Welcome to Longmead House

Five of our favourite Walks from the door

There are so many benefits to walking outside for both our mental and physical health.  Walking Is a fabulous way to explore our surroundings, accessing areas that vehicles can't access across the moors, and coastline of Exmoor.  Despite the area being known as Little Switzerland'  you dont' have to be superfit to attempt some of the local walks. There are plenty for all abilities from the slow ramblers, wanderers, hikers, trekers and serious climbers , we are certain you can find a walk to suit your abilities somewhere locally to us. 

 We spend as much time as possible (when time allows) to  find paths and tracks to follow and explore with the dog. We are so lucky to have so many well marked trails, tracks, bridleways, footpaths that criss cross, the valleys, hills and coastline surrounding us. We are often asked by guests what our favourtie walks are? and which ones they can do without needing to get back in the car.  So here are five of our favourtie walks that you can  start and finish from our door. We do these walks regularly at all times of the year and can truely say that no many how many times you do them each walk is a different experience with the changing seasons , wildlife, flora and fauna and birds that you might be lucky to see.  All these walks are easy to moderate terrain with a couple of steep sections but mostly managable with walking shoes or boots. Most of them can also be done within a couple of hours.  For the more energetic and fit of you the walk to Hunters Inn/ Heddons Mouth can be done there and back but it is longest at 12 miles.

1 North Walk -Valley of the Rocks Circular 

 A short circular walk that includes a mile long tarmacked path that was carved out of the cliff face in 1817. From this path there are fantastic views across the Bristol Channel.

Turn left out of Longmead and follow the road into the Valley of Rocks. Go through the gate continue along the road, pass by one of the most scenic cricket pitches in the UK.

When you reach the roundabout turn right to join the path with Castle Rock directly in front of you. You can stop and explore several of the rock formations – Castle Rock, Mother Meldrum’s Cave, and The White Lady, before you turn right back towards Lynton on the South West Coast cliff toptarmacked path on the cliff edge. Keep an eye out for the feral goats that inhabit the Valley. They can often be seen on the slopes of the rocks , on the cliff edge and on the path. They live here all year round and have the whole of the valley to wander around. 

Continue along this path until it widens out and becomes North Walk. You will pass several hotels and guest houses and see Lynmouth below you and on a clear day you can see across to Countisbury Hill.

Ignore any paths leading off North walk and continue up the sloping road to the St Marys Church and The Valley of Rocks Hotel and back onto Lee Road. You can stop and have some refreshments at any of the coffee shops before you walk back up Lee Road towards Longmead.

You can do this walk in both directions clockwise or anti clockwise, as well as any time of the day or year as the views are often spectacular and special.

2 South Cleave – Lee Abbey Circuit

On a clear day you can see the valley and its stunning scenery from above, this is a slightly longer walk which includes one steep climb.

Turn left out of Longmead and follow the road into the Valley of Rocks, walk either on the road or the footpath alongside it and continue on this until you reach the roundabout.

Follow the road off to the left as it gentlyclimbs towards Lee Abbey. Pass through the gate out of the Valley and continue following the road until you reach Lee Abbey.

Take the track to the left of the entrance to Lee Abbey sign posted Six Acres. Walk along this track between two fields for about 1/4 mile until it turns to the left.

Take this left switch back well marked track back towards Lynton as it climbs steadily through the woods above Lee Abbey. You will have great views of Lee Bay and Lee Abbey grounds and fields below you. 

Continue going straight on as it climbs gradually until you reach a gate entrance above the Valley of Rocks. Go through the gate and walk up this path as it climbs and then along the fairly steep zig zag path to the top of South Cleave above the valley.

Turn left at the top  on a grassy plateau heading straight back towards Lynton directly above the Valley of Rocks.

Keep on this path as it heads down again along the valley edge through a gate and descend into some woods.

When you reach a fork near the bottom you can turn left back into the Valley of Rocks or keep right and continue towards Lynton.

The right fork path comes out at Lydiate Lane and you can walk left down the road to the first left junction Crossmead.

Turn left and walk to the T junction with Longmead opposite the convent. Walk approximately 150 yards back to Longmead.

If you take the left fork in the woods to the Valley of Rocks you will come out opposite the car park and cricket ground. Turn right back along the road and walk back to Longmead approximately 1/2 mile.

3/4South West Coast Path to Hunters Inn via Lee Bayand or Woody Bay

South West Coast Path to Hunters Inn 6 miles ( one way)circuit Longer walk 12 miles return

Both walks start the same and you can stop at either Lee Bay/ Woody Bay for the shorter walk or continue along to Hunters Inn.

Follow the South West Coast path through the Valley of Rocks towards Lee Abbey. Pass by Lee Abbey complex and continue down the hill .At the bottom of the hill you can divert off to the right, at the Lee Abbey Tea rooms, and walk down to Lee Beach. It’s a lovely, secluded beach with an original lime kiln. Walk back up the road to the junction and either return back to Lynton for the short walk. Or for a longer one turn right towards Woody Bay.

Continue following the well marked path and sign posts to Woody Bay and Hunters Inn alonga lovely woody walk as it leaves the road through Woody Bay.

The path begins to climb the cliff on the other side of Woody Bay towards Heddon Valley. This section is narrow and not for the feint hearted (if you don’t like heights be warned).

When the path reaches the top of Heddon’s Mouth it begins to descend towards the floor of the valley and Hunters Inn is a short walk and you can enjoy a rest and some refreshments.

For the return journey take the bridleway on the right side of Hunters Inn.

Then take the right fork at the finger post sign posted Bridleway to Woody Bay. This wide well marked path slowly climbs up out of the valley this is the old carriage way from Woody Bay to Hunters Inn which makes it easier walking and gives stunning views from above.

When you reach Woody Bay you can pick up the South West Coast Path again and follow the signs to the Valley of Rocks and Lynton passing back through the Valley and return to Longmead.

4 Lynmouth and Watersmeet

Explore and discover the magical Watersmeet Gorge and valley. This walk starts from the end of Tors Road in Lynmouth.

You can walk down the south west coast zig zag path from North Walk down to Lynmouth and follow the East Lyn river across the main road with Lyndale Bridge on the left.

Cross the road, walk through the Lyndale Car Park with the river on your left.

Walk past the white footbridge on your left. On the right are some high walled cottages which housed employees of the former Hydro Electric Power station at the top of Lyn Gorge.

Continue and cross the river at the Woodside bridge, turn right sign posted Watersmeet and follow the river upstream.

At the signposted fork you can take either the Riverside or Woodlands walk towards Watersmeet. The easier route is the Riverside path which follows the river and undulates through the valley.

Cross Blackpool bridge and continue along the path towards Lynrock the site of the Mineral Water bottling plant opened in 1911 but unfortunately the remains were destroyed by the 1952 flood. Try and spot the plaque and bottle embedded in the rock wall. 

Keep walking with the river on your left past Myrtleberry House to the large stone faced Chiselcombe Bridge. Pass the bridge and keep on the same side of the river until you see Watersmeet(a Victorian hunting and fishing lodge now a National trust Property) opposite.

Cross the two bridges (over the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water) to reach Watersmeet tea rooms. You can stop for refreshements here and keep an eye out for the birds which love to swoop in for crumbs. Return to Lynmouth via the same route or take the alternate Woodland route and follow the path higher up the valley and head towards Lynmouth with the river below you.

5Hollerday Hill and the Iron Age fort.

This Spectacular hill rises some 800ft out of Lynmouth Bay and provides some of the most beautiful views from the top across 360 degree panorama (weather permitting). Near the summit you can seethe flat remains of an ancient Iron age fort where our ancestors lived nearly 2000 years ago. You can rest a while and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding area. 

This walk starts from across the road from Longmead near the Old Cemetery. Turn left towards the Valley of Rocks and walk approximately 10 yards and turn right through the gate and follow the path signposted Snowball.

Take this path as it slowly ascends parallel to the road.  Ignore any side paths and continue along it until it reaches a wide track 4 way crossing. You can choose a path to follow they are all well signposted. Go straight across to the remains of the site of former Hollerday Hill House of George Newnes with its spectacular views of Lynmouth below.

Follow the track towards the Iron Age fort which will take you up through the former site of the tennis courts and continue to wind up the gentle slopes through a gate to the site ofthe Iron age Fort near the top. 

Leave the Iron Age fort site on the opposite side to where you entered.Turn right up to the summit and sit and rest a while to enjoy the stunning views and get your breath back.

Come back and at the gate continue down the track descending towards Snowball following a wider track. When you reach a T junction you have options for either a shorter walk back to Longmead via Snowball or youcan turn right towards the Valley of Rocks.

If you turn right towards the Valley of rocks then walk along the track and enter another gate on a path high above the Valley of Rocks below  continue walking until just before it turns sharp right high above the cliff edge. On a clear day you will get another fantastic view across the Bristol Channel and over to South Cleave and Lee Bay.

Take the track forked off to the left and  start to descend back down to the valley floor. This track is steep and uneven and take care as it zig zags steeply down the valley with a great view ahead of the cricket ground, Mother Meldrum’s tea shop and of course you can see the various rock formations: Castle rock, The White Lady, the Cheesewring and Mother Meldrum’s Caves across the Valley. 

At the bottom of this path turn left back out of the Valley of Rocks back towards Lynton. After a short walk ¼ mile you will come back to Lomgmead House on the right.

All of these walks have such fantastic views and I am sure like us you will take many photos along the way.  We try to upload ours from time to time on the website, blog and in our newsletters.  Everyone has a favourite walk be it local or somewhere special for them. We hope that when you come to stay , share your photos with us of your favourite walks whilst you are here and those you would recommend to others.