Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Exmoor’s rivers cut some hefty scars in the heather-covered uplands that mark its northern tip. The best-known carries Badgeworthy Water (pronounced “Badgery”) down to its confluence with East Lyn at the tiny hamlet of Malmsmead; and is usually referred to as the Doone Valley after R.D. Blackmore’s 19th century tale of love, murder and suspense: Lorna Doone. Less well-known is the excellent trail that drops from Brendon Common to the wooded banks of the river, and then follows them sweetly downstream in a heady mix of broad woodland trails and sinuous moorland singletrack — a truly fitting way to end a good ride.
To get there, you need to first follow another Exmoor great: the East Lyn, down to its convergence with Farley Water at the aptly-named Watersmeet. The trail starts rough, climbing and dropping many times as it follows the wooded bank downstream, and it finishes in a blaze of glory, on a narrow descent that will certainly put a smile on your face. Singletrack leads away from the junction, but it doesn’t last long and you’re faced with a long road climb up the Farley Valley, onto the moorland above.
All the height’s in the bag by the time leave the asphalt, and the cruise onto Brendon Common is a good chance to get your breath back. Be careful not to miss your turning, after this it gets rough and steep to Lank Combe, and then continues on a variety of different surfaces down to Badgeworthy and that wonderful grand finale.