Explore Dartmoor National Park

Discover a haven of history and beauty at three reservoirs on the eastern fringe of Dartmoor National Park. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere of the surrounding farmland, forests and water on a woodland walk. Follow some lovely off-road paths and footbridges; Trenchford and Tottiford are linked by a network of trails, culminating in a rugged round lake walk at Tottiford.

Car parking at Trenchford is just £2 for two hours, and £4 for the whole day. Your contribution helps us to maintain the lakes for everyone.

Discover Dartmoor’s History

Ponder the hidden secrets lying beneath the water at Tottiford, Dartmoor’s oldest reservoir; a prehistoric ceremonial complex was uncovered in the mud below in 2009, when the water levels dropped. The complex consists of stone rows, burial cairns and a stone circle, measuring 27 metres in diameter. 

Some finely worked flint tools were also found close to the complex, including knives, piercers, notched blades, microliths (very small flint tools used as barbs, tips of arrows, or placed edge-to-edge in a wooden haft) and some cores (the remains of the pieces of flint from which the tools were made). Some of the tools date back to Mesolithic times (8,000 years ago), indicating that this area has been the focus of human activity over many thousands of years.

The combined footprint of Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford covers four parishes: Bridford, Hennock, Christow and Lustleigh. Constructed in 1861, Tottiford is the oldest reservoir on Dartmoor followed by Kennick in 1881 and Trenchford in 1903. Between them they hold 2,156 million litres of water (474 million gallons).

Wildlife at Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford

The countryside around the reservoirs is a feast for the eyes at any time of the year; bright pink and purple rhododendrons set the landscape ablaze with colour in early summer, while beautiful bluebells flourish in spring. Bring along your lunch and dine in this perfect picnic spot!

Set out on a walk and see what wildlife you can spot! Keep an eye out for geese, coot, mallards and herons among the reeds.

We are especially fortunate to have dormice present at Trenchford. The hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) is a rare and protected mammal native to the UK. This adorable animal has become locally extinct in some places throughout the UK, with the destruction of suitable habitats being the leading reason for this decline in populations. At Trenchford reservoir, 50 brand new boxes have replaced those previously installed, which will provide great protection for the dormice when they come out of hibernation in April and May. Emma, our Ecologist, will be monitoring the boxes each year as part of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme. If you would like to get involved in any of our conservation work then please contact Emma on [email protected]

Fishing at Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford 

Kennick is a top rated premier rainbow trout fishery with angling from bank and boat. Kennick is restricted to anglers only due to the narrow banks and anglers’ backcasts. Find out more here.

Tottiford is a carp syndicate water, while Trenchford is a pike fishery open all year round. Find out more here.

Address: 

The reservoirs are the closest of the lakes to Exeter (32 mins) and Torbay, and 32 minutes from the A30. 

Kennick Reservoir, Exeter, Devon, EX6 7NZ

Trenchford Reservoir, Devon, TQ13 9PD