Lydford Gorge, Devon
Make like 19th Century ‘men of means’, perfect for walkers, those with the dog in tow and explorers; plan a visit to Lydford Gorge, none other than the very deepest gorge in the South West. It has a spectacular 30m Whitelady waterfall and is a super tranquil spot. Descend into the Devil’s Cauldron and head out to the water with dark rocks and bubbling water all about, very dramatic scenery wise.
The gorge is formed by the River Lyd, which flows along the bottom of Dartmoor into a tree-lined ravine. Lydford Gorge is run by the lovely National Trust so alongside the natural beauty on offer there is also a shop, plant centre and a café with Devonshire cream teas on offer. Pick up a picnic or park yourself in the tea room for sumptuous goodies.
The gorge, 1.5 miles wide stretches from the above Devil’s Cauldron whirlpool at the bridge end to the stunning White Lady waterfall at the other. It is a truly breathtaking place to visit. There are similarly excellent walks from one end of the gorge to the other, alongside the River Lyd and on the winding upper path that gives a superb view looking down into the gorge through the trees.
During the 17th Century, Lydford Gorge was infamous for being the hide-out of a large family of outlaws, the Gubbins, who terrorised the neighbourhood and stole sheep from the farms of Dartmoor. In the years at the beginning of the 19th Century during the war against Napoleon of France, Lydford Gorge became, for many travellers, a replacement for the Grand Tour of Continental Europe, and was much appreciated and valued for its grandeur and beauty.