Up on Exmoor, which lies a few miles inland from Lynton, is an area called Badgworthy Valley. Due to the efforts of the writer R D Blackmore however, it has become known as Doone Valley, being largely the setting for the novel Lorna Doone.
The countryside here has an extraordinary wild beauty and whether you want to do some serious walking or just linger around Malmsmead, the village at the heart of the area, you won’t fail to share in the enchantment that inspired Blackmore to write his book.
There is a memorial stone to Blackmore on one of the footpaths and if you’re going to indulge in a cream tea, then Lorna Doone Farm is the place to have it while admiring the view over the little river valley.
Take the turning to Oare from the A39 just east of County Gate. After one mile fork right at Oare and into Malmsmead.
From Lynmouth, if you have some decent walking shoes on, you can follow the river path along the deep, wooded valley up to Watersmeet. Here you will find wonderful scenery, pretty waterfalls and, after about a mile, a National Trust cafe and shop where everyone seems to converge.
From here, you can either rest and re-fuel before heading back, or continue along numerous paths that wind off further up through the forest. If it's a hot day, be sure to take a drink with you.
Take the river path that starts next to Lynmouth car park.
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