Watersmeet, Exmoor

About this route

Watersmeet is one of the largest remaining ancient woodlands in the south west. Oak dominates the canopy, but other species are present including a number of rare whitebeams.

There is a rich ground flora including bilberry, sweet woodruff and dog’s mercury, and there are diverse communities of lichens and mosses.

The East Lyn River cascades through the woodland, meeting Farley Water and giving the site its name. Watersmeet also supports some important areas of heathland. The site has a very diverse breeding bird community, including ravens, redstarts, pied flycatchers and all three woodpeckers. The nearby Foreland Point, also managed by the National Trust, provides an excellent example of coastal heathland making this a very rich wildlife area.

Getting Around

By Foot: Accessible from Lynmouth, the Two Moors Way passes through the site, linking with the South West Coast Path in Lynmouth.
By Car: Accessed from the A39, free parking at Combe Park, Hillsford Bridge and Countisbury.
By Bus: Services run several times a day into Lynmouth, check the Travel Devon website for the latest times.

Car parking, cycle racks, toilets, refreshments in Lynton and Lynmouth. National Trust tea room and shop at Watersmeet.
Partially accessible grounds, some sections very steep with lots of steps, many gravel and grassy footpaths.

Interesting information

Watersmeet is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.

Photo of bracket fungus
Bracket Fungus by Jonathan Billinger

You can explore more in this area

Photo looking down the river to Lynmouth town

Devon’s Little Switzerland

This circular walk is based on the scenic little town of Lynmouth, on Devon’s Exmoor coast. A walk of contrasts,
Photo of the Two Moors Way path across moorland with a granite way marker in the foreground

Two Moors Way (Devon’s Coast to Co..

Running for just over 100 miles/160km between Ivybridge in the south and Lynmouth in the north, this famous path links
Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail walking route

Inspired by Henry Williamson’s much loved novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ which was based on real places, this 163 miles/261kms recreation