Walk - Two Cleaves

5.3 miles (8.5 km)

Lynmouth Seafront Car Park - EX35 6EN Lynmouth Seafront Car Park

Challenging - High Coast Path with a small degree of exposure, woodland paths, a lot of steep ascent and descent

A walk to blow the cobwebs away, passing through the ruined ramparts of an enormous hillfort high above Lynmouth Bay, also featuring a woodland walk beside a bubbling river rich in wildlife. The route takes in the last leg of the Two Moors Way, and includes sections of the Tarka Trail and the Samaritans Way South West as it travels through two breathtaking cleaves between soaring peaks with stunning vistas over the trees.

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.

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.

Cloud Farm Campsite

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

Exmoor Coast Holidays

Campsite on working Cider Farm, Shop, off Licence, Restaurant and Bar
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. Starting out on the seafront, pick up the South West Coast Path and follow it around to where it joins the A39 on Countisbury Hill, and then follow it beside the road as it starts to head towards the point.

A small wooden marker by the path marks the earthwork ramparts of an important Iron Age hillfort (see below). The more modern-looking remains were a World War I gun emplacement, and the concrete building nearby is thought to have been an ammunition store or shelter.

  1. Ignore the path leading downhill to your left at the halfway point, staying with the Coast Path until a path leads off to your right towards Countisbury.Turn onto this path and follow it past the church and down to the road, by the pub.
  2. Cross the road and pick up the path a few yards to the east on the opposite side. Stay with the path between fields until it goes into Horner's Neck Wood and drops downhill to the riverside path. (Ignore the smaller paths leading off to right and left on the way down). Turn right onto the riverside path and follow it around to Watersmeet.

Watersmeet was built as a fishing lodge in 1832 by the Reverend Halliday of Glenthorne (see the Glenthorne Walk). Halliday was a big fan of the Romantic poets (who were themselves big fans of the Exmoor coast – see the Porlock Woodland Walk), and he had part of a Wordsworth poem quoted over the door of his fishing lodge.

Rev Halliday was also a tree-lover, and the species he planted around his fishing lodge included exotic conifers (note the huge Monterey Pine on the lawn). With its lush gardens in such a dramatic setting, the fishing lodge was an ideal place for the Edwardian tea-room it subsequently became: an atmosphere which continues in its current role as a National Trust shop, tea-room and information point.

Watersmeet is one of the largest areas of ancient oak woodland in south west England, and is home to a rich diversity of wildlife, including otters, salmon, kingfishers, silver fritillary butterflies and numerous wildflowers (see the Lynton and Lynmouth Hike). It is also an important place for various types of whitebeam, for which the Exmoor coast is particularly known (see the Foreland Point Adventurous Walk).

  1. Cross the river, and turn right onto the path zigzagging steeply uphill to the road.

  2. Cross the road, and find the path opposite, again heading steeply uphill into woodland. After a while it takes a sharp left turn and pulls out into the open, through the remains of an Iron Age hillfort.

This is one of several Iron Age hillforts around the area, including one just across the river, on Trilly Ridge in Horners’ Neck Wood above Watersmeet. On Wind Hill, between here and the coast, are the remains of a particularly noteworthy Iron Age fort, (the one you passed through at the start of the walk), with massive ramparts and a history to match (see the Wester Wood walk).

  1. Ignoring the paths to left and right at the bottom of the hillside beyond, take the steps directly up it, turning right with it above Myrtleberry Cleave.

A cleave is a steep-sided valley whose name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word cleof meaning cliff.

  1. When the Two Moors Way/Tarka Trail path comes in from the left, turn right onto it and drop gently downhill with it and around the combe down below, and then climb with it, once more rising high above the East Lyn river.

Watersmeet is so named because the East Lyn and Hoar Oak Water both flow down from Exmoor, high above the valley, and meet down here in the woodland. Heavy rainfall on the moor in August 1952 gushed torrentially down these two rivers, when nine inches of rain fell in just 24 hours, and in the resulting floods, houses and bridges were swept away and 34 people lost their lives (see the Lynton and Lynmouth Hike).

  1. Ignore the path away to your left at the top, staying with the Two Moors Way/Tarka Trail towards Lynmouth.

The next path off to your left, and the next offshoot, to your left a short way beyond, is the Samaritans Way South West. The fact that there are three other long-distance walking paths besides the South West Coast Path along this route is a good indication that it is a special place to walk – one that is particularly appreciated by those people on the Two Moors Way, whose 102-mile journey from Ivybridge, on Dartmoor, comes to an end in Lynmouth.

  1. Ignore the path to the left, however, staying with your original path as it falls gently down through Lyn Cleave and into Lynmouth, past the hydroelectric power station in the gorge.
  2. Reaching the main road through Lynmouth, turn left and return to the seafront.

Public transport

You can reach Lynmouth by bus from many nearby towns and villages including, Minehead, Barnstaple, and Combe Martin. For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.


Lynmouth sea front car park. Post code for sat navs - EX35 6EN


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