We would suggest that these notes are read in conjunction with
the Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 9 Exmoor 1:25000 map.
Notes: This walk follows the East water and Horner Water valleys. About ¾ of the walk is in woodland but one section fringes the open moor.
Distance: 3¾ miles or 2 miles.
Time: 1½-1¾ hours. (Shorter variant 1-1¼ hours).
Start point: Cloutsham Watersplash (GR 897430). Turn south off the A39 at Red Post which is about ½ mile on the Minehead side of Porlock, signposted for West Luccombe and Horner. Follow the road past Burrowhayes camp site and the cottages at Horner and about ¾ mile further on, at Chapel Cross, turn right uphill (signposted for Cloutsham and Dunkery Beacon). The road climbs steeply through a pleasant wooded section arriving at a fork at the brow of the hill. This is Webbers Post. Take the right fork and continue past the parking area and down the narrow winding road to the ford at Cloutsham Watersplash. Drive through the ford and park at the left hand side of the road.
Directions: Cross the road and join the track which follows the left bank of the stream. After about 100 yards, take the narrow path forking off on the left and beginning to climb out of the valley. After a short climb, you reach a crossing of tracks with a bench seat.
Turn right onto the level track running high above East Water which has good views of the tops of the valley and also of Webbers Post on the far side of the river. Follow this track; as it enters a stretch of woodland, it becomes a little rougher but then joins a wider track winding up from the valley below. Turn left up the hill and after 50 yards turn right onto a slightly narrower track running along the spine of the hill and dropping gently through the open woodland. After about 300 yards, the track steepens and becomes very deeply rutted. This section can be slippery after rain. Descend this track carefully until you reach a wider track running alongside East Water (A).
Turn left and follow this path along and over a wooden footbridge crossing Horner Water. Immediately on reaching the far side of the bridge turn right and follow the line of the stream. There is little or no path for about 50 yards until you come opposite the confluence of East Water and Horner Water where a narrow path follows the water's edge. Continue along this path until you rejoin the main bridleway after four or five minutes. After another 300 yards, you reach a wooden footbridge.
Cross over and turn left to follow the path along the opposite bank of the river passing a large pool after 200 yards. Further on, the track begins to move away from the river and there are fields in between it and the river. Go through a gate in a high deer fence and walk along behind Horner Mill, noticing the old mill wheel. At the end of the fence, turn left out to the main road and left again into the hamlet of Horner. On the right is a tearoom which offers an excellent cup of tea and home-made cakes.
Continue along the road as far as the bend and turn left onto a wide track which, after 100 yards, crosses a substantial stone bridge and goes through a gate. Continue along the riverside path. The first bridge you reach is the one you crossed on your outward journey. Continue on for about 300 yards when you can either elect to stay with the main track or fork left through the trees to follow the riverside path which takes you past the river junction to the footbridge. If staying on the main track. watch for the turn off to the footbridge.
Cross the footbridge and walk past where you descended from the top path but remain at river level (B). From here the route is back along the valley of East Water, crossing six small wooden bridges, one very soon after passing this point. The next is after about 400 yards and the remaining four relatively close together. After the last bridge, you rejoin the right bank relative to your walk and it is just three or four minutes walk back to where you parked.
Shorter Variation: Points (A) and (B) are actually the same spot. When you come down the hill on the outward part of the walk and reach this point, turn right and pick up the notes from (B).