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A family watching the birds from the bird hide at Lydford Gorge, Devon
Watching the birds from the bird hide at Lydford Gorge, Devon | © National Trust/Dianne Giles

Lydford Gorge Railway Path

Take a gentle stroll along this disused railway path, which passes through deep cuttings made to take the Great Western Railway between Tavistock and Launceston. Water drips down these rock faces nearly all year round, keeping them consistently green and lush. Then head back the same way, or descend into the woodland for an alternative route back to the starting point.

Reduced opening over winter

All facilities, including the toilets, are now closed for winter. The gorge trails, excluding the walks to Whitelady Waterfall and the bird hide, are also closed for safety and essential maintenance work, which we do every winter. This can include tree work, path work and rock face inspections, so please do not pass any locked gates.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Waterfall entrance, Lydford Gorge, grid ref: SX501831

Step 1

From visitor welcome head through the small wooden gate (which pulls towards you to open), follow the path down round a sharp right-hand bend then keep right.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4

At a junction, ignore the path on the right and carry straight on a small distance for the bird hide.

Step 5

To extend the walk a little, keep on the railway path until you see an old railway building. At this point you can head back the way you came for an easy stroll back to the start.

Step 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.

Step 7

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

Step 8

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

End point

Waterfall entrance, Lydford Gorge, grid ref: SX501831

Trail map

Map of Lydford Gorge railway path, Devon
Route map of Lydford Gorge railway path | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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

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DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8)
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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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