County Gate to Lynmouth
A stunning country walk along part of the Coleridge Way from County Gate to Lynmouth via Watersmeet.
Walk in the footsteps of the romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge through the Brendon Hills, a landscape that inspired him to produce some of his best known work.
It’s easy to see how the incredibly beautiful Exmoor landscape has inspired so many people, both past and present.
The Coleridge Way was originally established in 2005 and extended in 2014 and links several sites associated with the romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The Coleridge Way starts at Coleridge Cottage at Nether Stowey and finishes in Lynmouth, at The Walker.
This particular walk isn’t circular, but there are a few alternatives to make it circular and much longer. On this occasion, we took a taxi from Lynton to County Gate (approx. £15-£20) and were dropped off at Country Gate. Had we wanted to start our journey with refreshments we could have detoured via Malmsmead, at the National Trust’s ‘The Buttery’.
This stretch of the Coleridge Way meanders through the Brendon Hills to the Watersmeet Valley. The route is quite straightforward, with a ridge or river option that follows the East Lyn River to Brendon, on to Rockford.
As we reached Brendon, we walked along a tarmac country lane for a short while, after passing Hall Farm and stopping to say hello to their very friendly emu.
Hall Farm, in Brendon, often has an honesty shop at their gate offering all kinds of delicious homemade snacks, fresh eggs and even beeswax boot polish.
The path from Brendon to Rockford starts of with stone-laid path before fading out to a regular woodland footpath. On a hot Summer’s day, the canopy of the woodland is a welcome respite from the blazing sun. As we reached Rockford, it was definitely time for a refreshment break at the Rockford Inn before the next stretch to Watersmeet.
The riverside path from Rockford splits at Ash Bridge. Continue of the right-side of the River for the Coleridge Way or cross the bridge for an alternative walk to Watersmeet through Barton Wood. Barton Wood is great for bluebells in April/May.
Arriving at Watersmeet is always a delight and a welcome respite and crossing point for many of Lynton & Lynmouth’s coast and country walks. From Watersmeet, there are several routes to Lynmouth;
- Up and along the ridge of Summerhouse Hill, passing Myrtleberry’s Iron Age North Site eventually descending to Lynmouth
- Following the woodland path through Arnold’s Linhay, or diverting off Arnold’s Linhay to Countisbury and descend into Lynmouth via the South West Coast Path
- The most straightforward, through Myrtleberry and Lynrock, crossing at Blackpool Bridge before reaching Woodside Bridge on the edge of Lynmouth.
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