Walking at Lydford Gorge this autumn
There are three circular trails at the gorge, meaning that there are walks to suit all abilities and timescales. Autumn is the ideal time of year for an adventure through the gorge, don’t miss the towing Whitelady Waterfall and be sure to experience the roaring Devil’s Cauldron pothole before it closes for the winter.
The three mile full Lydford Gorge trail is well worth the effort – although the path can be narrow, steep and slippery in places so good footwear is essential. The trail takes you along the river path which winds upstream next to the river Lyd and takes you past Tunnel Falls. Here the river travels through a series of cascades and the path takes you through a tunnel carved out by the Victorians. After the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, wealthy Victorians started to visit Lydford Gorge to paint and draw the picturesque vistas they observed.
The shorter Devil’s Cauldron and Waterfall trails are no less impressive and provide a great opportunity to experience the beauty that brought the Victorians to the gorge over two hundred years ago. After heavy rain the Whitelady Waterfall can turn from a gentle cascade down the rock face to a raging torrent, and a visit to the Devil’s Cauldron when the river is high will help you understand how it got its name.
For more ideas and extensions to your walk how about a visit to the bird hide which can be found at the end of the railway path. It is a great place to spot the woodland birds as they take advantage of the feeding station to prepare for winter. Another option is to take a detour out to Tucker’s Pool, a beautiful and more peaceful part of the upper gorge. Here you can spot river birds such as the Dipper and Grey wagtail, and if you’re very lucky perhaps even a Kingfisher.
The tea-rooms serve snacks and treats to replenish the energy needed for a hike in the gorge, as well as hot meals to warm you as the weather cools. The shop has local products, books and lots more, all perfect for gifts or souvenirs of your visit to the gorge.