The Lakes of the South West

The Lakes of the South West

Whether you’re on foot, bike, paw or firmly planted on a picnic blanket surrounded by goodies, the abundance of lakeside settings across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset will provide hours of cherished memories.

Here we share some of our favourite lakes of the South West just a short drive from many of our luxury cottages.


Loe Pool

Cornwall’s largest natural lake, Loe Pool is separated from the sea by a large strip of shingle. Accessed along the coastal path from Gunwalloe beach or the harbour town of Porthleven, or a wander through Penrose Estate, it is especially popular amongst dog walkers. 

Stithian’s Reservoir 

Surrounded by farm and moorland, Stithian’s is a picturesque reservoir located in West Cornwall. With something for all generations, activities here range from walking to wildlife watching to watersports. There is even a café overlooking the lake!

Colliford Lake

Colliford Lake

Colliford is Cornwall’s largest inland body of water, roughly the same size as 682 football pitches! Boasting ample car parking, lovely picnic areas and lakeside walks, this pretty lake is also just a couple miles south of Jamaica Inn – the renowned smugglers’ haunt made (in)famous by Daphne du Maurier.

Siblyback Lake

Set against the striking backdrop of Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor, Siblyback Lake is another of the county’s hidden gems. With a 5km circular walk, great children’s facilities and a café serving artisan coffee and homemade food, you can easily spend an afternoon on the shores here. 

Tamar Lakes

Near the border of Cornwall and Devon, the Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes offer plenty of level footpaths and off-piste trails. Walk along the top of the dam, explore the flora-rich woodlands and visit the Upper Tamar’s wildlife zone, where herons, kingfishers and egrets are regular visitors.  


Fernworthy Reservoir 

Located near Chagford, Fernworthy Reservoir is a glassy jewel in the heart of Dartmoor’s rugged crown. Surrounded by wildflower meadows, thick woodland and wind-scoured moorland dotted with Bronze Age hut circles and ancient stone cairns, the lake’s magical setting is hard to beat.  

Burrator Reservoir 

Entrenched in history, Burrator Reservoir is home to tors, moorland, historic settlements and a beautiful nature reserve. Set on the outer reaches of Dartmoor National Park, it provides a fun-filled day out for all generations, from nature lovers to history enthusiasts to amblers.

Roadford Lake

One of the largest lakes in the South West, Roadford Lake (also known as Roadford Reservoir) is fed by the mighty River Wolf. 730 acres in size, it’s the perfect place to go for a walk or try out all sorts of watersports, including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and sailing. 

Venford Reservoir 

Another beautiful lake to be found on Dartmoor, Ventford enjoys a secluded spot surrounded by coniferous woodland. A lovely way to stretch your legs without committing too much time, there is a mile-long footpath around the edge of the lake. 

Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford Lakes

These three reservoirs are found on the eastern fringe of Dartmoor National Park and are a must-visit if you are staying in one of our luxury cottages nearby. With plenty to see, you can revel in the peaceful ambience, fascinating history and beautiful surroundings. At Tottiford, a prehistoric ceremonial complex was exposed by low water levels in 2009, and around the lakes Mesolithic tools have also been found, including knives, blades and arrowheads.


Fleet Lagoon

All but separated from the sea by the famous Chesil Beach, Fleet Lagoon is a huge brackish lagoon, fed by a river and topped up by the tides. At 13km long, it is longer than Ullswater in the Lake District and only 5km shorter than England’s longest lake – Windermere! 

Poole Park Lake

A real urban gem, Poole Park borders Poole Harbour – Europe’s largest natural harbour. Not far from the activity of the town, the lake and its surrounding greenery are perfect for morning jogs and romantic evening strolls. With the park featuring 110 acres of parkland, play parks for youngsters, a saltwater lagoon and lakes, there is something for everyone here.

Blue Pool

If you were to see pictures of Dorset’s Blue Pool, you could easily mistake its location for far-off climes. On the Isle of Purbeck, the pool was formerly a clay pit where Purbeck ball clay was once extracted. Now flooded, the remnants of very fine clay in the water diffracts lights and creates a jaw-dropping spectrum of colour, from green to blue to turquoise.

Longham Lakes

An ideal location for birdwatchers, Longham Lakes are the site of 150 species of bird. Walk around the scenic footpaths or take up a spot by the shore and keep your eyes peeled for birds sitting on the water, gliding through the air and flitting around amongst the rushes, reeds and wildflowers. 


Wimbleball Lake

Flourishing with colour and activity, Wimbleball Lake is a year-round destination. Tucked within the rolling hills of Exmoor National Park, its 530-acre site caters to visitors with lots of walking and cycling trails, family activities and a fantastic range of watersports.

Chew Valley Lake

Next to the little village of Bishop Sutton, Chew Valley Lake is another popular choice amongst birdwatchers. 75 hectares in size, the lake often attracts rare species and is home to breeding birds such as the great crested and little grebe, gadwall, tufted duck, shoveler and pochard. 

Cheddar Reservoir

If you love getting on the water, Cheddar Reservoir is the place for you. As well as paddleboarding, you can also kayak and canoe at Cheddar, a great way to take in the views from another point of view! For more information on how to take part, visit the Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club website.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages here.


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