Avon Reservoir Dam walk

The Avon Reservoir Dam walk is certainly one of the easiest days out you could do on Dartmoor. The road/track in is wide and well maintained by its owners and custodians, South West water. Built in 1957 the Avon Reservoir has been providing water for the South Hams for over half a century.

Shipley Bridge carpark is found by winding your way up through some classic rural roads from South Brent. These roads are seldom busy but you may well find a variety of slow moving vehicles and pedestrians along the way.

Walk description – Easy – 6km

As the descripiton above suggests, it is an easy, there-and-back-again walk that follows the coarse of the River Avon as it winds up the valley to the Avon Dam and reservoir. There is no need for a map other than to pick out places of interest and there are plenty of stops along the path should you need. The river is quite stunning in places with some steep water falls. By contrast there are also some more popular gentle sections of the river that are ideal picnic spots.

The final ascent to reach the reservoir is the least maintained part of the track but the view is worthwhile, especially when the Dam is overflowing after periods of peak rainfall. You suddenly feel like you are in the middle of the moors after leaving the sanctuary of the Avon’s sheltered leafy valley.

If your desire is to visit one of this walks tors then Black Tor is easily reached from the reservoir service track a few hundred metres along from the car park. Break out left from the treack as soon as the forest area ends and the open moor begins.

Shipley Tor is a bit of an enigma, as it proves to be hard to reach from wherever you approach. If you do, then take your climbing shoes as you probably won’t fancy coming all the way back just to say you’d climbed on it

Additional images along the way