Monday, 27 May 2013

Watersmeet for a cream tea

Two weekends ago Sus and I  had our annual girls weekend away with our wonderful friends Gemma and Toria. We travelled a GREAT distance (approx. 20 metres) and stayed in one of our apartments at Pickwell for the weekend. It felt like we were properly on holiday and we got to actually enjoy the experience of being a guest. All of us love walking and like to do a long walk each time we meet up. Although we have lived here for almost five years we have never walked to Watersmeet, despite soooo many recommendations, so the time had come!
Watersmeet is where the two rivers of the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water meet together just above the picturesque village of Lynmouth on Exmoor. I am not sure which one of the two rivers this is but it certainly makes a dramatic backdrop.

I made a bit of a mistake with the walk route and for some reason we found ourselves accidentally  parking at 'The Valley of the Rocks' (spectacular though!!). My poor navigation skills had lead me to believe they were close (but they are actually on completely opposite sides of Lynton). Undeterred we set off along the coastal path determined to get to Watersmeet, whatever the distance!

The path takes you out along the dramatic coastal path to Lynton with the most incredible view.

I have to say my fear of heights did slightly get the better of me, I had to work really hard not to ask to hold onto one of the girls. I am sure this is getting worse as I get older!?!.

The path then takes you through a magical wood as you drop down into the back of Lynton. Both Lynton and Lynmouth are well worth a potter round, but we had a goal to reach........ the promise of a cream tea!

So we hopped onto the Cliff Railway which takes you from the village of Lynton down the 862 ft cliff to Lynmouth nestled at the bottom by the sea. Opened in 1888 the cliff railway is an incredible and beautiful feet of engineering.

Every time I go on it I always get that childlike sense of excitement!
A little picnic on Lynmouth harbour, Gemma was obviously telling an intriguing story by the look on Susie's face.

Our sights were on the prize, we set off across Lynmouth towards the valley that leads to Watersmeet.

Lynmouth had a terrible freak flood in 1952, where the river swept away the houses up stream and on the left of the river bank. Thirty four people sadly lost their lives and there is a memorial to them just by this bridge.

The footpath up to Watersmeet follows the river up stream through the most wonderful Gorge.

So beautiful!!

Gemma and I had to keep stopping to take photos.

"A sheep loose in the lane!!" We were a bit scared she might butt us on the way past, she had a bit of a menacing look!

This walk is truly enchanting.

What more can I say?!? I am planning a return visit with the children and Rich for some wild swimming when the weather warms up. There were some gorgeous little beaches on the edge of the river, just right for playing.

Then if the beautiful walk was not enough, there is a National Trust tea room at Watersmeet itself, yipee!!

This beautiful waterfall is next to the tea room, how amazing!

Here we are decked out in 'country casual'...Gemma might apreciate me mentioning at this point that she had to borrow my wellies (complete with lurid wellie socks!)

Yum! It gave us just the right amount of fuel for the walk back to the car.

Three beautiful girls on the cliff railway on our return journey.

Just time for a quick girls weekend away photo, thank you girls for another great and memorable time!