Pictures of Oare
When I first chanced upon this little village it was snow covered and the grey clouds above were closing fast on the weak winter sun, the snow clad fields which a few minutes earlier had glistened, now took on a gloomy, forbidding appearance, causing a shiver or two. Thus, it was unsurprising to learn that this was the setting for R.D.Blackmore's famous novel, Lorna Doone.
The novel, initially published in 1869 has always been immensely popular and it is believed that Blackmore wrote most of the book at Parsonage Farm, scene of one of the Doone raids. The parish Church of St.Mary, where Blackmore's grandfather was rector, was the setting for the marriage of John Ridd and Lorna Doone and it was through a window of the chancel that Lorna was shot on her wedding day.
Visitors, who know well this story of dark deeds and romance, travel from far and wide to see for themselves the hauntingly beautiful countryside that R.D. Blackmore portrayed so well. The village of Oare and surrounding lands have long been affectionately known as Doone Valley and as you wander around the pretty lanes, take the path from Malmshead alongside the sparkling Badworthy Water you will see a plaque dated 1969 in commemoration of the book's centenary.
Not just for this brave tale is this beautiful area known for although Oare is a tiny village and consists of little more than a few quaint cottages, a manor house and church, it is blest with being but a stone's throw from the wonderful coastal scenery that stretches from Lynmouth Bay to Porlock Bay and by it's position close to the glories of Exmoor Forest within the Exmoor National Park. This is a truly spectacular region, the valley areas are lush with wild moorland and you are never far from the sound of tumbling water as it rushes it's way through rocky chasms. This is magnificent area, unrivalled in natural beauty and stirring legends, will call you back, time and time again.
OARE information submitted by Terri Walton
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