Malmsmead and Oare, Exmoor National Park

Malmsmead and Oare, Exmoor National Park
  • Hamlet and village in Exmoor's 'Doone Country'. Richard Doddridge Blackmore's famous novel 'Lorna Doone' is set in this area. Visit the Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary where Lorna Doone married Jan Ridd
  • Follow Badgworthy Water past the Lorna Doone/Richard Doddridge Blackmore Memorial to the site of a deserted medieval village which is said to be where the Doone family lived
  • Explore Brendon Common and experience Exmoor's high moor. The heather is amazing here in late summer
  • Take in the views of the Malmsmead and Oare area from County Gate or Cosgates Feet on the A39
  • Enjoy a cream tea at Lorna Doone Inn in Malmsmead
  • Main photo: walking above Badgworthy Water in Doone Country towards Malmsmead and Oare

 

Where are Malmsmead and Oare in Exmoor National Park?

The A39 runs east/west behind the Exmoor coastline. The road climbs steeply from Porlock and heads west across beautiful countryside to Lynmouth and Lynton. High moor extends south of the A39. Malmsmead and Oare are located between Porlock and Lynmouth just south of the A39 on the fringe of this moorland.

They sit close to one another in steep-sided river valleys (Malmsmead at the bottom of Badgworthy Water valley and Oare in Oare Water valley). The locations are stunning and provide easy access to valleys, moorland and Exmoor's famous coast.

 

Directions to Malmsmead and Oare

As is the case with Dartmoor National Park, you can follow a number of skinny moorland lanes to access remote village and hamlets.

We'd recommend following the A39 as it climbs steeply from Porlock to Porlock Common. You'll come to Oare Post where you'll see one of these skinny moorland lanes on your left. Drop down to Robber's Bridge and pass through Oareford on your way to Oare and then Malmsmead.

We've positioned Malmsmead and Oare on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'satellite' setting to see its location.

 

Parking at Malmsmead and Oare

There's plenty of parking in Malmsmead. Walk from there to explore Oare and Doone Country.

 

Why holiday or weekend break in the Malmsmead and Oare area?

To help you choose the Malmsmead, Oare and Doone Country area, we've listed some of the local attractions below.

 

Doone Country

Malmsmead and Oare are located in Exmoor's 'Doone Country'. Richard Doddridge Blackmore's famous novel 'Lorna Doone' is set in this area. 

 

Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and Oare

Visit the Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary where Lorna Doone married Jan Ridd in that novel.

 

Lorna Doone Inn and Malmsmead

Enjoy a cream tea at Lorna Doone Inn in Malmsmead.

 

Deserted medieval village 

Badgworthy Water cuts a beautiful, remote valley south of Malmsmead. Follow Badgworthy Water past the Lorna Doone/Richard Doddridge Blackmore Memorial to the site of a deserted medieval village which is said to be where the Doone family lived.

A good path runs along the west bank of Badgworthy Water to the site of a medieval village.

Note that the location of the Doone's home is open to speculation. 'Legend placed the Doones in the deserted medieval settlement of Hoccombe Combe, a tributary of Badgworthy. The valley of Blackmore's famous novel Lorna Doone, however, more closely resembled Lank Combe, another tributary.' (Source: 'Exmoor: The Official National Park Guide' by Brian Pearce)

Badgworthy Water, Hoccombe Combe and Lank Combe are all clearly marked on Ordnance Survey mapping. Refer to that for detail.

 

Brendon Common and Exmoor's high moor

Malmsmead and Oare sit below a section of Exmoor's high moor. We'd recommend exploring Brendon Common to the west of Badgworthy Water and Doone Country. Great walks and immense views. You should also see the famous Exmoor ponies.

It's fun to walk to Doone Valley across Brendon Common from the car parking areas by the B3223 Simonsbath and Lynmouth Road. Head across the moor to the deserted medieval village and walk by Badgworthy Water to the Lorna Doone/Richard Doddridge Blackmore Memorial on the other side of the water from the camping site at Cloud Farm. Continue to Wat Combe/Post Lane and then climb back up to moorland. Follow the path across the moor to the B3223 and its car parking areas.

 

Exmoor International Dark Sky Reserve

Exmoor was Europe's first International Dark Sky Reserve. Owing to the low levels of light pollution, you'll be able to see thousands more stars with the naked eye than you would in an urban area.

Doone Country is remote and is a great place from which to experience this.

 

County Gate viewpoint of the Malmsmead and Oare area

Country Gate, or Cosgates Feet, is a viewpoint on the A39. It's located above Malmsmead where Badgworthy Water meets Oare Water. It provides amazing views of Doone Country.

 

Coleridge Way long distance walking route through Malmsmead and Oare

The Coleridge Way long distance walking route passes through Malmsmead and Oare. We'd recommend following the route west by the East Lyn River to Watersmeet (National Trust) and then Lynmouth.

 

Exmoor coast near Malmsmead and Oare

Walk a section of the South West Coast Path. Try the stretch between Foreland Point and The Valley of Rocks. The views are exceptional.

 

Watersmeet (National Trust)

Dartmoor and Exmoor are known for the rivers that rise on high moor and cut stunning valleys. Watersmeet (National Trust) is one of the best in the Westcountry.