Burrator Reservoir

So much more than just a dam – the jewel of Dartmoor!

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.

There’s ample walks, wildlife and history – explore ruins of abandoned farms, evidence of tin working, the remains of the Princetown Railway and a Site of Special Scientific Importance. Spot cists, cairns and prehistoric settlements. Keep an eye out for Dartmoor’s iconic ponies and a range of wildlife that call Burrator home. The reservoir is bursting with wildlife and colour – discover a huge range of birds including Nuthatch, Robin, Great Tit and Blue Tit. Bluebells, daffodils, primrose, ferns and welsh poppies are among some of the superb range of flora to be spotted.

Discovery Centre:

Burrator Discovery Centre – Pop in here to find out where to walk and learn about the history of this special area using the interactive exhibits.

Burrator Discovery Centre Opening Times: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Weekdays:  Every Tues, Wed and Thurs
Weekends: January – Sunday 21, Sunday 28.
February – Saturday 3, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, Sunday 25.
March – Sunday 4, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, Sunday 25

Visitor information – If you visit when the Discovery Centre is closed you can use the four large site orientation boards around the site which will help you plan your visit


Visitor Centre

Disabled Toilets & Access

Picnic Area

Toilets (a small charge helps to support our charity)

Car Park  (please leave a donation to help our charity)

Dog Friendly

Trout Fishing

Foot Paths

Off-Road Cycle Trails

Ice-Cream Van

  • Fishing – The reservoir is a very popular fly-fishing venue, to buy your permit you can either visit our website use the self-service permit hut in the car park of the Discovery Centre
  • Public Toilets – ‘pay as you go’ public toilets have recently been opened and are situated next to the main dam
  • Car Parking – There are three main car parks at the Quarry, Norsworthy Bridge, and the Arboretum. 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
  • Take Care – we ask all vehicle users and cyclists to be very careful around the reservoir as you need to share the road with walkers, livestock and Dartmoor ponies!
  • Refreshments – an ice cream van is regularly based at the main dam and on busy days in the car park at Norsworthy Bridge

PLEASE NOTE – There is no mobile phone reception around the reservoir

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, plus much more.  Full support, training and travel expenses provided.

For our Practical Volunteering Days please see the calendar for the dates.  For each day we meet 10:00am at Burrator Discovery Centre. Please wear old clothes and sturdy footwear/wellington boots, bring lunch and a drink, and in terms of the weather be prepared for ‘all the seasons in a day’.

If you would like more information about volunteering please contact Emily at heritage@swlakestrust.org.uk, ring 01822 855700 or pop into the Discovery Centre.

South West Lakes Trust, Burrator Discovery Centre, Yelverton, Devon PL20 6PE

Telephone: 01822 855700
E-mail: heritage@swlakestrust.org.uk

Plan your Visit - Days out for all on Dartmoor

The Arboretum is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs – the 1.5 km looped walk includes a boardwalk, two bridges, 32 nature information markers dotted alongside the path enabling people with less mobility to get up close to nature.

There’s a network of footpaths, bridleways and off-road trails to venture. 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 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.

There’s masses of things to do – visit the interactive Discovery Centre and learn all about this fascinating site. Try a spot of fishing from bank or boat, explore Burrator by bike or bring the dog for a leisurely walk. Get your kids inspired by nature and engineering – watch water cascade from the dam or download our free activity sheets and go on a bug hunt, identify trees and animal tracks or attend one of our regular wildlife events.



“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, which 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.”

Trout Fishing

Rainbow Trout fishing from bank or boat

Burrator News

Did you know?

In 1823 the Plymouth and Dartmoor
Tramway was a horse drawn line. In 1883 it was
upgraded to a standard gauge railway to enable
the use of steam locomotives.

Can you work out where the platform would have been?

Lakes nearby

Fernworthy Reservoir


Meldon Reservoir


Lopwell Dam


Roadford Lake