Lydford Gorge’s Spirit of Place

The Dartmoor team along with a number of Regional colleagues have just completed our Spirit of Place statement for Lydford Gorge. It is based on how we all feel about the place and what our visitors like about it too. I hope you like it too – we will now use it to bench mark everything we do at Lydford Gorge thus ensuring we keep it a special and magical place.

Walking through the gorge is a challenging but rewarding adventure. The only way through is on foot where you will discover mystical woodlands with cascading waterfalls, tranquil pools and gurgling streams, a timeless treasure which has ignited the imagination since Victorian times and before.


The river Lyd has carved potholes and whirlpools over thousands of years, sometimes thundering and tumbling and in other places gently gliding with its moods ever changing in rhythm with the seasons and the weather. The sound of dripping water, birds singing and trees and rocky crags towering above you makes you feel you are in a primeval world.


The gorge defended all who lived in Lydford with the deep chasm acting as a natural barrier to any invading threatening forces. Imagine people who over many hundreds of years harnessed the natural power of the river through milling and tin streaming with their history and lives now shrouded by layer upon layer of vegetation.


Mysterious yet romantic and enchanting; myths, legends and folklore abound. Wild flowers, fungi, garlic and bluebells mixed with the scents and sounds of wildlife in their natural habitat capture your senses as you walk. This is a ‘temperate English rainforest’, luxuriantly green and humid, cut off from civilisation yet available for visitors to experience and enjoy.



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