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Visitors taking photos with mobile phones on the viewing platform of the Devil's Cauldron at Lydford Gorge, Devon
Capture the drama of the Devil's Cauldron at Lydford Gorge | © National Trust Images/John Millar

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.

The Devil’s Cauldron trail is now closed for winter

From Monday 30 October 2023 only the trails to Whitelady Waterfall and the bird hide are open. The rest of the gorge trails are closed every winter for safety and essential maintenance work. This can include tree work, path work and rock face inspections, so please do not pass any locked gates. We plan to reopen the Devil's Cauldron trail from Saturday 16 March.

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 gateway signed 'Lydford Gorge trails' 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 'no entry' to avoid visitors passing each other on very narrow sections of path), 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

To head back out of the gorge, take the steep path uphill and follow it until you meet the gravel path, then 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

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Visitor walking along rock path with handrail next to the River Lyd at Lydford Gorge, Devon

The full Lydford Gorge trail 

*This walking trail is closed while we work to repair a section of path damaged by a landslide*

DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8)
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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)
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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)

Get in touch

Lydford, near Tavistock, Devon, EX20 4BH

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.

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