The 150th anniversary of the publication of Lorna Doone by R D Blackmore will be celebrated across Exmoor with a series of events throughout 2019.
This famous novel, first published in 1869, has never been out of print and its global popularity is witnessed not just in book form, but in countless films, TV series, songs, and even a Lorna Doone biscuit. The 150th anniversary year provides a great opportunity to celebrate the link between the novel, and the culture, landscape and heritage of Exmoor.
There will be a major exhibition at the Guildhall Heritage Centre in Dulverton between April to October and there will be a wide range of other activities to attract visitors including themed guided walks and experiences, re-enactments, outdoor theatre, classical music and more. Here are the events planned so far:
May to September – Exhibition in Dovery Museum, Porlock – Exhibition with Lorna mannequin and photos of re-enactments held in Porlock Rec 50 years ago
May to September: Lorna Doone Walks arranged throughout the summer on selected dates. Private walks can also be arranged. Meet at Malmsmead gift shop, 10.30 am £12 pp (reductions for children) with www.wildaboutexmoor.com
June 6 & Aug 2: The Lorna Doone Experience. Meet 10 am, Malmsmead gift shop. Booking essential, a full day out including lunch, numbers limited to 8 guests with www.wildaboutexmoor.com
June 22nd The Walking Book Club reads Lorna Doone. Departs at 2 pm from outside Number Seven Dulverton, opposite the historic White Horse Inn. Price: £12 to include a copy of the book £7.00 without. Dogs Welcome. Booking Essential. Allow two hours to walk and talk. Details will be published on website www.numbersevendulverton.co.uk
June 29th and 30th – Dulverton Summer Festival – Celebrating Lorna Doone! A whole weekend of Lorna Doone celebrations with the re-enactment of scenes from the novel by Taunton Garrison around the town. There’ll be lots of live music, children’s activities, magic lantern show, story-telling, as well as shops and stalls from local traders. On Sunday, there’ll also be a large Sunday banquet and a movie showing on the lawns. Keep up to date on Facebook page @dulvertonsummerfestival
August 20th-31st Pleasure Dome Theatre Company performing Lorna Doone at Valley of Rocks, Lynton www.pleasuredometheatrecompany.com
October 12th Lorna Doone inspired classical music concert at All Saints Church, Dulverton (part of Two Moors Festival) www.twomoorsfestival.co.uk
October 29th to November 1st – 3 day themed walking holiday Lorna Doone walks and talks, Dinner B&B for 3 nights, transport, packed lunches and guide – price £275pp. Simonsbath House Hotel www.simonsbathhousehotel.co.uk