Walk - Mill Wood

6.8 miles (10.9 km)

Barna Barrow Car Park - EX35 6NE Barna Barrow car park

Challenging - Tracks, lanes, footpaths, bridleways, quiet roads, ascent and descent

A breathtaking walk that gives spectacular views out over Lynmouth and the Bristol Channel from open heathland, with ancient hanging oak woods along the coast, historic farms, mills and meadows, and a delightful river walk through pretty woodland, with a 17th century riverside inn as an optional extra.

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Exmoor Bunk House

Surrounded by dramatic valleys, rugged moorland and an impressive rocky coastline, the 18-bed Exmoor Bunkhouse is the ideal holiday destination for intrepid explorers of all ages.

Cloud Farm Campsite

Stunning Views. 10 electric hook ups. Onsite shop, washing up area, toilets and showers on site

Berry Lawn Linhay Bothy

Sleeps 4. The former farm building offers a simple, basic walkers’ overnight shelter.

Orchard House Hotel

Friendly, homely atmosphere. Full English breakfast, licensed bar, kit drying, luggage transfers,single occupancy reductions,walking parties welcome as well as pets & children

Lynmouth Holiday Retreats

Set in a truly picturesque part of the country; the Exmoor National Park has stunning views from almost every pitch on the park you can admire the view

Bath Hotel

The Bath Hotel is a family run hotel overlooking the harbour in the picturesque village of Lynmouth, where Exmoor meets the sea.

Sinai House

4 Star accommodation with incredible sea views, offering peace and tranquillity. "Where Exmoor meets the Sea". Ideally located for the South West Coast Path.

St Vincent Guest House

Beautiful grade II Georgian B&B in the heart of Lynton, minutes from the coastal path. Packed lunch by arrangement & all diets catered for.

The Crown Hotel

A warm welcome awaits at the Crown Hotel, originally a coaching inn. Located in the heart of Lynton, a quiet base to explore N.Devon's rugged coastline. One night stays and dogs welcome.

South View Guest House

Adjacent to the SW Coast Path, South View House is ideally located close to pubs, restaurants and shops. Packed lunches and afternoon cream teas provided on request.

North Walk House

Right on the SW Coast Path. Adults only, no dogs. Lounge, bar, terrace with amazing coastal views, free wi-fi and some parking

The Denes Guest House

The Denes offer locally sourced food and comfortable en-suite bedrooms, facilities to dry outdoor gear and a selection of maps. Books, DVDs and board games for relaxation.

Ash Farm B&B

We are a working farm just off the Coast Path. We can pick up from Porlock Weir if required. Packed lunch on request.

You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

North Coast Café

Discover the North Coast Cafe in Lynton for bagels and sandwiches, hot savouries, homemade treats and exceptional coffee.

The North Cliff Hotel

Right on the SW Coast Path. Families & groups welcome,dog friendly,free wi-fi,drying room,bike storage,lounge,bar,terrace with amazing sea views, parking,2xEV chargers
What is on your list of things to do when you visit the Path? From walking companies, to help you tailor your visit, with itineraries and experts to enhance your visit, to baggage transfer companies and visitor attractions there are lots to people and places to help you decide what you'd like to do. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Exmoor National Park Visitor Centre, Lynmouth

Discover walking routes and information on places to visit in the Exmoor area

Lynton & Lynmouth Tourist Information Centre

Information on where to stay, local food and drink, festivals and events and things to do in these picturesque twin villages on the edge of Exmoor.

Interactive Elevation

Route Description

  1. From the Barna Barrow car park, take the path running northwards around the side of the hill at Barna Barrow.

The small building at the top of the hill to your left is a former maritime lookout post, designed to keep a watch over shipping in the Bristol Channel. 

  1. Take the second track on the left, about 200 yards from the car park.
  2. Ignoring the footpath crossing yours shortly afterwards, turn right onto the track a little way beyond and then left again almost immediately. Follow the track as it heads around the edge of the wooded area, forking left at the T-junction to travel downhill towards the coast.
  3. Turn right onto the Coast Path and follow it for about a mile, through three combes (see the Culbone Wood walk), to a footpath which climbs steeply uphill to the right.
  4. Follow this path uphill for about 200 yards, till another footpath joins it from above.
  5. Turn right onto this footpath and carry on uphill, picking up the track at Desolate and following it uphill to the gate at the top.

There are traces of field boundaries here and elsewhere on Countisbury Hill, showing its use as an agricultural area from prehistory onwards, with remains of earlier settlements from when the population of Countisbury was rather larger than it is now (see the Barna Barrow walk).

  1. Turn left and follow the footpath for about half a mile, with the field boundaries on your left, until you reach the A39.
  2. Turn left, and follow the road eastwards a little way, to the road to Brendon and Leeford.
  3. Turn right onto this road, and travel downhill on it towards Leeford.
  4. The second of the footpaths to your left at the sharp bend halfway down will lead you through fields and back onto the lane at Hall Farm if you want a detour off the tarmac. At the bottom of the hill, don't take the left turn to Leeford, but carry on to Brendon.

About a hundred yards to the east of you as you pass Leeford there is an extensive water meadow, known as a catchwork or a catch-meadow system, this being a series of interconnected ditches to provide irrigation. 

Some 30 yards to the west of the bridge crossing the East Lyn at Leeford is a seventeenth or eighteenth-century packhorse bridge, which formerly linked Brendon Mill with the north bank of the river.

  1. Turn left, onto the footpath that runs alongside the river, past Countisbury Mill, and follow it through the woods for about a mile, to the footbridge at Rockford.

An Ordnance Survey map of 1889 shows Countisbury Mill in use as a corn mill. A disused leat is still visible, leading from a sluice and a weir on the East Lyn river, but the machinery and the waterwheel are long gone. 

The footbridge at Rockford leads to the seventeenth century Rockford Inn, for those in need of sustenance or simply wishing to spend time admiring its stunning location in the woods beside the river. 

It is all very tranquil along the East Lyn, but appearances can be deceptive. Unusually heavy and prolonged rainstorms up on Exmoor in August 1952 gave rise to sudden and dramatic flooding down through these valleys, with tragic consequences for Lynmouth, where 34 people lost their lives (see the Two Cleaves walk).

  1. Beside the footbridge leading to Rockford, there is a footpath climbing steeply through the woods, signposted to Countisbury. Take this path and carry on up to the top of the woods, about 200 yards, until you come to a footpath off to the right, to Wilsham Farm.
  2. Turn right onto this footpath, and follow it uphill and then left, to reach Wilsham a little while later.

The oldest parts of Wilsham Farm date back to the early seventeenth century, although it was added to in the eighteenth century, remodelled in the nineteenth, and finally divided in the late twentieth century. The dairy is thought to have been added to the west end of the front range during the nineteenth-century remodelling, so producing the asymmetrical front.

  1. Take the bridleway signed between the buildings in Wilsham.
  2. Ignoring the footpath to the left, and the other small paths later on that lead away on both sides, and follow the bridleway uphill and back to the A39. Turn right onto the road, to the car park just a few yards beyond.

Public transport

Quantock Motor Services Route 300 travels a few times a day between Lynmouth and Minehead via Porlock, and stops at the Blue Bull Inn (formerly the Sandpiper Inn), about a quarter of a mile to the west of the start and linked to it by a footpath running beside Countisbury church and then turning right. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Barna Barrow car park


Walk Finder


Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location


Length (miles)



Find somewhere to Eat & Drink, Sleep or Do


Postcode, placename or click the icon to use current location

Click/hold and drag the map to set the centre point of your search location under the red crosshair

from this location

Interactive Map


Latest news