Trenchford and Tottiford reservoirs

Bovey Tracey, Devon

About this walk

This gentle walk takes in two lovely reservoirs on the eastern side of the moor in a figure-of-eight walk. There are plenty of paths to extend your walk if you wish to go further.

DISTANCE: 3 miles (easy walking, mainly level, though close to water at times)
NEAREST REFRESHMENTS: Bovey Tracey or Moretonhampstead. There are also picnic benches dotted around if you wish to bring your own.
CAR PARKING: On the edge of Trenchford reservoir. 

The weather forecasted a scorcher so I thought a leisurely woodland stroll around two large bodies of water would be ideal – it rained! At least the trees provided some cover, and rain or sunshine this is a peaceful and relaxing walk.

There is also some beautiful scenery and as I did this walk in April the bluebells and woodland flowers were lovely.

After parking your car (SX 804823) keep the reservoir on your left and follow the track next to the reservoir. You’ll meet the road so follow this along past a lovely open view of Trenchford reservoir and then along a tree-lined road.

This road will take you to the dam which separates the two reservoirs and after taking in the views, walk across the dam and take the path to your right – keeping Tottiford reservoir on your right. Tottiford was the first reservoir to be built on Dartmoor in 1861.


This reservoir was the subject of a visit from Channel 4s Time Team in August 2010. The programme was screened in February 2011 and showed a number of prehistoric remains on the site including stone rows and a stone circle. The reservoir was drained to enable the team to do this, so there is only the water to look at now, but you can let your imagination wonder at Dartmoor’s own ‘Atlantis’ hidden beneath the icy calm.

About halfway down the reservoir is a path that cuts it in two. Take it and then follow the path around the reservoir and back up to the dam.


At the dam which separates both reservoirs again this time cross it and go left, keeping Trenchford reservoir on your left.

There is a little uphill bit here and some lovely views across the water. At the far end is a stone bridge to cross and then you’ll follow the path back down to the car park.

Written by Gillian Adams