Walking Routes in and around North Devon

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a stay in glorious North Devon is the stunning scenery and abundance of walks. Some visitors are looking for pet friendly holidays and among those wishing to bring their dogs, many are seeking out dog friendly caravan parks. Once they have settled in their Devon holiday, dog owners looking for a healthy walk for young dogs can head for Exmoor where the rugged terrain is ideal. There is also gentler countryside in North Devon where a streamside amble may be just right for older dogs. Whatever their needs, dog owners have come to the right place to find walks perfect for man's best friend. Whilst there are plenty of walking books covering North Devon, only a few contain useful advice on the dog friendliness of each walk. Responsible dog owners know how important it is to respect other users of the countryside by keeping their dogs under control, particularly when close to livestock. The Exmoor valleys around Badgworthy Water have been made famous by R D Blackmore's novel Lorna Doone. This is the heart of wild Exmoor where the landscape ranges from open, grass and heather-covered moor to delightful enclosed valleys. Dog walkers may encounter livestock at various places so they need to keep their dogs well under control. Horse riders are also often found in the Doone Valley. There is a 5 mile walk starting from Malmsmead that heads southeast up Lank Coombe past the Blackmore Memorial, which is a large boulder with a metal plaque that was set up in 1969 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lorna Doone’s publication. The walk continues past a footbridge, and keeps to the right of Badgworthy Water. Towards the top of the coombe, the walk passes the waterslide where John Ridd scrambled up and collapsed on the grass a little further up. It was here he was found by the 9 year old Lorna. After the waterslide and beyond the trees, walkers reach the highest point of the walk with fine views across Exmoor. They can then bear right to join the track back to Badgworthy Water. Dippers, kingfishers and mallard ducks can be found at this lovely spot, the childhood haunt of John Ridd. Walkers and their dogs can then retrace their steps back to the footbridge and cross it, passing Cloud Farm. The walk continues along a farm road and tracks towards Oare Church and House and returns to Malmsmead along delightful riverside paths.

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