GUIDE TO BADGWORTHY WATER
(Hoccombe Water to Malmsmead)
NAME OF RIVER: Badgworthy Water.
WHERE IS IT?: Badgworthy Water is basically the headwaters of the better known East Lyn River. It runs through northern Exmoor (along the Somerset/ Devon border) north to join Oare Water and become the River East Lyn.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: It is possible to either carry up the valley from Malmsmead, or (easier, being downhill) to park at Brendon Two Gates on the B3223 (SS 765433) and walk down the Hoccombe Water valley. In conditions wet enough for this to be running, it should be possible to launch on the Hoccombe Water at some point and shorten the walk.
The trip can be ended at the bridge in Malmsmead village (SS 792477), but carrying on down the upper upper East Lyn is recommended.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours?
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: I have only paddled this in high-ish levels - about 1.5 on the riverside gauge at Malmsmead, about 2 on the Environment Agency East Lyn gauge. This level was plenty enough for a scrape-free paddle. Higher would be good, but low branches could be a problem.
GRADING: Grade 3 (4-).
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Low branches and sheep fences. One downed tree requiring a portage.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: An entertaining adventure!
Just after the Hoccombe Water confluence, the river passes under a footbridge. There are constant Grade 2 rapids at first, with occasional grade 3 interludes. The harder rapids increase in frequency as you pass down the valley, and there are several rapids which are perhaps at the easy end of Grade 4, above and below the campsite at Cloud Farm.
There are several (3?) sheep fences to portage or carefully pass under, somewhat surprisingly given that this not a small ditch. Trees encroach in places, most notably just above and below the campsite. When I paddled, there was always a clear route through, but be careful!
A fallen tree blocks the whole river near the end. requiring a portage on RR.
This is a gorgeous locale, known as the 'Lorna Doone Valley'.
OTHER NOTES: This is perhaps best considered as part of a source-to-sea-mini-expedition...
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley.