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Immerse Yourself in Natural Beauty at Watersmeet in Devon

For an enchanting day out immersed in unspoilt woodland, visit magical Watersmeet in Devon. Part of the expansive National Trust East Lyn Valley estate near Exmoor, Watersmeet offers families a perfect blend of natural wonders, rock pools, history and outdoor adventure.

This secluded beauty spot feels like a fairytale kingdom just waiting to be discovered. Here’s everything you need to know for an unforgettable family day out at Watersmeet.


Getting There

Watersmeet is nestled in the East Lyn Valley, around 3 miles north-west of the village of Lynmouth in Devon. It sits off the A39, encircled by peaceful woodland.

By car, it has a dedicated pay-and-display car park making it very accessible. Follow signs from the A39 through Lynton and take the steep, winding one mile road down to Watersmeet’s valley floor location.

By Bus

Various coaches from Barnstaple, Minehead and Ilfracombe come to Lynmouth. Then you walk through National Trust gorge for about 1.5 miles.

Opening Times and Entry Fees

As a natural trail, Watersmeet is open to exploring daily throughout the year from dawn until dusk. There is no charge for walking through the bearuiful scenery.

Parking prices are £3-4 for up to 4 hours or £6-8 all day.

National Trust members park for free.

The cafe operates winter opening times, when is only open at weekends. Check the website for details if you are visting in November to March.

tearoom at watersmeet

Top Things to See and Do

The main Watersmeet attractions your family can immerse yourselves in include:

  • The Waterfalls – two stunning waterfalls cascade through the valley, including the majestic 50ft East Lyn River waterfall.
  • Tree Root Bridges – gnarled old tree roots creatively span the river, acting as natural woodland crossing points.
  • The Trails – choose from four waymarked scenic walking trails of varying lengths exploring the reserve.
  • The Rock Pools – paddle in the shallow crystal-clear rock pools perfect for nature spotting. Nets and buckets provided for pond-dipping fun.
  • The Tea Gardens – relax on the expansive lawns outside the quaint Watersmeet Tea Garden, or head inside for refreshments.
watersmeet bridge

Nature Discovery

Watersmeet’s unspoilt woodland ecosystem offers many opportunities for kids to engage with nature and make new discoveries:

  • Join free guided tours to spot local wildlife like kingfishers, deer and otters. Ask wardens questions.
  • Borrow trail backpacks from the Discovery Hub containing trackers and binoculars for exploring.
  • Pick up spotter sheets and have fun crossing off nature finds like flowers and insects.
  • Follow the Tree Trail and let kids’ imaginations run wild in the mystical Ancient Oak Wood.
  • Collect natural treasures like colourful leaves, pinecones and feathers to create woodland crafts.

Refuel and Relax

After an active morning exploring Watersmeet’s trails, head for a well-deserved lunch break.

The popular on-site Watersmeet Tea Garden serves light lunches, cream teas with scones, and desserts in charming vintage surroundings overlooking the waterfall. With outdoor and indoor seating available, it’s the perfect refuel stop.

Alternatively, find a scenic spot for a picnic along Watersmeet’s riverside trails. Or walk 1.5 miles uphill to the National Trust’s tearoom at Hunter’s Inn for superb valley views and meals.

With its serene woodland, bubbling brooks and enchanting trails, Watersmeet’s natural magic makes for an unforgettable family day. Discover this treasured Exmoor beauty spot for outdoor adventures and fairy tale charm.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Watersmeet? – Yes, they are welcome to explore the scenery too and to swim, but we aware of your own dog’s ability in the water. They are welcome in the cafe too, but should be on a lead

Is Watersmeet acceddible for wheelchairs? – The area is partially accessible. The paths to the cafe are well maintained and accessible. Some of the natrual paths around the woods are steep and have tree roots exposed.

Why is it called Watersmeet? – It is where the East Lyn River meets with Hoar Oak Water

Other things to do nearby

There are many other attractions in the North Devon area, including:

  • Valley of the Rocks – Dramatic natural rock formations on the coast near Lynton forming a scenic valley inhabited by wild goats. Striking coastal cliffs and scenery.
  • Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway – Amazing water-powered railway climbing 500 feet from Lynmouth up to Lynton on steep gradients. Incredible views.
  • Coombe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park – Family attraction with life-size animated dinosaurs, wildlife exhibits, indoor and outdoor play areas.
  • Arlington Court – Elegant Regency mansion once home to the Chichester family, set in acres of parkland near Exmoor.
  • Lee Bay – Tranquil picturesque cove perfect for swimming and rockpooling. Nearby cliffside tearoom.
  • Heddon Valley – Dramatic wooded river valley with walking trails leading to the coast at Heddon’s Mouth. More idyllic scenery.
  • Lynton and Lynmouth – Picturesque Victorian twin coastal towns connected by the famous cliffside railway.

You can find out more about other waterfalls in Devon here.

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