Walks || Devonport Leat & 3 Tors
This is a walk I put together quickly when I didn't want to venture too far from home. It is a very straightforward Dartmoor walk in the Burrator Reservoir area which includes Devonport Leat, Black Tor, Sharpitor and Leather Tor and some fantastic views.
Devonport Leat was constructed in the 1790's to carry fresh drinking water from the high grounds of Dartmoor to the expanding dockyards at Devonport. The leat has been shortened and now stops near Burrator Reservoir Dam.
Map featured below- it is recommended to take your own (preferably OS map) with you on every walk. This walk uses a Dartmoor Leasure 28 OS map. You probably won't be using a compass on a nice day, however, bear in mind Dartmoor's changeable weather, you may be thankful of a bit of guidance.
Photos from the walk are featured at the bottom of the post.
Blue shows the route out, red the route back.
Start: Yennadon Car Park, SX 547 692. This is just off the B3212- If going North towards Princetown it is just outside of Dousland where there is a crossroads, it is the right hand road and the car park is on the right next to the woods.
Finish: This is a circular walk so the start is the finish but you can obviously adapt this and finish further down by the reservoir etc.
Distance: 7 miles
Time: About three hours (Allow longer for photo stops, picnics etc)
Difficulty: In terms of navigation- Easy. In terms of fitness: Pretty easy, but there's three tors to climb, it's up to you whether you go all the way to the top of each but it is well worth doing for the views.
Refreshments: Royal Oak Inn in Meavy is only a five minute drive and about fifteen to twenty minute walk from here. Dogs and muddy boots are welcome in the bar. Good food served here, and I should know as this is where I work!
1. Start at Yennadon Car Park and head right down the road. Take the next left. Continue down this road and take a right where there is a clear path that heads into the woods.
2. Follow the path over the bridge and when you reach a path going off from this main path on the left go down this way and cross the road, bringing you to a path alongside the leat.
3. Follow the leat along this this small stretch, note the fenced off section on the left where trees were felled due to the risk of the disease Phytophthora ramorum. New trees are now being grown in this area. At the end of this stretch of the leat get yourself back on the road, heading right down it.
4. Continue down the road, you will eventually find the leat appearing again on the right hand side of the road. You will see after a short while that it has crossed beneath the road and runs alongside a small clearing/ car parking area on the left hand side of the road. Take this left and follow the path that runs alongside the leat. You will have to cross to the right hand side after a short while as the path runs out on the left. There will be a granite bridge for this.
5. Continue along this path, you will be going through woodland with some lovely views in places to your right of Sheeps Tor. You will reach a gate, go through it, continue following the leat.
6. You will reach another gate, go through out of the woodland and follow the leat alongside the old stone wall field boundaries. You may need to change sides once or twice, depending on which side has a better path and if there is a bridge available. You will want to be on the left hand side of the leat, however, when it begins to curve sharply to the right. As it does this, branch off to the left, you should be able to see Black Tor ahead, it is not vastly big but can be seen very clearly here. There is a small path already trodden in leading up to the tor through the old walls.
7. As you reach the tor you will get a good view over to the North, across Princetown and back over to the South, where you should be able to see Sharpitor and Leather tor around the wooded area.
8. Head this way, the tors, on a good day, should remain fairly visible throughout. You can easily handrail along the walled boundaries and the wooded area. However, be careful as alongside both these areas it can get quite boggy, watch where you're walking and observe when the ground changes and appears unsafe.
9. When you reach a corner of the forest, you will see Sharpitor in front of you. Rather than having two or three piles of big granite stones, it has many smaller ones all piled upon the top and sprinkled down the side. There are different small paths leading to the top, it is advised to take a look and work out which is the best path for you to take personally. When you reach the top, take a moment to appreciate the 360 views, back across Princetown, on a good day; Plymouth Sound, where the sea is visible and across to Burrator Reservoir.
10. Look South-East, you will see Leather Tor, they are very close to each other and it cannot be missed. Just head across between the tors, there are a few different outcrops here to explore and is worth doing to appreciate the different views. There is a great spot overlooking Burrator Reservoir and Sheeps Tor which makes a great photo.
11. Head down the opposite side of the tor to the side you came up, heading South-East. Between some small wooded areas you will reach the path at the bottom. This is the path that you followed the leat on. Head right down it, and head back to Yennadon car park the way you came (go right at the road, then left into the fenced off wooded area by the leat, then across the road into the woods, follow the main path right, then left at the road, then right at the junction, then left into the carpark).
Rosie enjoying the views atop Black Tor. You can see the radio mast by Princetown in the background.
Libby having a little rest atop Sharpitor. You can see the wooded area that you handrail around and Black Tor just behind that. Also visible is the B3212 heading into Princtown and the radio mast.
View across Burrator Reservoir from Sharpitor.
View from Sharpitor, looking North-West, North Hessary Tor, with the radio mast which is just to the right from the photo and King's Tor can be seen in the distance. The B3212 is just below.
Burrator Reservoir seen from Leather Tor.
The Leat runs through the trees below Leather Tor.
Looking back across to Sharpitor from Leather Tor.
Fantastic view of Burrator Reservoir and Sheeps Tor from Leather Tor.
A fine walk on a fine day.