Cat Clark: There are many beautiful swimming spots along the East Lyn - but Long Pool is a family favourite of ours. Either use it to cool off after walking upstream along the footpath, or, if you intend to head downstream to the Watersmeet tea rooms afterwards, as an excuse for a big slice of National Trust cake!
It's fairly deep, and as the name suggests, long - with a beautiful waterfall at one end. You'll see it signed from the path. From the sign, carry on down the hill, cross the footbridge and walk back upstream.
There's a few low ledges you can safely (look before you leap!) jump in from. If you're not feeling up to that challenge, a more leisurely slither from the rocks that edge the pool is also possible :)
All in all - a beautiful spot for a dip. Dense woodland means it feels very secluded considering it's not far from the footpath.
Shockingly cold water! The East Lyn can also flow very fast at times, as it channels a huge amount of water off Exmoor. Also lots of overhanging trees, so check for submerged branches etc (although I've never had a problem with these.)
Andrew Wilsdon: The whole river is beautiful and varied with several good swimming spots; well worth exploring to try to find your own favourite pool.
Long Pool is on the East Lyn River, which is the left hand fork if you are facing upstream from Watersmeet. To get there you can either take the narrow footpath on the left bank, which follows the river closely until you get to Ash bridge, at which point you must cross over, or you can take the wider track starting up the right hand side and rising into the woods, forking left (straight on) and downhill to Ash Bridge. From here, follow the river upstream on the right bank until you get to an obvious long pool with a good entry point beside a bench.
Alternatively, from Rockford, you can either cross the river and follow it downstream on the right hand bank, passing several good pools early on, until you get to Ash bridge, where you can cross over and walk back up to the entrance point. Or, follow the road steeply uphill out of Rockford, take the signed track on the right and soon take the right hand path downhill until you reach the bench beside Long Pool.
All these options can be combined into an excellent figure of eight walk, passing several different swimming spots. As the river valley runs south to north at Long Pool you are most likely to catch the sun there around midday.