Categories
Devon South West

Doone Valley and the Coleridge Way

Description:
This walk goes through the attractive Doone Valley passing a memorial to R.D Blackmore the author of the fictional Lorna Doone. It then goes through the remains of a medieval village before heading across the moor to reach Cross Gates. After following a minor road to Brendon the path joins the Coleridge Way and has stunning views above and besides the East Lyn River.  Sections of this walk follow country lanes, these are not devoid of traffic so care needs to be taken.  There is a section of this walk following paths across moorland, so the ability to use a map and compass may be required in poor weather conditions.

Walk Grade:
Moderate

Distance:
8.4 miles /13.5km

Total Ascent:
1612 feet /491 metres

Time:
3 hours 45 mins / 4 hours 45 mins

Parking:
This walk starts from the National Trust car park in Malmsmead (EX35 6NU) (Grid Ref: SS791478). This is a pay and display car park, parking is free for National Trust members.

Walk Route:
From the car park head into the Lorna Doone shop car park and then head south out of  Malmsmead along the minor road signposted to Fellingscott, Slocombeslade and Tippacott.  As the road sweeps to the right take a footpath on the left through a gate to join a track signposted to Badgworthy Valley (Grid Ref: SS791475).

After crossing a ford the path goes through a series of gates and then becomes a sunken track besides pasture fields.  After going through another gate the path descends towards Badgworthy Water, with Cloud Farm on the far bank.  Ignore the footpath across the river, instead continuing south with the water running to the left. Continue along the path to pass a plaque to Richard Doddridge Blackmore the author of Lorna Doone. 

The path now follows the river through Badgworthy Wood and crosses a footbridge (Grid Ref SS791453).  Continue on with the river now below to the left to reach the site of an old medieval village (Grid Ref: SS793445).  Turn right to head away from the river following a path heading west.  Stay with this path as it heads north west across the moor for 1.5km to reach a gate in the fence line (Grid Ref: SS781452).

Keep heading in a westerly direction following a well-worn track which after 1km turns north and descends to Lankcombe Ford (Grid Ref: SS771456).  Take the right fork heading uphill on a track to reach a finger post at a crossing of tracks (Grid Ref: SS771458).  Cross the gravel track and take the path to Brendon.  After 1.35km the path reaches a minor road at Cross Gate (Grid Ref: SS771471).

Pass through a gate besides a cattle grid to continue towards Brendon on a minor road, Cross Lane. The route follows this quiet country lane for 1.5km to reach the village of Brendon (Grid Ref: SS770482).  In the village continue north to cross a bridge over the East Lyn River and then turn right on the road towards Hall Farm.  After passing the farm take a footpath on the right which goes up some steps and over a stile (Grid Ref: SS771484).

The route is now along the Coleridge Way long distance path.  Keep with the clear path as it initially heads north and then turns to the right to head east across access land high above the valley. The path descends slightly and then rises again to skirt Ashton Farm (Grid Ref: SS786485).  Here the footpath forks, take the route on the right to descend steadily through Ashton Cleave to the bank of the East Lyn River.

Stay with the path as it goes along the riverbank to pass Glebe Farm and then on reaching a footbridge leave the Coleridge way and go over the river which is now the Oare Water (Grid Ref: SS795479).  Follow the footpath to a minor road and then turn right to head the short way back down into Malmsmead and the 17th century Malmsmead Bridge across Badgworthy Water by the Lorna Doone shop and tea room.

Toilets:
There are public toilets in the car park at the start of this walk.
Toilets are available in the pub on this route during opening hours.

Refreshments:
Malmsmead – Lorna Doone Tea Rooms and Shop
Brendon – Brendon House Tea Garden; a short detour in the village is required to reach The Staghunters Inn.

To download GPX and print a map click “Learn More” below:

Additional Information:
A narrative of this walk with pictures, historical information and points of interest can be viewed on my associated Two Dogs and an Awning website.

To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps OL9 Exmoor

© Walking Moonraker (2020)

All information on this site is provided free of charge and in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of damage, loss or injury which might result from it.  To the best of my knowledge the routes are entirely on public rights of way or within areas that are open for public access.
Walking can be hazardous and is done entirely at your own risk.  It is your responsibility to check your route and navigate using a map and compass.