Legendary Exmoor valley which inspired Lorna Doone bought by National Trust

  • Bob Cruwys went to see what makes the area so special


A legendary slice of landscape on Exmoor has been bought by the National Trust.

The valley is right in the heart of the area which inspired the classic novel Lorna Doone, written by R.D. Blackmore, which was published in 1869.

According to the National Trust's Visitor Experience Manager April Brand, part of the appeal of the site is that it takes people back to a simpler time.

April says: "It still feels like it did 100 or 200 years ago. The buildings haven't changed that much, the valley hasn't changed."

It is such a special place and, after lockdown, that's what people really need - a place to just come and be calm and chill out.

April Braund, Visitor Experience Manager, National Trust.

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The idyllic Lorna Doone valley

There are many landmarks nearby, which lovers of the novel will recognise.

The sale also includes a camp site at Cloud Farm right next to Badgworthy Water, the river which features in Lorna Doone. 


The valley is the setting for novel Lorna Doone

The nine acre site, including two farms and a tea room, cost £1.5 million and the deal was completed just before the lockdown. It is likely to be the last acquisition of its kind for a while.

Rob Joules, The National Trust's General Manager for the North Devon Coast says the area gives people a chance to reconnect with nature:

"It's wild, it's raw, it's remote and rugged and that's what we love about the place."

The National Trust will be looking to make sure that families can experience that, with kids paddling in the river or heading out for miles upon miles of walks up on Exmoor.

Rob Joules, General Manager for the North Devon Coast and Countryside, National Trust