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Lower section of Whitelady Waterfall flowing towards the River Lyd with autumn leaves in the water
The first autumn leaves fall at the foot of Whitelady Waterfall, Lydford Gorge | © National Trust Images/Robert Morris

Lydford Gorge Waterfall trail

Head into Lydford Gorge to find the 30-metre high Whitelady Waterfall on this steep but rewarding circular walk. Feel history under your feet, from Devonian fossils to the visitors in search of the picturesque since Victorian times. Your return is through ancient woodland full of wildlife.

Reduced opening over winter

All facilities, including the toilets, are now closed for winter. The gorge trails, excluding the walk 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: 6

Total steps: 6

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 left to go under the old railway bridge.

Step 2

Continue on the path that bends to the left, go past the no entry gate on your right until you come to where the path splits in two.

Woodland path covered in brown fallen leaves splits - heading straight ahead to the left, and down wooden railed steps to the right
Take the path down to the right | © National Trust/Rose Cooke

Step 3

Take the path on the right, which will take you down over 200 uneven steps that zig-zag down the side of the gorge to get to the base of Whitelady Waterfall. Please be careful on the exposed rocks at the base of the waterfall as they can be slippery.

Misty woodland view of a wooden-railed path, with steps leading downhill
Steps down to Whitelady Waterfall | © National Trust/Rose Cooke

Step 4

After admiring the waterfall, and possibly playing a game of Pooh sticks on the suspension bridge, it’s time to head back out of the gorge. Do not cross the bridge, instead head downstream with the river on your right, until you reach another split in the path.

Step 5

Follow the left-hand path that takes you almost back on yourself, and make your way back uphill.

Ground-level view of a woodland path bordered by green plants, with lines of limestone rock emerging through the path
Exposed limestone on the paths is part of the Liddaton Formation | © National Trust/Mel Peters

Step 6

Keep on past the steps that lead to the waterfall, past the no entry gate, back under the railway bridge and up the hill to the finish.

End point

Waterfall entrance, Lydford Gorge, grid ref: SX501831

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of the Lydford Gorge Waterfall trail
Map of the Lydford Gorge Waterfall trail | © 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

The full Lydford Gorge trail 

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

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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.

Visit website 

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