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Things to do in Lorna Doone Valley

Man on a mountain bike in the woods
Mountain biker in Badgworthy Woods | © Wildline Creative

Explore the Lorna Doone Valley in Exmoor, made famous by R.D. Blackmore in his novel Lorna Doone, which was set here. Readers of the novel will be familiar with the locations in the book and it’s also home to a wide variety of wildlife.


Lace up your walking boots and explore the landscape that inspired author R.D. Blackmoor to set his novel Lorna Doone in this picturesque landscape. Find the abandoned medieval village along Badgworthy Water the fictional home of the feared “Doones”. Discover Waterslide the waterfall where the hero John Ridd meets Lorna Doone for the first time. Explore the heather covered valleys of Exmoor, vast moorland landscapes and ancient woodland.


Enjoy cycling along the roads which snake through into the Lorna Doone Valley and Malmsmead taking in the views of the wild landscape of Exmoor. As well as road cycling there are several bridleways which crisscross the Lorna Doone Valley which can be used for cycling off road. A great way to see more of the wild landscape of Exmoor and its wildlife.

View over Malmsmead bridge to Lorna Doone Valley
Bridge across Badgworthy Water | © Mark Johnson

Discover thousands of years of history

The Lorna Doone Valley is home to a patchwork of history and archaeology covering thousands of years of Exmoor’s history. Find the prehistoric standing stones along Badgworthy Water or the stone cairn on Brendon Common.

Uncover the abandoned medieval village of Badgworthy one of the best-preserved examples in the country. Discover in the undergrowth outlines of the small homes once inhabited by this remote Exmoor community.

The historic 17th century packhorse bridge over Badgworthy Water can be seen from the garden of the Buttery tearoom. Enjoy the picturesque bridge and its surroundings with a coffee and cake from the Buttery Tea Room (not National Trust).

Exmoor ponies roaming on the moorland of Holnicote Estate, Somerset
Exmoor ponies roaming the moorland | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Exmoor Ponies

Exmoor ponies roam freely across Exmoor and can be seen in the Lorna Doone Valley throughout the year. These small ponies are semi-wild and perfectly adapted to live in the harsh conditions of Exmoor. As they are semi-wild it can be hard to predict where they will be. Lookout for them as you stroll across the moor. They are key to maintaining the landscape of the moor eating gorse and paving out walkways through the bracken.


Enjoy the sounds of bird song and the views from the Buttery Tea Room (not National Trust) garden. Take a seat on the benches and chairs that overlook Badgworthy Water and the historic bridge. Enjoy delicious cakes and tasty sandwiches from the Buttery Tea Room with a hot or cold drinks.

Or bring your own picnic and take advantage of the picnic area taking in the views of the impressive valley.


Doone Valley Gallery and Gifts (not National Trust) is situated in the grade II listed farmhouse. It has wide collection of gifts and trinkets on offer. The gallery situated inside the shop and it has a collection of contemporary and fine art for sale.

A view of the village of Malmsmead from a bridge across water in Lorna Doone Valley, Devon

Discover more at the Lorne Doone Valley

Find out how to get to Lorna Doone Valley, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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