walk down into Lynmouth we felt ready to tackle the walk that we had seen Julia Bradbury complete on ‘Great British Walks’ – they showed the easiest bits of course!

We drove down to Lynmouth, parking in the car park by the river. This is where the walk starts and we lost no time having breakfast or anything this time! We headed straight to the back of the car park to cross the river by the small footbridge. The river is so pretty here it’s difficult to imagine that this is the new course forged as a result of the flood in the 1950’s.

The walk starts nice and gently, meandering along the riverside, through the trees with a choice after about 1/2 mile of continuing along the river or heading directly through the woods. We chose the riverside as we knew there were a few areas of interest to see.

This part of the walk is easy and very pretty. We found the site of the Lynrock mineral water factory right alongside the river. They also made ginger beer here right up until 1939. The Atlee brothers who owned the factory lived at Myrtleberry which you pass a little further upriver. Read all about it here.

After a couple of miles you reach Watersmeet House which is now a rather lovely tearoom. Unfortunately we visited shortly after businesses had been allowed to re-open and the Cream Tea available was not freshly made, which was rather disappointing. We shall just have to return in happier times 🙂 (Sounds like a perfect excuse to me!)

After our little break and a quick chat with a fellow camper from our campsite we headed off for the more difficult part of the walk (at this point we didn’t know just how hard it was!) But first we took the detour further upriver (and it was UP) to find the waterfalls. Which we initially walked straight past, only realising our mistake when we got to the road… (Incidentally, if you were to be staying at the same campsite we did – Lynmouth Holiday Retreat – you can see a sign on the road for The Beggars Roost (which is at the entrance to the site), so we think you could probably walk back from here if you wanted to).

Heading back downhill we spotted a small set of steps down to the river which led to a viewpoint to see the waterfall. Remember it had been a very hot, dry summer thus far, and as such the waterfall wasn’t flowing very strongly…. We think it is probably far better in the spring or autumn.

We got back on the correct path (behind the house), which starts climbing almost immediately. And keeps on climbing forever (well, it felt like it anyway – I did consider turning around and going back the easy way at 1 point….). Then, just when you think you’re at the top you turn a corner and, oh look, it’s still going up. Didn’t tell us about THAT did you Julia??!! No, I think you mentioned that there were a ‘couple’ of steep sections after the house. Hmmm…

Having said that once we finally reached the top the views were stunning, and then we had the pleasure of finding a rather nice pub, The Blue Ball Inn at Countisbury, for a well earned 2nd pitstop 🙂

Suitably refreshed we set off for the final section of the walk along the South West Coast Path. Accessed via the churchyard we visited the tiny church of Countisbury, which was rather charming, before picking up the path along the cliff.

Whilst we were glad to finally be heading downhill, it was quite steep in places of this narrow path on the edge of the cliff… Once again though, stunning views 🙂 culminating in a welcome return to Lynmouth to give a final total of 7 miles hiked.

And of course a quick drink in The Ancient Mariner topped the day off nicely!

We would highly recommend this walk even if it’s just to the tearooms and back to Lynmouth. We will almost definitely return and do it again!

Next time read all about our adventures (and walks…) in Symonds Yat!

Related Posts:

Walking in Lynmouth and Lynton

Travelling to Lynmouth? Don’t do what we did!

A weekend in Symonds Yat

Ely – a dream come true :)

As I said in a previous post I’ve always wanted to visit Ely (Eel-ee. Not Eel-i), and I still have no idea why (although this morning my sister has given me some ideas – which make me thing maybe I once saw it the old Holiday programme when it was hosted by Cliff Michelmore).

That said today was the day (Monday 26th June 2017) that I finally fulfilled my long held dream 😊

Ely didn’t disappoint. From parking in the cathedral car park and looking for the pay machine to find that there isn’t one. Because the parking is free!!

This isn’t a big city and we were soon within sight of the cathedral itself. And what an impressive sight it is. Before heading towards it though we saw a sign for Oliver Cromwell’s house (he lived here for 10 years and his 2 youngest children were born here – of 9 children in total).

 

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Our 1st sight of Ely Cathedral

It cost £4.90 each to visit the house and, whilst very interesting (I learned much that I wasn’t aware of about Cromwell), we only got to see a small number of the rooms. I’m also not entirely sure that the ‘coverage’ wasn’t a little biased towards Cromwell! I still can’t decided whether he was a hero or a villain – as they ask you to do at the end of the tour! I still veer towards villain but feel I need a little more study before I can make my mind up for sure!

 

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Oliver Cromwell’s House, Ely

It was now lunchtime so we set off in search of somewhere to eat. We eventually settled on Julia’s Tearoom, which was very nice (and the cakes looked scrummy) but we nearly didn’t go in as the frontage wasn’t overly welcoming (a quick clean of the windows might help a little!)

Finally we were ready to head for the cathedral itself. It really is magnificent, but we were disappointed to find that there was a charge of £8 plus £7 each to go on the Octagonal Tower tour – £30 between us to visit seemed excessive. There’s also a Stained Class Window museum. At £4.50 each…

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I really wanted to go in but Calv wasn’t bothered so I went in while he wandered around the town. The cathedral is beautiful, particularly the lantern at the top of the octagonal tower. The tour takes you to the top of this tower and gives many insights into the history of the cathedral.

This is not the original tower. That collapsed in the 14th century! (As we’re visiting many churches and cathedrals I’m finding out that this isn’t actually that rare an occurrence!)
The tour was excellent. Apart from the fact that the guide could be a little rude and impatient. I can live with that though. Also the higher you ascended the narrower the spiral stairways became, and you have some tiny doorways to squeeze through – the smallest being just 18 inches wide 😊

 


This cathedral has the largest Lady Chapel I have ever seen – very impressive.  I also really loved the mix of ancient and modern inside the church, with some new sculptures being present.  I went to find Calv when I left the cathedral (luckily he had his phone with him for once! Although he didn’t have any cash….)

If you turn left on leaving the cathedral you will soon come across a large stone gateway. Walking through here you find yourself taking a path through a park. Crossing a road you can see the river ahead of you, packed with barges and riverboats. This small section of park has a sculpture of an eel.

The riverside is rather lovely with a couple of pubs and cafes along the banks. We had a drink in The Cutter Inn sat watching the world go by.


Wandering back up through town we were charmed by the little town centre.


This is a lovely little city – a visit is a must if you’re in the area 😊