It’s a National Trust property which means an entrance fee is requested if you are not a member, but it's worth to do.
In the winter only the short walk to the White Lady Waterfall is opened between 11 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. Devil’s Cauldron and the gorge can get closed by a gate.
In spring and summer, the whole gorge is opened from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Check the opening hours first. The gorge can get flooded and is closed after several days of heavy rain.
The short waterfall trail is very popular and gets crowded during weekends and bank holidays and especially in the pleasant summer months. Also, the gorge trail can get busy. Fewer people hike the trail mid-week and rain keeps the crowds away. Luckily, the hike is arranged in a one-way system clockwise due to the narrow and often slippery path. Start the hike at the waterfall entrance on weekends at 10 a.m. to enjoy the White Lady Waterfall before it gets too crowded.
Throughout spring and summer wildflowers like the bluebell and wood anemone both in May and also wild garlic are in bloom along the trail.
- Often they leave the gate open. This enables you to start the hike early morning before or in the evening in summer after the crowds. There is a donation box to put in the entrance fee.
- We recommend staying in Lydford for one night to hike to Widgery Cross which is still a hidden gem. Check out the place just around the corner. We highly recommend the Lydford Country House 15 minutes walk from the gorge.
Climate Tavistock (south of Lydford)
Lydford experiences a temperate climate. July and August are the most pleasant months with almost 20°C on average, but 30°C can occur in the summer. May, June, September, and October are cool with temps between 10°C and 17°C. November to mid-April are cold on average 3°C to 8°C. Usually, the temps in winter are above 0°C. The wettest months with drizzle and precipitation are October to March. Anyhow, don't forget your rain jacket. Rain may occur throughout the year.
It’s a short steep hike always uphill and the same way back. You can already see the cross on the top of the hill from far away.
Hiking to Widgery Cross and Brad Tor is almost always possible even in changeable weather. This short hike is a "hidden gem" and not marked. Best visited and more impressive at the magic hour before sunset if the Dartmoor weather allows a blue sky and sunshine. Avoid hiking here in May during the huge Ten Tors event. Check out the details here.
There isn't any sign for the walk or the car park. The reason that not many people walk to the cross. We marked the minor road on the map which leads to the parking site. Coming from Tavistock or Lydford Gorge on A 386, after the Dartmoor Inn (they offer delicious local meals) on the right before the farm stall on the left turn right into a gravel road. Shortly afterward you have to pass a gate, and after roughly 200 meters you get to the car park which is for free. For more information make a stop at the farm stall. They offer the best beef pasty and a good coffee. The owner provides you with lots of information and pictures for hiking in the nearby surroundings. It’s also one of the car parks for the famous Ten Tors hike. Each May a huge hiking event takes place on Dartmoor for two days.
The climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the higher altitude and exposed areas, more extreme climate conditions appear. Much more precipitation occurs on Dartmoor than in the surrounding lowlands. Many rivers emerge on here. The rain gets quickly absorbed by the moor, the reason that the soil is often soaked. Sometimes the weather is notoriously bad, windy, cold, foggy and of course wet! Autumn and winter are the wettest time of the year. Snow can occur in the winter, but it’s not common. Anyhow, sunny days or hours appear. The driest months are in the summer. The summer mean daily temps are below 20 degrees, but up to 30 degrees are possible.