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The bridge over Badgworthy Water at Malm
A walk in Lorna Doone country
There is a part of Exmoor which will forever be known as Lorna Doone Country. At the heart of it is 'Doone Valley' also known as Badgworthy Valley. It's a magical, mystical place and it makes for a lovely walk.
The heart of Loona Doone country is tiny Malmsmead, which lies deep in the valley below County Gate, on Exmoor.
In the village itself is Lorna Doone Farm, and nearby Oare House and Oare Church, where R D Blackmore's grandfather was once rector.
This picturesque walk passes the Blackmore Memorial and follows Badgworthy Water to a ruin known as Lorna's Cott, climbing across open moorland towards Brendon Common and returning over Malmsmead Hill.
The river meanders its way through gently rounded hills, where rhododendron bushes grow in abundance.
From Brendon Common there are spectacular views across the moor towards the Bristol Channel and Wales.
From the car park, walk back to Malmsmead and straight up the hill ahead to access a public bridlepath through a field gate on the left, where a sign reads 'Doone Valley 2 miles'.
The RD Blackmore memorial stone
You cross fields to the right of Badgworthy Water, dropping down to the river at Cloud Farm.
Keeping the river on your left, you shortly reach the memorial stone to Richard Doddridge Blackmore, who wrote the novel Lorna Doone. The stone was placed here in 1969 by the Lorna Doone Centenary Committee.
Enter a gate into Badgworthy Wood and, half a mile beyond, cross the pretty footbridge over Lank Combe Water.
Continue on until you reach a footpath sign 'Brendon Common 2.5 miles', where you turn right rising on to open moorland. This is Hoccombe Combe, the site of an ancient settlement, of which little can now be seen.
The woods are full of oddly shaped trees
Follow the track uphill, after one mile passing through a gate in a wall, and across more open moorland.
Continue straight ahead above Lank Combe on the right, then drop down on the obvious path to Lank Combe Ford, cross the stream, and head up the farthest right of the tracks, to reach the ridge.
At the signpost 'Malmsmead 2', turn right, heading northeast, then after three-quarters of a mile head north to join a wider track coming from the left.
This takes you back to the Malmsmead Road, where you turn right down the hill back into the village.
last updated: 11/02/2008 at 17:10