the Brendon Valley is one of Exmoor’s hidden treasures

Once discovered the Brendon Valley beguiles it’s visitors, drawing them back time and time again to enjoy its spectacular setting and tranquillity.

Encompassing the former hamlets of Leeford, Rockford and extending out towards Malmsmead in the east, the start of Lorna Doone Country.

Brendon meanders along the steep-sided valley bottom alongside the rapid flowing East Lyn River as it speeds its way to the sea at Lynmouth. The river is home to wild brown trout, salmon and sea trout for which fishing permits can be purchased locally.


The charming parish of Brendon is situated in North Devon close to the border with West Somerset. The main village is located next to the rushing waters of the spectacular East Lyn River. 

Brendon is a picturesque and peaceful village with a good community. A car park and toilets can be found near the Brendon Village Hall.

The smaller, sleepy hamlet of Rockford is situated a little further along the East Lyn River towards Watersmeet at the bottom of a deeply wooded gorge.

Oare & Lorna Doone

Oare is the most Westerly parish in Somerset, just a few miles from Lynton & Lynmouth. It is wonderfully positioned in steep-sided scenic valley with rushing of the Oare and Weir streams running through it. These waters later join Badgeworthy Water to become the East Lyn River on the way to Lynmouth.
Parts of the local Church, St Mary’s, date back to the 14th Century. The name Oare originates from the word “Are”, which means “boundary” and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The Church is also integral to the story of Lorna Doone, where Lorna was allegedly shot by the murderous Carver Doone during her wedding.
It was a combination of the scenery and local legends that inspired R. D. Blackmore to write the novel ‘Lorna Doone’. Richard Blackmore grew to love the Doone Valley in his younger days when visiting his grandfather.

Oare Robbers Bridge Exmoor Malmsmead

Robbers Bridge

Robbers Bridge is an old stone road bridge precariously built over the Oare Water. It is believed to be the site of a Doone robbery, but nowadays it’s the perfect spot for a picnic.


The chocolate box village of Malmsmead sits serenely on the border of North Devon and West Somerset within the Oare Parish. Once you see this delightful hamlet and Badgworthy Water, it’s easy to see how it inspired the great author R. D. Blackmore to write his famous novel Lorna Doone.
Malmsmead is made complete by a charming stone bridge and ford that crosses the river, and quaint tea room and gift shop by its side.
The mystical National Trust Doone Valley can be easily found by following the Badgworthy Water upriver where you will find a stone memorial to R. D. Blackmore. It’s the perfect area to enjoy a peaceful river or moorland walks.

Find out more

Local facilities

Brendon & Rockford



Local Attractions & Activities

Where to Stay

millslade 1 1571768899


A B&B the picturesque village of Brendon

coombe farm

Coombe Farm

Traditional 17th Century farmhouse nestling on the North Devon coastline and within…

wilsham farm pool

Wilsham Farm

Set in truly tranquil surroundings amongst glorious countryside.