Lydford Gorge railway path

Walking trail

Take a gentle stroll along the railway path through deep cuttings made to take the Great Western Railway between Tavistock and Launceston. Water drips down these rock faces nearly all year keeping them green and lush. Then take some time to see what birds you can spot from the hide before heading back the same way or taking a circular route out.

Please keep dogs on leads throughout the whole site, well behaved dogs are welcome in the tea-rooms. We strongly recommend that you don’t take buggies into the gorge.

The old railway path to the bird hide, Lydford Gorge

Map

Railway path trail map, Lydford Gorge, Devon

Start:

Lydford Gorge Waterfall car park, SX501831

1

From visitor reception follow the path down round a sharp right hand bend then keep right taking the path signed to the bird hide.

2

Continue on the path; which bends to the left before running straight. After passing the wild pond on your left you’ll enter a section where the path goes through a deep cutting with water dripping down the rock faces most of the year.

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The Lush growth that covers the rock faces of the railway cutting at Lydford Gorge, Devon

3

Continue on the same path and take the opportunity to look out over the gorge on your right, this is easier when the trees do not have their full canopy.

A view from the railway path across the gorge at Lydford Gorge, Devon

4

Ignore the path on the right and carry straight on a small distance for the bird hide. Pop in to see what woodland birds are visiting the feeding station.

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A family look out of the bird hide

5

To learn a little about the history of the railway at Lydford, after leaving the bird hide turn right, and keep on the railway path until you see an information board next to an old railway building. At this point you can head back the way you came for an easy stroll back to the start.

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A fence post and brace made from the old train tracks at Lydford Gorge, Devon

6

Alternatively, head back past the bird hide to where a path takes you left (the one you ignored earlier) and head down the fairly steep hill.

7

At the next path junction take the narrow right hand path. When it meets another path keep heading up hill. Carry on past where steps that lead to the waterfall join the path you’re on, and past a no entry gate.

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A narrow winding path through the trees at Lydford Gorge, Devon

8

Head under the railway bridge, which you walked over at the start, and up the hill to the finish.

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A child enjoying his tasty ice cream

End:

Lydford Gorge Waterfall car park, SX501831

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Lydford Gorge railway path

Terrain

The railway path is mainly flat however there is a steep section at the begining.

The circular return route has some steep sections without a handrail and sections of bare rock that can be slippery even when dry. 

Sturdy footwear is essential.

Lydford Gorge railway path

Contact us

Phone: 01822 820320

Email: lydfordgorge@nationaltrust.org.uk

Lydford Gorge railway path

How to get here

Address
Waterfall entrance, Lydford Gorge, EX20 4BL
By road

Follow the brown signs from the A30 or A386 then carry on past the Devil's Cauldron entrance, one mile furthre up the road is the Watefall entrance, EX20 4BL. From Tavistock head out on Drake road, the road takes you past Brentor and the first Lydford Gorge sign is for the Waterfall entrance.

By bus

Regular services between Tavistock and Okehampton stop at both entrances to the gorge.

By bicycle

NCN 27 and 31

Lydford Gorge railway path

Facilities and access

  • Tea-room, 10.30am-5pm, March to October (4pm October). Limited opening in winter.
  • Toilets - open when the tea-room is open
  • Free car park
  • Tramper available to hire to access Whitelady Waterfall (Mar-Oct only - please book 48 hours in advance on 01822 820320)
  • National Trust shop at Devil's Cauldron entrance (1 mile away)
  • Longer walking routes available