Avon Dam Reservoir, South Brent, Dartmoor National Park

Avon Dam Reservoir, South Brent, Dartmoor National Park

Magnificent reservoir on Dartmoor's south moor

Avon Dam Reservoir is one of the many beautiful and much visited reservoirs in Dartmoor. It's situated in the south eastern section of the National Park towards the edge of Dartmoor's south moor.

The Abbot's Way, as marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map, runs along the northern side of the water. A stunning valley drops from the dam wall to a popular car parking area at Shipley Bridge.


Directions to Avon Dam Reservoir

We've positioned Avon Dam Reservoir on Google maps. Zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location.

To visit, head to that car parking area at Shipley Bridge as marked on the OS map.


Parking at Avon Dam Reservoir

Shipley Bridge is one of the major access points to Dartmoor's south moor. There's a car parking area, toilets and information boards. A tarmac road (not open to vehicles owned by the public) winds its way up the Avon Dam Reservoir Valley to Avon Dam Reservoir. The road follows, and crosses, the River Avon. Moorland paths and tracks rise from this tarmac road making for great walking country.


Walking to Avon Dam Reservoir

Walk the tarmac road up the side of the River Avon in the Avon Dam Reservoir Valley to the dam wall and reservoir. Paths lead to both sides. Most people stick to the eastern side with its super views across the water.


Cycling to Avon Dam Reservoir

Avon Dam Reservoir is a popular place for families to take young kids and their bikes. Cycle to the dam from Shipley Bridge car park.


Picnics by Avon Dam Reservoir

Whilst there are plenty of picnic spots on the bank of the River Avon and along the Avon Dam Reservoir Valley, we'd recommend heading up to the dam for a picnic with a superb view. The tarmac road, to which we refer above, splits in the Avon Dam Reservoir Valley. The right fork takes you up to the east side of the dam wall. The left fork takes you to the bottom or west side of the dam wall.


Walking the Avon Dam Reservoir area

Walking to Avon Dam Reservoir on the tarmac road is relatively easy. For something more challenging, try the Avon Dam Reservoir Circular Walk.


Tors by Avon Dam Reservoir

Black Tor (South Dartmoor) provides superb views of Avon Dam Reservoir Valley.


Prehistory by Avon Dam Reservoir

There are some superb sites around, or near, Avon Dam Reservoir.

Rider's Rings look over Avon Dam Reservoir Valley just south of Avon Dam Reservoir.

Eastern White Barrow is a huge and impressive barrow just west of Avon Dam Reservoir.

Western White Barrow is a little west of Eastern White Barrow.

Stall Moor Stone Row is said to be the longest stone row in the world.


The Abbot's Way

The Abbot's Way is one of Dartmoor's most atmospheric long distance walks and runs past Avon Dam Reservoir. One for keen walkers.


Places to eat and drink around Avon Dam Reservoir

Avon Dam Reservoir is relatively remote. The area is ideal for picnics. Try The Oak in South Brent if you prefer to eat and drink with a roof over your head.


South Brent

It's likely that you'll pass through South Brent on your way to Shipley Bridge and the Avon Dam Reservoir. Note that the area is superb for walking and views. We'd recommend trips to Ugborough Beacon and Three Barrows on the high moor.



Buckfastleigh is a major Dartmoor tourist destination. Take a trip on the South Devon Railway, visit Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies and explore Buckfast Abbey.