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24 September 2014

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Reservoir walk on Dartmoor
Burrator Reservoir
Burrator Reservoir
Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor is a great place for a walk. It's also perfect for the whole family, as the circuit is nice and flat. At the time of this walk, the reservoir levels were way down - so we could actually walk through a section of it.
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Burrator Reservoir is north of Plymouth, and is reached via the Yelverton to Princetown road.

It's managed by South West Water.

Work on the reservoir started in 1893, and the construction of Sheepstor Dam started a year later. Burrator Dam was also built.

The reservoir was officially opened in 1898.

Enlargement work was carried out in the 1920s to make the reservoir bigger.

The circuit is around 3.5 miles.

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Here's a nice, easy walk which the whole family can enjoy.

There are no arduous bits (unless you choose to go on a diversion up one of the nearby tors), and there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic.

To walk all the way around Burrator Reservoir, you'll need to give yourself two hours - the distance is around 3.5 miles.

Horse and rider on a bridge
A horse and rider cross Norsworthy Bridge
There are plenty of places to park up - we parked at the western end of the reservoir where the Dam is, and set off eastwards, on the northern banks of the lake.

You have a choice virtually all the way around.

You can walk along the narrow, country lanes, where you will encounter some traffic - although it's generally slow moving and there's room to let the cars pass.

You'll also come across cyclists and horse riders.

Or, if you want to get off the road, there are entrances to the plantation on the banks of the reservoir, and you can walk through the trees.

Burrator Reservoir's eastern end with no water
The eastern end of Burrator Reservoir was bone dry - and you could see old bridges
However, make sure you don't go the wrong way, and look out for the boggy bits!

On the day we did the walk, in December 2003, water levels at the reservoir were down to just 40%.

It meant that the eastern end was bone dry, and you could walk quite a long way through the reservoir.

You could see old bridges and the remnants of granite walls which are usually under water.

Sheepstor looms large above the reservoir
The western end, thankfully, had some water in it and the ducks were having a whale of a time.

There are places at this end where you can stop and have a picnic.

This is a beautiful part of Dartmoor, and you'll want to take your camera.

As well as the picturesque reservoir, there's Sheepstor, Leather Tor, fast flowing streams and lovely granite bridges.

It may not be for those who prefer a more challenging trek, but it makes for a perfect Sunday stroll...and it was rounded off with a Sunday lunch at the nearby Burrator Inn in Yelverton!

Article first published: 8th December 2003

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