Burrator Quarry CP - Devonport Leat - Leather Tor - Sharpitor

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A century ago the Burrator region was a thriving moorland farming community. The water supply to Three Towns now collectively known as Plymouth were via the Plymouth and the Devonport leats. Burrator Reservoir was opened in 1898. In the years following the building of the reservoir farms in the immediate vicinity were closed down to minimise the chances of the drinking water being fouled by farm run off. A lot of the farmland in the vicinity was then turned into forest plantations with the planting of thousands of trees. Many visitors now comment that the views are reminiscent of the views looking down onto Scottish lakes with their heavy forestation.

If you want to read more about Dartmoor, how the landscape evolved and Burrator in particular then
visit http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/dnp/factfile/burrator.pdf
where there is an excellent on-line book available, thanks to Dartmoor National Park and the author Peter Keene.

Burrator Reservoir is the main water supply for Plymouth. The reservoir and the surrounding wooded areas is now very popular with locals and tourists alike with many woodland and moorland paths to follow. The Devonport Leat still remains but now supplies water from the high moors into the reservoir and is piped onto to the Dousland Water Treatment works.

This walk offers spectacular views, both of the Reservoir and a close up view of the Devonport leat for two miles of its active flow from the moors and along through the plantations to the north of Burrator.

To the north, east and south of the reservoir, there are some imposing Tors and the walk leads walkers up to the Tors on the northern side, along relatively easy to follow tracks with only one short steep uphill section of note.

The views from the Tors are marvellous. The return back from the final tor visited, Lowery Tor is fairly gentle, since there is a relatively little used permissive path which leads down through the woods and then the final section across moorland down.

At the end of the walk it is well worth a stroll right down to the Dam itself, just a couple of hundred metres from car park where there is sometimes an ice cream van.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, Pub, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
10/29/2012 - Paul and Tracy Dawson

Excellent walk with spot on directions and helpful pictures. Nice and level through the plantation, with only some steepish climbs at the tors,which is to be expected. Only wish it was as sunny at the tors as when the pictures were taken :-( we had our heads down in the driving rain and got a bit confused! :-)

9/16/2012 - Patricia Lynch

Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable walk, with excellent directions and pictures. The toilets which are mentioned as being available near the dam have unfortunately now closed, showing a notice that rather unhelpfully just says that public conveniences are available "at Burrator Lodge in the grounds". Burrator Lodge can be reached by heading north along the road about half a mile from Quarry car park.

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Distance away
9.3 Miles
22.4 Miles