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After the pick-ups, we drove through the centre of Exmoor to Simonsbath. We turned north crossing the River Exe to Brendon Two Gates after crossing Badgworthy Water into the Doone Country. Badgworthy Water is the setting where in R D Blackmore’s romantic novel, Lorna Doone, John Ridd first meets Lorna by the waterfall. We are making for Malmsmead.

We stopped briefly at The Buttery, Malmsmead a National Trust property, previously known as the Lorna Doone Inn, set alongside a 17C bridge and ford and thought to be the setting for the Doone’s home. Driver, Les, reminded us about the story of the novel.

(A walk south along Badgworthy Water would take you to the Blackmore’s memorial and Cloud Farm which is the setting for the home of John Ridd’s family in the novel, now a camping site with a small waterfall in its grounds. Further on you would find the remains of a medieval village.)

We continue to Oare, past the Manor House to the church where Lorna was shot by Carver Doone on her wedding day. Blackmore’s uncle was rector here. We were going to top for a few minutes to go in. Unfortunately there was a heavy shower so no one wanted to get out to go in as most of us had been in the church before.

Our return journey took us onto the A39 stopping for lunch which has been booked at Caffyns Farm (Exmoor Coast Holidays). Afterward lunch we enjoyed the lovely views from the garden and the goats, turkeys and other animals.

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