The jewel of Dartmoor, Burrator encompasses dramatic tors, open moorland, historic settlements and a Nature Reserve. Located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, Burrator Reservoir offers a unique day out for families, nature enthusiasts, historians and Dartmoor lovers alike.

Discover the interplay between history and wildlife at Burrator 

Uncover history in the on-site Discovery Centre, which opened in 2014 as part of the Burrator Historic and Natural Environment project. See displays, spoken history and an interactive screen, engaging all ages, from toddlers to grandparents.

Explore ample walks, history and wildlife; discover the ruins of abandoned farms, evidence of tin working, the remains of the Princetown Railway and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Spot cists, cairns and prehistoric settlements. Keep an eye out for Dartmoor’s iconic ponies too!

“The Discovery Centre, WOW, what a fab resource. We saw it in the early stages and the finished centre is so successful as a staging post for events. My children via school helped with the designs on the totem pole in the entrance, and they love having that link. I cannot speak highly enough of this building, steeped in history but brimming with up to date thinking and tech. A stunning location and backdrop for many an event I have attended.”

The area is bursting with wildlife, colour and nature; nuthatches, robins, great tits, blue tits and Horeshoe bats are just some of the bird species that call Burrator home. Look down and spot a brilliant range of flora, such as bluebells, poppies, daffodils, primroses, ferns and Welsh poppies!

Walking at Burrator

With miles of paths and moorland to explore, including an easy access 1.5 km wildlife trail in the Arboretum suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, Burrator is the ideal location for both keen ramblers and those who simply want to enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the stunning views. Watch in awe as water from the historic Devonport Leat cascades down the valley, finishing at Burrator in a waterfall. Don’t forget to take the camera and capture those special memories.

Walk up to the water’s edge through woodlands and a wetland Nature Reserve. Navigate open moorland and explore one of Dartmoor’s most spectacular tors, Sheepstor, which dominates Burrator and offers one of the most impressive views of the reservoir. Pop into Burrator Discovery Centre to pick up a free map of the site, or buy one of our self-guided walk leaflets to enable you to explore the old farms, tin working areas, and railway in more detail. Parking is available at various locations including the Quarry car park, Norsworthy Bridge car park and the Arboretum car park. Donations boxes are available and we really appreciate your donations, however big or small, so that we can keep this special site maintained for your enjoyment. Click here for more walks.

Click here to download our map before your next visit. 

Our Burrator Wildlife Guide is also available to purchase. Created and launched by three South West Lakes Trust volunteers, the guide contains information on 109 species found around Burrator Reservoir. Purchase online or call 01566771930.

Please note:

- There is no mobile phone reception around the reservoir.

- The toilets are currently closed, however we are working to reopen them soon. 

- An ice cream van is regularly based at the main dam and in the car park at Norsworthy Bridge on busy days. 

Fishing at Burrator

Try a spot of rainbow trout fishing from bank or boat. Burrator is one of the most tranquil and picturesque natural angling venues in the South West. Find out more here. You can buy permits online or by using the self-service permit hut in the car park of the Discovery Centre.

Discovery Centre: Currently closed

The main centre will remain closed for the rest of the year. However our lovely volunteer visitor guides will be running a window ‘pop up centre’ session every Wednesday in October, 10am-4pm.  Please come by the window to ask questions, find out where to walk, pick up a map, or find out more about the surrounding history.

Volunteering at Burrator: 

Love Burrator? Fancy giving something back?

Then why not try volunteering at Burrator? There are lots of different volunteering projects to get involved in to suit your interests and time availability. These include: site maintenance, practical conservation and archaeological preservation projects, bat surveys, assisting with educational visits and family events, or as a visitor guide in the Discovery Centre, and much more.  Full support, training and travel expenses provided.

Pre-lockdown, we were running weekly practical volunteering days, to which you could just turn up and not need to book in advance. 

However, in light of current restrictions, we have had to drastically reduce our volunteering programme and the numbers of volunteers for each day, and in addition can only pick one volunteer up at the bus stop on each volunteer day.

Since July, our current volunteering situation is:

  • Our site maintenance volunteers have returned in groups of 6 and attend on alternate Tuesdays.
  • Our midweek practical conservation volunteer group have returned in groups of 5 (plus staff member) and attend one Thursday every 4 weeks.
  • Our weekend practical conservation volunteer group have returned in groups of 5 (plus staff member) and volunteer one Sunday a month.
  • Our volunteer visitor guides, and education and event volunteers are keeping in touch and helping prepare resources at home, as we are currently unable to open the centre, or deliver school visits or public events at this time.

However, if you are interested in volunteering with us, we would still love to hear from you, even if we cannot get you started straight away. Please e-mail Emily at [email protected] for more information.

Address: Burrator Discovery Centre, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6PE.

Telephone: 01822 855700