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Bringing your dog to Lydford Gorge

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
Family walking their dog on a lead at Lydford Gorge | © National Trust/Dianne Giles

We love dogs at Lydford Gorge, and you’re welcome to bring them with you as you explore its dramatic landscape. We do ask for dogs to be kept on a short lead for their own safety, the safety of other visitors, and to protect the delicate wildlife and habitats of the gorge.

Our pawprint rating system

We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged-friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.

Lydford Gorge is a two pawprint rated place.

Where can my dog go?

Dogs are very welcome at Lydford Gorge. However, if they do not enjoy being on the lead then this may not be the best place for a walk. The friendly welcome team can offer advice on local places to visit if your dog needs more freedom.

Please keep dogs on a short lead at all times and out of the river.

The seven narrow unguarded steps leading to the metal grill of the Devil’s Cauldron viewing platform mean that we recommend you don’t take your dog down here, but this small section can be easily avoided.

Dogs are welcome in all our indoor spaces, so can join you for a treat in the tea-room or while you browse the bookshop.

What do I need to be aware of?

The trails in the gorge can have steps, narrow paths, steep slopes and uneven surfaces. The river is very fast-flowing in places and there are some sections of path that have no barrier.

Wandering off the path can cause loose rocks to fall, also there are old mine workings and delicate wildlife habitats that are best left undisturbed.

Lydford Gorge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with some rare moss and lichen species that grow on rock faces and the banks of the river. By keeping your dog out of the river you can help protect these delicate rare plants; and also prevent the pesticides used in flea treatments getting into the water and affecting the wildlife that live there.

Over the summer you and your dog may be exposed to ticks in the gorge. Keeping to clearly defined paths with your dog on a short lead will reduce the likelihood of a tick bite.

Facilities available for dogs

Water bowls can be found outside visitor welcome and the tea-rooms.

There are tether points for dogs outside the toilets and on the picnic tables.

Dog waste bins are located at both ends of the gorge, and if you need a poo bag please ask the friendly welcome team.

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.
Visitors standing on the new railway inspired bridge at Pixie Glen bridge in Lydford Gorge, Devon

Discover more at Lydford Gorge

Find out when Lydford Gorge is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

Visit website 

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