Starts/Finishes: Burrator Arboretum Car Park, PL20 6PF
(GR: SX 568689)
Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Distance: 2.5 miles approx.
Terrain: Tarmac roads, hard-packed gravel paths, boardwalk and wide gates.
Burrator Reservoir Accessible Walk
Enjoy an inclusive family walk to blow off the cobwebs over the festive period.
This walk starts at the Burrator Arboretum and Nature Reserve car park, south of Norsworthy Bridge car park where you can park and follow the road down if full. From here, you can easily make your way inside to enjoy a sensory wildlife experience accessible to all thanks to its easy access footpaths suitable for wheelchairs, buggies and mobility scooters.
Expect to see dragonflies, various birds and a variety of interesting wildlife going about their day to the soundtrack of the burbling brook. An intriguing network of ponds and wetland habitats make this area richly diverse and fantastic for accessible exploration.
Once finished here, (1) head back out through the car park and onto the quiet road, turning left to head west. You’ll pass Sheepstor on your left as you make your way through the woods, catching glimpses of the glistening reservoir water.
(2) In ¾ mile you’ll reach the remains of Longstone Manor – built in the 16th century as the home of the Elford Family, but abandoned after the construction of the reservoir. This peninsula on which it resides is also accessible to most, giving everyone the chance to discover the remains of the house-cum-cider-farm, while also getting up close to the water.
From here, continue on to Sheepstor and Burrator Dams (3) for a visual timeline in dam engineering – one made from over 60,000 tonnes of stone while the other uses earth and a waterproof clay core. Both are impressive in their own ways!
(4) After crossing Burrator Dam, you’ve the option to detour to Burrator Quarry – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and another fascinating Dartmoor landscape to discover.
Otherwise, continue around to the right and make your way towards the interactive Burrator Discovery Centre (5) to learn more of the areas rich history, much of which is spoken and displayed on screen too.
From here you’ve two options to return back to the car. Those relying on wheel-power are advised to retrace the route which they came, (6) while those on foot can make their way along the footpath down to the edge of Burrator Reservoir and through the woods to continue around the full perimeter of the reservoir to Norsworthy Bridge, (7) then turn right to follow the road back to the car park.