Things to do in Lorna Doone Valley
Explore the Doone Valley in Exmoor, made famous by RD Blackmore in his novel Lorna Doone, which was set here. Readers of the novel will be familiar with some of the locations in the book and it’s also home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Visit Badgworthy Water
The well known 'Doone village' is strangely beautiful, set in a valley scattered with patches of scree. There are traces of stone walls thought to be from the 12th century. These were once the homes of a remote farming community living on the edge of Exmoor. Today these medieval houses and field terraces are some of the best preserved of this type in south-west England.
See Malmsmead Bridge
This picturesque bridge over the river dates from the 17th century and the ford is even older.
Spot wildlife in the Lorna Doone Valley
These elusive creatures live in the valley all year round, but you're most likely to spot one early in the morning or late in the evening.
If you want to improve your chances even more, come and visit during October and early November, when the deer are rutting. At this time you'll hear the bucks (males) calling up and down the valley to attract the females to their rutting stands.
Their browsing habits affect tree survival and growth and so alter the woodland ecosystem, which in turn affects thousands of other species.
Exmoor is a stronghold for some of Britain's rarest fritillary butterflies, including the high brown fritillary. From April look out for peacocks, red admirals and small tortoiseshells when you're walking through the valley.
These ponies are a common site on Exmoor. Foals are born in the spring and early summer and spend the summer running with their mothers, known as dams, and building up a store of fat to see them through the hard winter ahead.
With such a mix of habitats, the valley is home to many birds including the skylark, stonechat and willow warbler. Their song fills the Exmoor woods on a summer's day.
Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.
Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.
There's a network of woodland paths and trails to await you in Devon from riverside walks to gentle hill climbs with far-reaching views. Keep the family interested this winter with a visit to Devon.