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Fernworthy Reservoir

An absolute gem of a walk,with scenic views, picnic areas, and winding forest and waterside paths. This is the perfect spot to connect with nature and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Fernworthy Reservoir

START Fernworthy Reservoir

DISTANCE 2.75 miles

TIME 2 hours

PARKING At the reservoir car park (pay & display £5 all day)

ROUTE CONDITIONS Mostly level paths

REFRESHMENTS A Coffee van is present during peak months at weekends, but to be honest, it's better to bring your own here, with some beautiful picnic spots.

TOILETS In the car park



This is one of our favourite Dartmoor walks to do with the little ones. It has the perfect combination of being far enough out on Dartmoor to feel like you are having a proper adventure, but it also has the benefit of being mostly flat and well surfaced walking. At the time of writing, our eldest daughter is 3.5 years old, and is able to complete the walk no problem. The distance probably works out at just over 3 miles, when you factor in the usual explorations and adventures. Another benefit of this walk, is that although the car park can get busy, there are so many different paths you can take, that it rarely feels busy, and it always feels peaceful. 

For this walk, we have just focused on the round the reservoir path. This is well signposted, so there is no need for an in depth route description here, but our advice is to follow the path anti-clockwise around the reservoir.


The walk starts from the car park and is well signposted from the picnic area, heading towards the dam. The dam provides some early excitement in the walk, if the views of the water are not enough on their own! The dam section is also the hilliest part of the walk, dropping down to cross the water, and then back up again to the dam. There is a viewpoint here to get a good view of the water cascading down the dam wall.

The walk continues along the northern bank of the reservoir, and there are some lovely views back across to the main picnic area and the forest beyond. About halfway along, the path moves away from the waters edge and into a more wooded area. It is this variation in scenery which is one of the reasons this walk is so enjoyable.

Continuing to follow the signs, the walk skirts the far western side of the reservoir on a lane. It is possible to work your way around the waters edge here, but we recommend sticking to the signposted route along the lane, as the path by the water is not very well defined.

Where the route leaves the road and goes back towards the waters edge, is the second picnic spot. From here, it is a 15-20 min, well signposted walk back to the car park, depending on how tired the little legs are!                

Tot Tips:

There is a second picnic spot in addition to the main car park one, at 0.7 miles if walking clockwise from the car park, or just over 2 miles into the walk, if walking anti-clockwise. Having it to aim for towards the end of the walk is our preferred option, and it is a lovely peaceful spot to relax and rest

Fernworthy Reservoir

View and download Garmin GPS route here

Get directions to start point here

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