A walk to benefit body and soul
Walk the winding paths through the gorge past waterfalls and bubbling water. The step count will gradually build up, and the blood will be pumping on the steep sections. Entering the gorge you can’t help but engage with the natural world, allowing you to clear the stresses of the modern world from your mind.
A short walk to see the Devil’s Cauldron starts at around 1500 steps. Although you have to factor in some pretty steep sections to get back out of the gorge which will help raise your heart rate. In the Cauldron the bare rocks of the gorge rise up high on either side of you, maybe take a moment to close your eyes – what can you hear or feel around you? Can you feel those negative thoughts slipping away?
A walk to see the Whitelady Waterfall is slightly longer at around 2500 steps and you can vary the route to take in the bird hide and miss the steps if you choose. For those wanting a cardio workout try going up the 200 plus uneven steps to get back out. Just be aware in the narrow sections of the people heading down.
Take a rest near the river to try some forest bathing, don’t worry it doesn’t involve getting wet unless it’s raining. Forest bathing is about slowing down, relaxing and engaging with the woodland around you with all your senses. Find a seat away from the path and listen to the sound of the water, smell the damp earth and vegetation, and observe the smaller details of the scenery that surrounds you. It has been scientifically proven that forest air helps our bodies fight viruses and even tumours, so breath deep and relax.
The full Lydford Gorge trail will certainly get you near to your 10,000 step target, and if your blood is not pumping from the exercise, some of the narrow slippery paths above the river might do the trick. However take your time and take notice of what’s around you. Catching a glimpse of a dazzling kingfisher, a bobbing dipper or a lazy brown trout can really connect you with nature and bring pleasure to your day.