Experience True Victorian Folly at Canonteign Falls
The Canonteign Falls are widely considered to be one of the most magnificent examples of a Victorian Folly of their kind, and are the highest man-made falls in England. A 40-minute drive from Galmpton, the natural falls have been in this beautiful valley since the late 1800’s.
Canonteign is home to two sets of waterfalls – ‘The Clampitt Falls’, which start high up in Dartmoor, run through Canonteign and fall into the River Teign below, and ‘The Lady Exmouth Falls’ – so called because they were built under the direction of the 3rd Lady Exmouth in 1890 and standing at an impressive 70 metres tall.
Passing by ‘The Clampitt Falls’ takes you through the Secret Garden and Victorian Fern Garden and leads up to Buzzards View, which sits above ‘The Lady Exmouth Falls’ and offers spectacular panoramic views across South Devon and Dartmoor.
On the pathway down, you pass through ancient woodland to the Lily Lake, old Orchard and Bee Garden. There is also a Mini-Assault Course and Zip Line for the kids. There are seven lakes in total at Canonteign Falls, constructed in the early 1900’s by the current Lord Exmouth. The lower lakes alone offer a rare experience as they are home to wildlife such as Kingfishers, Bats, Butterflies, Wildfowl and Otters – all living in their natural habitat. The ‘Swan Lake’ is also home to Canonteign’s very own pair of Black Swans – Rudolph and Dame Margot.
Recently, a round sitting bench with twelve poems around an ancient oak tree has been designated ‘Poets’ Corner’. This is a peaceful area where you can sit and enjoy some of the most beautiful views Devon has to offer.
A place for the kids…
As mentioned earlier, there is a 30-metre Zip Wire and Mini-Assault Course, which kids will love. The assault course combines climbing, swinging and balancing skills, which are suitable for children from 5-12 years.
In 2014, a huge wooden galleon, ‘The Indefatigable’, was added to the children’s play area, and it is named after the famous ship belonging to the Estate’s original owner – Admiral Pellew, who was the 1st Viscount of Exmouth. Filled with climbing walls, slide poles and rope ladders, The Indefatigable is a great place for budding sailors and pirates! However there are trampolines, a climbing frame and swings too – meaning there is lots of fun to be had all round! On top of this, Canonteign is also home to some furry friends in the form of Hector – the Estate Hound, and Basil and Clarissa – two giant rabbits that love having visitors.
Opening times and prices…
The Canonteign Falls open for the season on the 16th March and are open from 10am to 5pm at the weekend. From Monday to Friday, the Falls are open from 10am to 4pm with last entry at 3pm*. The Home Farm Café opens at 10am and serves breakfast and lunch, and the Gift Shop is where the Estate’s original Home Farm milking parlour used to be.
Walking at Canonteign Falls can be challenging because is it a natural environment and so sturdy walking shoes or trainers are recommended when visiting. The ‘Grandad’s Way’ walk is accessible to wheelchairs and takes you around the Lily Lake to the foot of Clampitt Falls. It is about a quarter of a mile round, but if the weather is dry, you can continue on to the Lower Lakes.
Admission is £7.50 for adults, £5.75 for children ages 4-16, and £6.50 for students and OAP’s. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children is £24.00. For groups of 12 and over, there is £1.00 off the admission price. Wheelchair users are free of charge and carers receive a £1 discount off the entry price. Entrance to the Cafe and Gift Shop alone is free of charge.
There is disabled car parking as well as disabled toilets on-site, and pushchair access is similar to wheelchair access. Baby carriers are available for hire at £2 each and walking poles are available to be loaned out if you are unsure of your footing.
*Please Note: If there are heavy rain or high winds, because of the nature of the location, Canonteign Falls may have to be closed for health and safety reasons.
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