Landscape Photo
Photographer: Brian Horisk/AdventureArt, Fife, Scotland

Route Filmstrip & Description

A tramper friendly route from the village of Simonsbath in the heart of Exmoor to the site of a Victorian mine close to the River Barle.

Surveyed by: Exmoor National Park Authority Volunteer, December 2015 (Winter)
Accessibility Rating: 3More Information
Distance: 4.0 km

Public Transport: No
Car Park: Ashcombe car park is a short distance from B3223 in the village of Simonsbath. It is signposted from the main road but has a 2.5m width restriction near the entry.
Steps: No
Barriers: No
Toilets: Public toilets adjacent to the car park.

Full Profile

The car park is 100m to the north of the B3223, between the church and the Exmoor Forest Inn.

CarPark The car park is 100m to the north of the B3223, between the church and the Exmoor Forest Inn.

The trail starts by heading back towards the B3223.  There are toilets in the buildings on the right near the exit to the car park.

Start The trail starts by heading back towards the B3223. There are toilets in the buildings on the right near the exit to the car park.

Path

At the T junction on the B3223, the trail turns right.

Path At the T junction on the B3223, the trail turns right.

 

Information

The B3223 has a 'pavement' on the right (going downhill (10%)).  There are three sections; each has a  10cm roadside kerb but with care it is accessible by fairly level but quite narrow (70 - 90cm) areas at its ends where the kerb height is 5cm or less.

Path The B3223 has a 'pavement' on the right (going downhill (10%)). There are three sections; each has a 10cm roadside kerb but with care it is accessible by fairly level but quite narrow (70 - 90cm) areas at its ends where the kerb height is 5cm or less.

Path

After passing the Exmoor Forest Inn, the path reaches Pound Cottage (100m down the hill) opposite which there is access to two footpaths.

Path After passing the Exmoor Forest Inn, the path reaches Pound Cottage (100m down the hill) opposite which there is access to two footpaths.

The road crossing has limited visibility but is not often busy.  The route takes the left hand fork along a bridleway signposted to Cow Castle with a short but steep (23%) initial section.  This is the steepest prolonged gradient on the trail.

Path The road crossing has limited visibility but is not often busy. The route takes the left hand fork along a bridleway signposted to Cow Castle with a short but steep (23%) initial section. This is the steepest prolonged gradient on the trail.

The bridleway is 2m wide and soon levels out as it goes through Birch Cleave.  This is one of the first woods on Exmoor and was planted in Victorian times by John Knight.

Feature of Interest The bridleway is 2m wide and soon levels out as it goes through Birch Cleave. This is one of the first woods on Exmoor and was planted in Victorian times by John Knight.

After 350m of woodland, there is a gate (1m 50 width).

Gate After 350m of woodland, there is a gate (1m 50 width).

Once through the gate, the path drops (21%) for 20m and joins another trail.  The route turns left along this slightly narrower path (1m 50).

Path Once through the gate, the path drops (21%) for 20m and joins another trail. The route turns left along this slightly narrower path (1m 50).

The ground to the left rises steeply.  The river Barle is now visible about 150m to the right.

Path The ground to the left rises steeply. The river Barle is now visible about 150m to the right.

From here to Wheal Eliza the path undulates but the gradient never exceeds 20%.

Path From here to Wheal Eliza the path undulates but the gradient never exceeds 20%.

Path

A second gate (1m 50) is encountered after another 500m.  This is followed almost immediately by a stream crossing. The stream bed is firm and is of (small) stones; the banks slope gently on both sides.

Gate A second gate (1m 50) is encountered after another 500m. This is followed almost immediately by a stream crossing. The stream bed is firm and is of (small) stones; the banks slope gently on both sides.

Just beyond the stream, the path is quite muddy for 5m but the mud does not extend across the whole path, leaving a couple of drier stretches (60 and 90 cm wide).

Path Just beyond the stream, the path is quite muddy for 5m but the mud does not extend across the whole path, leaving a couple of drier stretches (60 and 90 cm wide).

At this point the river Barle is quite close and about 10m below the path.

Path At this point the river Barle is quite close and about 10m below the path.

The next 500m of the path can be seen ahead; there are a number of cross drains.

Path The next 500m of the path can be seen ahead; there are a number of cross drains.

Most of the cross drains are gently sloping U-shaped dips in the surface but there is a 25cm wide stone channel to negotiate.  The walls are vertical with a maximum height of 8cm but are less than this for much of the width.

Surface Most of the cross drains are gently sloping U-shaped dips in the surface but there is a 25cm wide stone channel to negotiate. The walls are vertical with a maximum height of 8cm but are less than this for much of the width.

The path leaves the river and climbs (19%) as it approaches Flexbarrow.

Path The path leaves the river and climbs (19%) as it approaches Flexbarrow.

Path

The ground soon becomes level again but there is a cross gradient (max 14%) in this section both before and after a wide (2.70m) gate.

Gate The ground soon becomes level again but there is a cross gradient (max 14%) in this section both before and after a wide (2.70m) gate.

Having passed through the gate, the trail heads down the hill (18%) with the river coming into view again on the right.

Path Having passed through the gate, the trail heads down the hill (18%) with the river coming into view again on the right.

The gradient levels out and as the surface changes, Wheal Eliza come into view.

Path The gradient levels out and as the surface changes, Wheal Eliza come into view.

 

Path

The ruins are the remains of a mine where attempts to find copper and iron were made in Victorian times.

Feature of Interest The ruins are the remains of a mine where attempts to find copper and iron were made in Victorian times.

Having explored the mine and its surroundings, the return to Simonsbath simply retraces the outward path.

Path Having explored the mine and its surroundings, the return to Simonsbath simply retraces the outward path.

Path

Path

Path

Path

Path

Path

Path

Path

Path

At the approach to Birch Cleave woods, the path forks.  The right fork follows the outward route but an alternative via the left fork is possible.

Path At the approach to Birch Cleave woods, the path forks. The right fork follows the outward route but an alternative via the left fork is possible.

Most of the path is wide with a fairly good surface.  An initial drop soon levels out.

Path Most of the path is wide with a fairly good surface. An initial drop soon levels out.

There are a couple of very wet areas and care is necessary to avoid water which can overtop a walking boot.

Path There are a couple of very wet areas and care is necessary to avoid water which can overtop a walking boot.

Path

After 300m, a building, one of the earliest in the village, is approached.

Path After 300m, a building, one of the earliest in the village, is approached.

Close to the building, the path surface becomes solid stone for 20m.  At one point, a drainage gully has to be crossed (80cm wide, 15cm deep with short 40%slope).

Path Close to the building, the path surface becomes solid stone for 20m. At one point, a drainage gully has to be crossed (80cm wide, 15cm deep with short 40%slope).

The route goes through the 3m gate beside the building...

Gate The route goes through the 3m gate beside the building...

...and turns right along a wide track back to the B3223.  This is crossed and followed uphill past the Exmoor Forest Inn.

Path ...and turns right along a wide track back to the B3223. This is crossed and followed uphill past the Exmoor Forest Inn.

Path

Path

Path

Until the left turn to the car park is reached.  The final 100m are quickly covered .

Path Until the left turn to the car park is reached. The final 100m are quickly covered .

Wheal Eliza Phototrail

 

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Map Markers

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Accessibility Info Amenities Info Facilities Info Features Info Way Finding Info
Barrier
Clearance
Gate
Gradient
Obstacle
Seat
Step
Surface
Visibility
Width
Accessible toilets
Blue Badge parking bays
CarPark
Public Transport
Toilets
Bird Hide
Boating
Cafe
Fishing
Museum & Heritage
Shelter
Viewing Platform
Visitor Centre
Water  Sports Centre
Wildlife
Feature of Interest
Information
View
Direction
End
Path
Start

 

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Vertical Profile

This is an approximate vertical profile with samples taken at 100m intervals along the trail.

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