May bank holiday weekend had started well weather wise, Friday I was at a beer festival in Newton Abbot and the weather was dry and warm. Saturday was the same with blue skies thrown in, unfortunately the effects of Friday meant a good walk was not happening!! Sunday however it poured down, the forecast for Monday morning was the same then it would brighten up. I figured setting off at 11am on Monday would do, I chose Lydford Gorge as after a bit of rain I would see the waterfalls at their best. The National Trust walk around the gorge is 3 and a half miles and starts along a path along the top of one side of the gorge, up in the trees. It then drops to the gorge floor at half way and the path back is riverside, rocky and very narrow in places. There’s a NT tea room at either end as well, which was good as it was around midday when I was half way around.
On the way back I decided to stop off on Dartmoor just for a quick walk to Barn Hill Rocks as the weather improved as the afternoon went on. A lovely day all in all and the walk around Lydford Gorge is one of the best low level easy walks there is. The waterfalls didn’t disappoint, especially the tunnel falls, the smell of the wild garlic was everywhere along the lower path and the bluebells weren’t too bad either on the higher path. Good times.
|Start – Lydford Gorge main car park
|Route – Lydford Gorge top path – Tearoom above White Lady falls – White Lady Falls – Lower path through gorge – Tunnel Falls – Ravens Tor – Devils Cauldron – Tuckers Pool – Main car park
Quick walk to Barn Hill rocks and back from Pork Hill car park
|Distance – 4 miles Start time – 11.30am Time taken – 2hrs 30mins (including lunch) Highest Point – N/A
|Weather – Mainly cloudy but no rain.
© Crown copyright 2016 Ordnance Survey FL 2016 SF
Heading through the gate on the route to White Lady Falls, the short path to Devils Cauldron is out of bounds currently due to bridge damage, so the only way to get there is by the full loop.
Zigzag path, the flash must have gone off here as the leaves have picked up the light
Following the easy high path
Bluebells lined the path
Wild Garlic lined the path next
A break in the trees gives views along the gorge, I’ll be down in those trees a bit later
Looking the other way
All refueled at the cafe I’m heading down to the White Lady falls
The bridge across the River Lyd marks the spot of the White Lady Falls
Not bad after a bit of rain
Close up to the White Lady
Walking along the lower path past a landslide area, the soil on top of the rock became waterlogged after heavy rain, the trees rocked in the strong winds disturbing the soil. As a result the soil slid down the steep faced rock into the river and away.
The high walkway over Tunnel Falls
This part was like a washing machine, with the water getting whipped around in a clockwise motion. The rock face carved smooth by the many years of water erosion
The other end of Tunnel falls and a tunnel
Between Tunnel Falls and the Devils Cauldron area you hit this calm section where the trees open a little and the gorge widens slightly
The entrance to Devils Cauldron, the noise here was loud, giving a clue to what is ahead
A very narrow walkway takes you into the Devils Cauldron, the water is brown and deafening in here. The actual cauldron is better seen from above to be honest but the senses are getting a pounding down here
From the path above you can see the drops into the cauldron area
A short walk out the other side of Devils Cauldron is Tuckers Pool, a nice place to sit and watch the river idle by on its way to the cauldron
Looking down into the gorge from the path back to the car
Back in Lydford village itself is a fine castle, owned by English Heritage, there’s a cracking pub next door as well, The Castle Inn
There’s also a fine church
A hop in the car heading home but a bit of time to stop for a short stroll on Dartmoor. I’m at Barn Hill Rocks, looking across to North Hessary Tor and the Princetown mast
Pew Tor is over there on the right
And turning to the left to see Vixen Tor standing proudly with Kings Tor and Swell Tor behind. Now for the drive home after a great day where you don’t need to be in open moorland to have a good walk