A stunning country home surrounded by a 2,000-acre SSSI in North Devon, Watersmeet is all about dramatic river gorges, creaking ancient woodland, wind-battered coastline and winding paths that lead you through emerald depths and sprawling countryside. Owned by the National Trust, the house sits at the confluence of the East Lyn River and Hoar Oak Water and its surrounds are naturally a fantastic place for wildlife, home to countless incredible species. 

Whether you are visiting for the first time or returning for the fifteenth, Watersmeet is the kind of place you can come back to time after time and always see something new or try something different. Home to communities since at least the Iron Age when the thatched roundhouses of two fortified farmsteads (Myrtleberry North and South) provided shelter for people and their animals, Watersmeet is now an activity-filled playground rich in flora and fauna. 

To first introduce yourself to the area, you can choose from a variety of different walks that lead you through magnificent landscapes, as beautiful as they are diverse. Whether you are looking to ease yourself in with a gentle stroll or get stuck in with a heart-pumping hike, you can choose from the rugged Glenthorne Cliffs on the coast, the wooded canopies of the Lyn Valley or the tranquil waterside settings of the East Lyn River and more.

To help you on your way, the National Trust have come up with an excellent guide for walks in the area. If you are a fan of birdwatching, this is definitely a great opportunity to grab your binoculars and look out for the tell-tale signs of both resident and visiting species as you go. While inland you may be able to catch a glimpse of elusive woodland mammals, out on the coast at Foreland Point (Devon’s most northerly outcrop), you may well be rewarded with sightings of dolphins and whales at sea.

Of course, Watersmeet isn’t just about walking and there are many activities and adventure opportunities. A particularly fun way to navigate the heart of the valley is by canoeing, which is allowed during the winter from 1st October to 31st March. Before you set off, check the gauge under the bridge at Watersmeet House; if the water level is green it means there is enough water to paddle safely and you are good to go!

Once you’ve run your energy down and are ready to fill up with belly-warming fodder, head over to the tearooms at Watersmeet House. Famous for their home-baked cream teas, you can bite into fresh, buttery scones dolloped with clotted cream and local jam and wash it all down with hot tea, ready for your next adventure. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Devon here

Watersmeet, Watersmeet Road, Lynmouth, Devon EX35 6NT | 01598 753 348 

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