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This is a very pleasant cycle ride that can be completed in just under an hour if you feel the need for a short burst of activity.
Burrator is a picturesque body of water surrounded on all sides by plantations and copses, with stunning vistas across the reservoir towards the open moorland of Sheeps Tor, Peak Hill and Sharpitor.
A convenient place to start the ride is by the Dam, which after any period of rain is a fascinating sight, with gallons of water flowing across the weir and falling in plumes down the dam wall into the river Meavy below. There is a car park on the approach road to the reservoir from Meavy or Dousland - or alongside the main road adjacent to the dam itself. Take a little time to admire the view before starting the ride - the valley sides around the the dam wall are full of rhododendrons and orange azalea's; a magnificent sight during the spring and there are some excellent views of the open moorland.
I always start the route in a clockwise direction, setting off northward, along the level tarmac road past Burrator Lodge. The route is, for the most part, level, with easy cycling along the very god road surface. After 1½ miles the road descends slightly to Norsworthy Bridge (grid ref. 568694), where you will find numerous footpaths leading off, through the trees towards the old Devonport Leat and ancient settlements and field systems on the fringes of Sharpitor and Leather Tor. Norsworthy Bridge has its own car park and is an excellent alternative start point to the ride.
After Norsworthy Bridge the route starts to climb for a short distance, nothing too serious, just enough to let you know that you are on the edge of a hill. As you approach the second car park, you will notice the Arboretum on you left, adjacent to Narrator Brook. The route levels out again with a gentle ride past Narrator Plantation onto the Beechcroft Plantation adjacent to the little wooded spur that juts out into the Reservoir.
As the road approaches the village of Sheepstor, you will notice a slightly more serious incline - this short brief hill, is the most taxing of the whole route. Follow the road out of the plantation onto the country roads at the edge of Sharpitor village. Turn right when you meet the T Junction and continue up the slight incline towards the dam and back to the starting point.
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