It had been a long time since I had been to the Avon Dam; so long, actually, that I couldn’t quite convince myself that I had ever actually been there at all. I have rarely worked on the south moor with groups and most of my solo adventures would start further west at Ivybridge or Harford, and although I vaguely recognised some sections it may have been that this trip was my first ever.
It is a lovely walk with kids and a picnic, the tarmac track gently rising through the woods alongside the river Avon. The river drops quite spectacularly in places with some stunning rapids in the first sections, and after passing the ruins of Brent Moor House you leave the trees behind and come out onto the open moor. When the dam comes into sight, you have a choice of continuing along the tarmac to the left or taking a stony path up to the right. We followed the path to the right and came out with a great view of the reservoir, where the boys were keen to stop for lunch. It feels like quite a remote spot and with Huntingdon Warren, Ryders Hill and the infamous mires just over the horizon we were happy to stop.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable walk and in fact seemed like a fairly straightforward way to get into the heart off the south moor very quickly – certainly easier than trudging up Ugborough Moor. The route of the Abbots Way is only about 500m further on and there are plenty of other options for extending your walk from here.