The Gorge and its Location
Information about access for pushchairs and wheelchairs is given below.
Just south of the centre of Lydford, at the bottom of the hill that
acted as part of King Alfred's defences of the
Saxon town is a stone bridge over the Lyd, a river that flows fast
and southwards from the hills of Dartmoor. Immediately below the bridge
the river falls sharply down into the deep and beautiful, tree-lined
ravine known as Lydford Gorge.
This is the deepest gorge in south-west England, and stretches a
distance of about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from the spectacular "Devil's
Cauldron" whirlpool at the bridge end to the very fine 30-metres-tall
"White Lady Waterfall" at the other end. There are excellent beautiful walks from one
end of the Gorge to the other, alongside the River Lyd and on the winding upper path that gives
a view steeply down into the Gorge through the very tall and slender trees that stretch
upwards to find the light.
During the 17th Century Lydford Gorge was infamous for being the hide-out of a large family of
outlaws, the Gubbins, who terrorised the neighbourhood and stole sheep from the farms of
Dartmoor. In the years at the beginning of the 19th Century during the war against
Napoleon of France, Lydford Gorge became, for many travellers, a replacement for the Grand
Tour of Continental Europe, and was much appreciated and valued for its grandeur and beauty.
Visiting the Gorge
Lydford Gorge is owned by the National Trust
and is open to the public throughout its length during the Summer months, and open at
the White-Lady (southern) end in the Autumn, Winter and Spring. There is an
entrance at each end of the Gorge, and a refreshment-room / restaurant at the Devil's Cauldron (northern) end.
Please note that walking in the gorge is strenuous, with steep, narrow and uneven and sometimes slippery paths, especially along the river-side
path. Effective walking boots are essential. Due to its rugged nature and steep vertical drops it is essential that children are supervised at all times.
Opening Dates and Entry Prices
To find out the current opening dates & times and the entry prices,
please telephone to the Lydford Gorge office on 01-822-820-320 or 01-822-820-441.
Access with Pushchairs and Wheelchairs
The southern end of the Gorge that leads to the Waterfall, and the northern end (main
entrance, shop and tea-room) are completely accessible with a pushchair, and very worthwhile.
However it is not possible to walk the whole length of the Gorge with a pushchair because,
although the top southerly-going path is suitable for a pushchair, the return northwards
along the river is a narrow rocky path with some steep awkward parts. But from both the
southern and northern ends you will have a good view of the river, and at the northern end
there is the spectacular "Devil's Cauldron" which is easily reached (but you will need to
leave the pushchair a little way back). For wheelchairs, some of the main southerly-going
path is accessible but it has many ups and downs. A new path suitable for wheelchair access
is being brought into use; please enquire about this via one of the Gorge telephone numbers
Contact: Lydford Gorge
The National Trust telephone numbers at the two ends of the Gorge are 01-822-820-320
and 01-822-820-441 respectively.
General Enquiries to the National Trust
The telephone number for enquiries to the National Trust is 08-704-584-000, its e-mail
and its internet web-site is at