The most westerly parish in Somerset situated in the valley of the Oare Water about 5 miles west of Lynton. The name derives from Are, meaning boundary, and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book as such.

The parish consists of a scattered settlement, including the hamlets of Oareford and Malmsmead, along the steep and secluded valley of the Oare and Weir Waters before they join Badgery Water to become the East Lyn River. The village can be reached by a short detour from the Coleridge Way.


  • Wonderful steep sided valley scenery with rushing moorland streams
  • St. Mary's Church at Oare, parts of which may date from C14, with its connections to the story of Lorna Doone. This is where Lorna was reputedly shot by the villainous Carver Doone during her wedding to John Ridd, the hero of the story.
  • The scenery and local legends which inspired Richard Dodderidge Blackmore to write Lorna Doone. His grandfather was rector at Oare from 1809 – 1842 and the author grew to love the local area from visits in his youth.


There is a National Park Local Information Point at County Gate on the main A39 close to the valley which can supply maps and leaflets.

Tourist Information Centres are at Porlock and Lynton (approx 7 miles distant) and there is an Exmoor National Park Centre at Lynmouth.


Villages along the Coleridge Way

Villages along the Coleridge Way

Find more Villages along the Coleridge Way