Venford Brook, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

Venford Brook, Holne, Dartmoor National Park

Venford Reservoir sits on the edge of Dartmoor's south plateau between Holne and Hexworthy. At the northern end of the reservoir is a dam and beyond this are water works. Venford Brook flows from the dam area down through a pretty valley in to the River Dart as it tumbles through the Dart Gorge. We include Venford Brook because a path runs down its east side offering access to the River Dart at the bottom on the Dart Gorge.

We've positioned Venford Brook on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. To visit, head for Venford Reservoir. There are parking areas on either side of the dam wall. The one to the west has public toilets. A good path runs down the eastern side.

Start from the car parking area to the east of the dam wall. Walk north west to the corner of the railings that surround the water works. Drop down to the disused road that curls around the spur of land on which Bench Tor sits. Follow that disused road for a few minutes and you'll see a track to your left cutting through ferns in to woodland. It's reasonably steep to begin with but flattens out as you approach the River Dart. From there, you can walk the bank of the River Dart east towards Mel Pool. If you choose to follow the track, note that it does get more difficult as you head east. After rain, the sound of the river is intoxicating.

You can also follow a path down the western side of Venford Brook. It runs along the lip of the Venford Brook valley and then zig-zags down to the River Dart. This path is away from the brook.

It's possible to cross Venford Brook close to the dam wall and water works. On the ground, you'll see rough paths leading down to the water. We've also crossed on many occasions close to where the brook flows in to the River Dart. If water levels are high, these crossings are more difficult. After very heavy rain, don't try to cross. Use the dam wall to walk east and west of Venford Reservoir.