Bringing your dog to Lydford Gorge
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 one 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.
Please keep dogs on a short lead at all times and out of the river.
What do I need to be aware of?
The paths in the gorge can be narrow, with steep drops and no barriers, next to a fast-flowing river. There are steep slopes, long flights of rugged steps and uneven surfaces which can be slippery even when dry.
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.
Over winter Lydford Gorge is home to visiting woodcock. These rare, ground-dwelling birds are nocturnal, so during the day they hide in the undergrowth and can be easily disturbed by a friendly dog.
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.
Facilities available for dogs
Water bowls can be found outside visitor welcome (closed).
Dog poo bins are located at the start of the walking trails and further on the trail by the railway bridge.
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.
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and escape the hustle and bustle by enjoying a winter woodland walk to see the towering Whitelady Waterfall at Lydford Gorge
Discover where to eat when visiting Lydford Gorge, how to find the tea-room, what’s on the menu and what treats you’ll find in the second-hand bookshop.
Discover the history of Lydford Gorge from its earliest fossil formations and its importance to the Anglo Saxons and Vikings, to how it influenced the Picturesque and inspired artists.
There are plenty of dog-friendly spots to keep tails wagging in Devon. Your dog can enjoy splashing with all four paws in the sea or sniffing out treasure on a woodland walk.