Skip to content
The River Lyd flowing through the deep ravine of Lydford Gorge with green plants on the steep banks.
The River Lyd flowing through the ravine at Lydford Gorge, Devon | © National Trust/Rose Cooke

Devil's Cauldron Trail

Descend into Lydford Gorge on this circular walk and follow the narrow, winding paths next to the River Lyd as it changes from peaceful stream to raging torrent. Head through the deep ravine, stopping off at the viewing platform in the Devil's Cauldron (a large pothole full of gushing water and encircled by rock walls) before heading back out again.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

Devil's Cauldron entrance, Lydford Gorge, grid ref: SX508844

Step 1

From visitor welcome head down the gravel path, past the entrance to the tea-room, and go through the open gate to start the walk.

Step 2

Follow the path as it zig-zags gently down through the trees until you come to a junction with a signpost.

Step 3

Take the right-hand path and head down to the river and across the bridge.

Visitors standing on the new railway inspired bridge at Pixie Glen bridge in Lydford Gorge, Devon
Visitors on the new bridge at Pixie Glen in Lydford Gorge, Devon | © National Trust Images/Mel Peters

Step 4

Turn right (the path to the left is closed and is unsafe), then follow the path upstream and cross back over the river via a metal bridge.

Step 5

Follow the path to the left, up the rock steps, to where it splits.

Step 6

To head into the Devil's Cauldron, take the left-hand path which drops down to a gate. Go through the gate and down the seven narrow, rock-hewn steps, with a handrail but no barrier, to access the viewing platform. The platform floor is not suitable for all dogs so you may wish to avoid this. To continue the walk head back out of the cauldron to the main path and head left to continue uphill until you reach a junction with a steep path up to the right.

Narrow rock-hewn steps leading up from the Devil's Cauldron viewing platform in a natural ravine, Lydford Gorge, Devon
Narrow rock-hewn steps leading out of the Devil's Cauldron | © National Trust/Rose Cooke

Step 7

At this point you can explore a short section of path under the road bridge before heading back out of the gorge. Then take the steep path uphill and follow it until you meet the gravel path, turn left to head towards the tea-room, bookshop and way out.

End point

Devil's Cauldron entrance, Lydford Gorge, grid ref: SX508844

Trail map

Devil's Cauldron trail map, Lydford Gorge, Devon
Route map of Lydford Gorge Devil's Cauldron trail | © © National Trust

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

The base of Whitelady Waterfall in spring as it flows down the moss covered rock face into a deep pool, Lydford Gorge, Devon

Lydford Gorge Waterfall trail 

This rugged circular walk descends into steep-sided Lydford Gorge, to the foot of the 30-metre high Whitelady Waterfall, before returning through oak woods abundant with wildlife.

DistanceMiles: 1 (km: 1.6)
A family watching the birds from the bird hide at Lydford Gorge, Devon

Lydford Gorge Railway Path 

Take an easy stroll along the line of the old Great Western Railway, passing through deep cuttings that have now returned to nature.

DistanceMiles: 0.8 (km: 1.28)

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

Family with two children and a dog on a short lead walking along the railway path in spring with wild garlic in flower, Lydford Gorge, Devon

Bringing your dog to Lydford Gorge 

Lydford Gorge is a two pawprint rated place. Discover how to have a dog-friendly visit, including where to walk, what to be aware of and what facilities are available for your four-legged friend.

A stylised photograph looking down on table with a cream tea for two, with scones and jam and mugs of tea.

Eating and shopping at Lydford Gorge 

Discover where to eat and drink when visiting Lydford Gorge, what’s on the menu and the literary gems you’ll find in the second-hand bookshop.

Visitors taking photos with mobile phones on the viewing platform of the Devil's Cauldron at Lydford Gorge, Devon

Things to see and do at Lydford Gorge 

Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature with a hike in a prehistoric world where the River Lyd crashes, tumbles and trickles around every corner and delights the senses.

Family with dog on lead walking along the river at Lydford Gorge, Devon

Family-friendly things to do at Lydford Gorge 

This spring find a prehistoric world full of crashing water and new growth with plenty of outdoor fun and adventure for all the family at Lydford Gorge.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

Visitors with a dog walking through the woodland in the summer

Walking in Devon 

From rugged coastline with captivating views to gentle woodland strolls, these are some of the best walks in Devon this winter.