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17 September 2014
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Freshwater | Slapton Ley

Slapton Ley (Image: map)

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Slapton Ley in Devon is the largest natural lake in south west Britain. It was formed over 3,000 years ago when this shingle ridge or bar created a natural dam across a river estuary.

The National Nature Reserve at Slapton Ley is home to one of our most mysterious watery beasts - the Eel.

Freshwater (Image: Salmon c/o PA Images)

Return to Freshwater

We're dipping into some top freshwater habitats - lakes, lochs and rivers that you should explore this autumn.


Freshwater activities (Image: Slapton Ley)

Freshwater activities

  • Freshwater areas are great for watching the spectacle of Salmon leaping in the autumn.

Slapton Ley - Visitor Guide


Slapton Ley Field Centre, Slapton, Kingsbridge, Devon.

Postcode TQ7 2QP

01548 580466


01548 580123


Map:Streetmap of Slapton Ley.

Slapton ley leaflet
Ordnance Survey:OS reference SX821449
Key attraction:Hides on the reserve and a 2.5 km nature trail.
Essential kit:Walking shoes. Binoculars and scopes for bird watching.
Nature watching:

If you have an interest in Eels and want to find out more, contact the National Rivers Trust for more information on how to see them.

Slapton Ley - workshops, research library, accommodation.

Badger watching. Starling roost. Trees. Eels.


April-October: Bird watching. Starling roost in autumn.

The Slapton Ley Field Study Centre runs badger watching evenings for members of the public.


Circular nature trail at Slapton Ley.


Refreshments in local villages. Toilets at the A379 car parks and Torcross.


The car park near Torcross has a hide with disabled access.

Getting there:

Slapton Ley is located next to the A379, 30 km east of Plymouth, 15 km south of Totnes and 10 km east of Kingsbridge. The nearest villages are Slapton and Torcross.

Car parking near the shingle bar and within the reserve.

Nearest train stations: Totnes and Plymouth.

Opening times:

Year round - open access.


Field Centre - contact the centre for specific activities and times.


Entrance to the reserve is free but there is a charge for the Badger Watching evenings.

Activities (Image: Swan)

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