During our stay at Woodovis Park in Devon, we went on a day trip to Lydford Gorge.
Lydford Gorge is the deepest gorge in the South West, with a spectacular 30m waterfall.
The gorge is part of the National Trust and is an amazing place to visit at any time of the year, for both nature enthusiasts and families who love the outdoors.
We visited at the start of Autumn and the stunning backdrop was complete with crunchy orange leaves and a cool breeze. The breeze was more than welcome on the 2.5 hour walk around.
The wildlife, river, plants and trees provided a stunning show; with birds dipping in and out of the woodland and fish dancing up the river.
The waterfall and river provided the most beautiful serene background noise to our walk, and at times it was nice to just keep still and listen.
We set off around midday on a dry autumn day, grabbing a takeaway coffee from the tea rooms, to enjoy on our walk. Much needed after a sleepless night with a boisterous little toddler.
There are several things to spot at the gorge. The most infamous is:
The White Lady Waterfall
At 90 feet, the White Lady Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the south west of England. After walking for an hour and a half to reach it, the cool mist coming off the waterfall was extremely refreshing.
Apparently, depending on the weather, the waterfall can change from a gentle flow over the cliff face, to a raging torrent. We visited on a day when it was calm and gentle.
Along the walk you can also see the:
Tunnel Falls and The Devil’s Cauldron
Tunnel Falls is a series of potholes which were formed by the River Lyd eroding the rock away. At the point, the water swirls in circles as it tumbles through the gorge.
Then their is ‘The Devil’s Cauldron’. This is situated at the narrowest part of the river and you enter it through a dark, beautiful ravine. The ravine is surrounded by vast rock faces that are covered in mosses and ferns. It feels really surreal to get to stand within it.
You’ll hear the roaring of the Devil’s Cauldron before you reach it and it sounds as if the water is angrily boiling. This giant pothole has been created by the water which flows in with such a tremendous force. There is a viewing platform above the Cauldron, that you can reach if you are brave enough.
If you’re coming with little babies, it’s ideal to bring a baby carrier as Lydford Gorge is only accessible on foot.
We must pre-warn you that it does get quite slippy and treacherous in areas, so be sure to wear sturdy footwear. Despite wearing wellies, I did find myself losing my footing on the smooth rocks on several occasions, but luckily handrails are in place on these parts of the walk.
We opted to do the long walk (brave with a toddler, we know!) that takes you around the whole gorge. It takes about 2 hours but took us 2-3 with Evie.
This walk covers the White Lady Waterfall, Tunnel Falls, the Devil’s Cauldron and the woodlands.
But shorter walks are available and you have the option to just visit the White Lady Waterfall if you drive to the second National Trust entrance, rather than the first.
Before or after your walk, be sure to take a browse in the shop and plant centre. They have some really beautiful books and products that are perfect for walks and picnics.
There are also tea rooms and toilets located at two different parts of the walk.
Food and Drink
In the teas rooms you can stock up on lunch, grab some bits for your takeaway picnic or even just sit and enjoy a Devon cream tea.
The tea room at the Devil’s Cauldron entrances fully equipped with an old door play area, picnic area and games spot, which is perfect for entertaining your little ones pre or post walk.
Lydford Gorge was absolutely stunning. We were sure that our toddler Evie would get bored and fuss, but with different steps, rickety bridges and stunning scenery at every turn, she was as captivated as us.
We loved foraging and looking for edible plants and wildlife. At ever turn there were different sights, smells and textures.
It’s worth a visit, just to see it’s beauty and serenity.
If you’re in the area for Lydford Gorge, be sure to check out the nearby Tamar Valley Donkey Park.
Have you ever visited Lydford Gorge? What’s your favourite National Trust spot? Let us know in the comments below.
*We were given complimentary entry to Lydford Gorge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and our own.