Lydford GorgeA deep gorge surrounded by ancient woodland, Lydford Gorge is Designated Site of Scientific Interest managed by the National Trust. A circular two hour walk will take you by the White Lady's Waterfall and the whirling Devil's Cauldron.
The deepest gorge in the South West of England, Lydford Gorge lies just south of the town at the bottom of the hill below the bridge. Now managed by the National Trust, Lydford Gorge stretches for 1.5 miles (2.5km) and is surrounded by ancient woodland.
A must see for the reasonably fit, the full walk around Lydford Gorge is three miles and will take most people about 2 hours. The walk takes you by the fast-flowing River Lyd to two spectacular sights, the Devil's Cauldron and the White Lady's Waterfall. Although best seen after a bout of heavy rain, the walk is beautiful at any time of the year. Your walk will take you through Lambhole Wood, a thickly-grown mixture of lime, cherry, elm, laurel, hawthorn and horse chestnut trees. You'll then pass through Watervale Wood, descend a steep slope and arrive at the 90ft, vertical cascade of White Lady's Waterfall. The path then leads you along the River Lyd and bubbling whirlpools until you arrive at the ferocious Devil's Cauldron. You can pick up a free map at the National Trust Shop at Lydford Gorge.
An enchanting place, full of flora and chirping birds, Lydford Gorge can become a treacherous place in bad weather. Over the centuries, the gorge has claimed its fair share of fatalities. Picnics on a lovely day have turned into disaster when day trippers have been washed away or slipped and knocked into a permanent state of unconsciousness. In the 17th century, Lydford Gorge was unsafe for another reason - as the hide-out of the outlawed Gibbons family. So, be warned. On your trip, you may just spot one of the lost souls said to haunt the place. If you see a woman wearing a red scarf, staring into the water at a pool called Kit's Pool, you may just have encountered 'The Red Lady'!
Address: The Stables, Lydford Gorge
Postcode: EX204BH [Street Map]
Phone: 01822 820320
Children: £2.50 15 and under