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You are here: Walk Routes County Gate

A Scenic Walk From County Gate

Grade: S
Distance: 17Km (10½miles)
Height Climbed: 853metres (2,797 feet)
Map: Explorer OL9
Stiles: 0
Summary: A great fine weather route for experienced walkers with a mix of scenic views including sections of the South West Coast Path and The Coleridge Way. The pleasant wooded East Lynn River Valley comes complete with the Watersmeet tea room and the walker friendly Blue Ball Inn at Countisbury makes for a convenient lunch stop.
Terrain: Generally good paths but with a few areas where care is needed with your footing and map reading skills may be required on less well defined sections.
Start : County Gate car park and picnic site on the main A39 Minehead-Lynmouth coast road    NGR: SS 7932 4861    Nearest Postcode EX35 6BL - Ashton Farm about 1km (0.6 miles) west (towards Lynmouth).
Access by car : From the M5 junction 23 take the third exit for the A39 west towards Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Wells. Then at the next roundabout take the first exit onto the A38 and keep ahead for just over 2 miles before turning right back onto the A39 signed for Minehead. Now keep on the A39 west for about 61Km (41 miles) to turn left into the County Gate car park on a right hand bend. Check your mileage as the car park signage is easy to miss.
Access by public transport : None


1   Grid ref : SS 7937 4862
Take this bridleway on the other side of the main road opposite the car park entrance.

2   Grid ref : SS 7951 4857
After a few metres bear left here to follow the coast path sign.

3   Grid ref : SS 7996 4921
At this "T" junction bear left towards Sisters Fountain and Lynmouth. You have now joined the South West Coast Path, our longest National Trail stretching around England's south west coastline for 1,014 km (630 miles) from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset.

4   Grid ref : SS 7928 4915
You now keep to the coast path, bearing right at the second junction - a set of steps opposite this coast path sign that can be easily missed. this takes you past Sisters Fountain..

Sisters Fountain is a natural spring that had the stonework added in the nineteenth century reportedly as a memorial to the nieces of the first owner of the Glenthorne estate. It is regarded by some as a Holy Well on account of an old legend that a relative of Jesus struck the ground with his staff during a journey to Glastonbury and water started flowing out from the point the staff struck.

5   Grid ref : SS 7936 4935
... to this gravel track, which you follow right towards Lynmouth and past a cottage.

6   Grid ref : SS 7936 4961
When you reach this bend take the path on your left and keep ahead on the main coast path.

7   Grid ref : SS 7753 4985
When you reach this fork junction you leave the South West Coast Path as you bear left uphill towards Countisbury.

8   Grid ref : SS 7700 4978
Then bear left again by this signpost.

9   Grid ref : SS 7701 4973
When you reach this farm track, follow it right.

10   Grid ref : SS 7697 4966
Then go diagonally right the other side of this gate towards a second gate following the Countisbury signage and continue ahead through a further 2 gates.

11   Grid ref : SS 7598 4957
Go round the left hand side of a property and follow this metalled road a few paces to your right before turning left at the distant junction in the picture.

12   Grid ref :SS 7589 4963
At this junction keep straight ahead along the grass track following the "footpath" sign. Then continue ahead along the right hand boundary and straight across a metalled road.

13   Grid ref : SS 7564 4974
To bear left at this forked junction...

14   Grid ref : SS 7547 4979
...then right at this one. Its now straight ahead at the next three junctions before joining another track.

15   Grid ref : SS 7514 4979
Follow this track right, along the left hand boundary...

16   Grid ref : SS 7499 4983
...taking the left hand fork here and continuing to follow the left hand boundary passing to the left of a church and cottage.

17   Grid ref : SS 7476 4976
Here you pick up the metalled drive to your right in front of the caravan and cottage and follow it round.

18   Grid ref : SS 7474 4967
Then fork left along this earth track for a few metres...

19   Grid ref : SS 7475 4964
...before bearing left again along this main road to the next bend.
The walker friendly Blue Ball Inn to your right makes for a convenient refreshment stop

20   Grid ref : SS 7479 4961
Here you go right through the gate to keep ahead along the track, across the field and through the gap in the gorse.

21   Grid ref : SS 7474 4905
Bear diagonally right the other side of this gate...

22   Grid ref : SS 7471 4902
...then left a few metres further on as you join this path.

23   Grid ref : SS 7456 4863
After zigzagging down the hillside your route is left at this junction, with the East Lynn River on your right as you join The Coleridge Way - an 82Km (51 mile) trail from Nether Stowey in Somerset to Lynmouth in Devon; linking locations associated with the poet Samuel Coleridge. It has a quill pen as its waymark.

A short detour right takes you to Watersmeet tea room and gift shop. Watersmeet is one of the largest areas of ancient oak woodland in south west England designated as a SSSI because of its rare plant species. The main building was originally a fishing lodge.

24   Grid ref : SS 7631 4784
Your route continues along the left hand bank of the East Lynn River, taking the left hand fork at this junction, all the way to Brendon.

25   Grid ref : SS 7686 4830
Where you keep to the main track between the buildings to this road, which you follow right.

26   Grid ref : SS 7696 4831
As it bends right over the river you keep straight on towards Porlock.

27   Grid ref : SS 7709 4841
Just past a farm entrance, look out for and take this path on your right signed to County Gate and Malmsmead.

28   Grid ref : SS 7710 4842
Then go diagonally left across this open grass area at the top of the steps.

29   Grid ref : SS 7711 4850
To pick up a path and follow it round this "U" bend a few metres further on.

Take care with your footing on some sections of this path up to County Gate.

30   Grid ref : SS 7856 4846
As you make your way uphill, keep straight on at junctions and follow the path sign left at the end of this footbridge.

31   Grid ref : SS 7861 4848
Then bear right at this junction.

32   Grid ref : SS 7863 4850
Take the left hand fork here towards County Gate, you are now leaving the Coleridge Way. Continue ahead following the occasional County Gate signage...

33   Grid ref : SS 7882 4870
...going right here along the main path back to the County Gate car park.

last route check 05/05/2019
Copyright © 2017-2019 Alan Windebank, ©1999, ©2017 Walkingworld Ltd All Rights Reserved
Last route check 05/05/2019