Surrounded by British countryside and nestled on the Cornwall and Devon border, Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes are steeped in industrial history and rich in flora and fauna. This is an idyllic to spot to set the imagination free, stretch your legs and enjoy the peace that comes from being near water. Car parking is just £2 for two hours, and £4 for a whole day. Your contribution helps us to maintain the lakes for everyone. Find out about the various ways you can pay for parking here.

Walking at Tamar Lakes

Encounter nature face to face by following way-marked walks around the shorelines of the two lakes. The circular route around Upper Tamar Lake is approximately 2.8 miles (4.5km), and provides a great pathway or a lakeside walk. In partnership with 1 South West, SWLT have create a level path around the entire lake, allowing anyone on foot, bikes, mobility scooters and wheelchairs to comfortably enjoy the stunning views and wildlife. Parkrun also run here every Saturday at 9am, so join up with others and challenge yourself!

Discover a network of footpaths and off-road trails; walk across the dam and watch water cascade from the top; explore woodlands, and traipse through Upper Tamar’s wildlife zone, where you might see herons, kingfishers and egrets. The Bude Aqueduct Trail also starts and finishes at Tamar Lakes. This is a picturesque 5 hour circular walk of about 10 miles, which passes through Dunsdon Nature Reserve and Bude. See here for more information. 

If you walk half a mile from Upper Tamar on an off-road woodland trail, you will find Lower Tamar Lake. You can also drive down to Lower Tamar, where there is a car park with a stoned footpath, suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

See a map of walks

Play and Explore at Tamar Lakes

On your way, dive into the modern and interactive play area, which is accessible for children of a wide range of ages and abilities.

A designated Nature Reserve, Lower Tamar Lake is the perfect place to engage with nature. Spend a few quiet moments in the bird hide, where you might spot ospreys, sandpipers and cormorants.

Did you know? Lower Tamar Lake was constructed in the 1820s, and the boundary between Devon and Cornwall runs right up the middle of Upper Tamar Lake.

Activities at Tamar Lakes

You can also get on the water or enjoy a camping break at Upper Tamar Lake. With a range of activities including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and canoeing, our friendly activity team are on hand to help you discover an activity as a family, organised group or individual. Click here to find out more. 

Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes are also very successful and popular coarse fisheries. See if you can catch Cornwall’s record breaking carp ‘Biggles’. Find out more here.

Address: Tamar, Upper Tamar Lake, Kilkhampton, Near Bude, EX23 9SB