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R D Blackmore (Lorna Doone)

Yarn Market, Dunster North DevonPart history - the Monmouth Rebellion and Judge Jeffreys - and part Victorian love story, Lorna Doone, by R D Blackmore, mingles fact and fiction with the backdrop of the magnificent Badgworthy Water region of Exmoor. Our tour, operated in conjunction with the Yarn Market Hotel, gives you the chance to retrace the steps of Lorna and her faithful John Ridd.

This tour is fully inclusive with no extra costs apart from any additional drinks or snacks that you may wish to purchase. All excursions will be made in the hotel's minibus driven by their well-informed guide so once you have arrived you can leave your car in the car park and relax.

What could our book club do?

  • Visit Tiverton, driving past Blundell's School where R D Blackmore was a pupil and which also forms the backdrop for the opening chapters of the book.
  • Travel to South Molton where Tom Faggus was based and also to North Molton where he lived and worked in the smithy after marrying John's sister.
  • View the 13th-century bridge across the Taw where Tom Faggus performed one of his most daring acts of highway robbery.
  • Visit the little village of Malmsmead by the side of Badgworthy Water where you will see the memorial stone to Blackmore placed there on the centenary of the book's publication.
  • Explore Doone Valley with the rocky Doone Gate at one end and the waterslide, down which John and Lorna escaped at the other.
  • Visit Oare Church where John and Lorna were married and the famous shot through the window was fired by Carver Doone.
  • Visit the Exmoor towns of Exford and Dulverton - home of John's Uncle Reuben and cousin Ruth.

Anything else of interest in the area?

  • Arlington Court, an intimate Regency house owned by the National Trust, is full of treasures collected by the Chichester family with a carriage museum and beautiful gardens.
  • The historical port of Lynmouth, where Exmoor meets the sea, is well worth a visit.
  • Visit Porlock, surrounded by Exmoor hills on three sides, and its neighbour the quaint harbour of Porlock Weir. Both were visited by John Ridd in the novel.
  • With its impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower Dunster Castle is worth a visit and it also hosts the National Collection of Strawberry Trees!
  • Don't miss the Valley of the Rocks - a truly dramatic landscape where the moorland plunges into the cliffs to meet the sea.

Recommended reading for your book club

Lorna Doone by R D Blackmore

The Last Victorian: R D Blackmore and his Novels by Kenneth George Budd

A Wild Life on Exmoor by Johnny Kingdom

Recommended viewing for your book club

Lorna Doone (1990)
Starring Sean Bean as Carver Doone, Clive Owen as John Ridd and Polly Walker as Lorna Doone.

Lorna Doone (2000)
Starring Martin Clunes as Jeremy Stickles, Richard Coyle as John Ridd and Amelia Warner as Lorna Doone.

Pandaemonium (2000)
Starring Linus Roache as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Hannah as William Wordsworth and Samantha Morton as Sara Coleridge.

Book Club Tours look forward to organising your unique Lorna Doone tour of Exmoor.

Book Club Tours LLP, 33 Broad Lane, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 3AL • Tel: 020 8979 2285