Discover the hidden gems of South West England, where charming lakes and stunning scenery await. From tranquil waters nestled between rolling hills to shimmering pools surrounded by ancient forests, this region is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an adrenaline-fueled escape, our top picks for the best lakes in South West England will leave you breathless and yearning to explore more. Join us on this journey as we dive into some of the most beautiful natural wonders that this region has to offer!
Top 17 South West Lakes in England
1. Burrator Reservoir
Burrator Reservoir is one of the top lakes in South West England. It is located in Dartmoor National Park and is a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike. The reservoir was created in 1894 and covered an area of 1,200 acres. It is fed by the River Meavy and has a maximum depth of 100 feet. There are four main walking trails around the reservoir which vary in difficulty, making it a great place to explore for all abilities. The scenery is stunning, and on a clear day, you can see for miles. Burrator is also a great place for wildlife watching, with plenty of birds and animals to be spotted. Whether you’re looking to relax or get active, Burrator Reservoir is definitely worth a visit.
2. Kennick Reservoir
Kennick Reservoir is one of the top lakes in South West England and is located near the town of Plympton in Devon. The reservoir is fed by the River Kenn and is a popular spot for fishing, walking, and birdwatching. There are also several camping and caravan sites located nearby.
3. Chew Valley Lake
Chew Valley Lake is located in the Mendip Hills in Somerset and is a man-made reservoir that was created in the 1950s. The lake is approximately 11 miles long and 1 mile wide and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. There are several walking and cycling trails around the lake which make it a popular spot for both locals and visitors.
4. Meldon Reservoir
Situated in the beautiful Meldon Valley, Meldon Reservoir is one of the top lakes in South West England. A visit here is a must for any keen fisherman, as the reservoir is renowned for its population of brown trout. There are also plenty of other activities to enjoy, including walking, cycling and birdwatching. The scenery is simply stunning, so don’t forget your camera!
5. Crofton Lock
Crofton Lock is a beautiful lake located in South West England. The lake is situated in the heart of the countryside and is surrounded by stunning scenery. Crofton Lock is a great place to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of nature. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained, such as fishing, swimming, canoeing and walking.
6. Blagdon Lake
Blagdon Lake is one of the most popular lakes in South West England. The bridge spans the lake between two picturesque villages, Blagdon and Leigh-on-Mendip. The views from the bridge are stunning, and it’s a great place to take a walk or go for a swim.
7. Fonthill Lake
Fonthill Lake is located in the picturesque town of Fonthill Bishop in Wiltshire. The lake is a beautiful spot for a peaceful stroll, a picnic or a spot of fishing. The lake is home to a variety of fish, including carp, roach and perch. There is also a children’s play area and a café on site.
8. Stithians Lake
Stithians Lake is a large reservoir in Cornwall, England. It is situated near the village of Stithians. The lake is popular for watersports, fishing and birdwatching. There is a café and shop on the site.
The lake was created in the 1960s by damming the River Kenwyn. It is now owned and managed by South West Water. The water from the lake is used for public supply.
The reservoir has a capacity of 17 million cubic metres (4 billion Imperial gallons). It covers an area of 1.5 square kilometres (370 acres). The maximum depth of the water is 30 metres (98 ft).
There are two islands in the lake, one of which is home to a colony of cormorants. A variety of fish can be found in the reservoir, including carp, roach, bream and pike.
The reservoir is surrounded by mixed woodland and grassland habitats, which are home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, badgers, foxes and rabbits. Birds such as woodpeckers, buzzards and kestrels can also be seen in the area.
9. Cannop Ponds
Cannop Ponds is a large area of freshwater ponds in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. The ponds are fed by the River Wye and are home to a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, fish, amphibians and reptiles. There are also a number of walking and cycling trails around the ponds, making it a popular spot for recreation.
10. Cotswold Water Park
Cotswold Water Park is a haven for wildlife and a place of outstanding natural beauty. It is home to over 150 lakes, which are perfect for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and bird watching. The park also has a wealth of walking and cycling trails, making it the perfect place to explore the countryside.
Shearwater is a beautiful lake located in South West England. The lake is known for its clear water and stunning views. Shearwater is a great place to go for a swim, relax by the shore, or go fishing.
12. Bitterwell Lake
Bitterwell Lake is a small, hidden gem in the heart of the South West. This lake is perfect for a peaceful day of fishing or birdwatching. There are also plenty of walking and cycling trails around the lake, making it a great spot for a family outing.
13. Wimbleball Lake
Wimbleball Lake is located in Exmoor National Park, a short drive from the popular seaside town of Minehead. The lake offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and plenty of outdoor activities, including fishing, sailing, and kayaking.
Wimbleball Lake is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The lake is well-stocked with fish, making it a great spot for anglers. There are also plenty of opportunities for sailing and kayaking, making it the perfect place to enjoy a day out on the water.
14. Roadford Lake
Roadford Lake is a large reservoir situated in the heart of Devon, England. It is approximately 7 miles long and 1 mile wide, with a maximum depth of 45 feet. The lake is fed by the River Taw and the River Torridge, and its water is used for domestic and agricultural purposes.
The lake is a popular spot for water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing, as well as fishing and bird watching. There are several public access points around the lake, and a variety of facilities are available including car parks, toilets, picnic areas, and children’s play areas.
15. Colliford Lake
Colliford Lake is a large freshwater lake located on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, England. At 8.9 square kilometres (3.4 sq mi), it is the second-largest lake in Cornwall and one of the largest natural lakes in the United Kingdom. The lake is fed by several rivers, including the River Fowey, and is drained by the River Camel.
The lake is a popular spot for trout fishing and bird watching. A variety of waterfowl can be seen on the lake, including ducks, geese, swans, and herons. Colliford Lake is also home to a number of rare species of plants and animals.
16. Upper Tamar Lake
The Upper Tamar Lake is a great spot for fishing and wildlife watching, with plenty of bird species to spot throughout the year. The lake is situated on the Cornwall-Devon border, making it a great place to explore both counties. There are plenty of walking and cycling trails around the lake, so you can make the most of the stunning scenery.
17. Siblyback Lake
Siblyback Lake is a stunning man-made reservoir situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. The lake was created in the 1960s as part of a hydroelectric scheme, and it has since become a popular destination for water sports and fishing. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding on the lake, or try their hand at trout fishing. The lake is surrounded by scenic countryside, and there are plenty of walking and cycling trails to explore in the area. With its tranquil waters and picturesque setting, Siblyback Lake is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Cornwall.
South West England is blessed with a wealth of beautiful lakes and rivers, offering a great opportunity to explore the area’s natural beauty. From charmingly serene Dartmoor lakes to stunning Loch Lomond, there’s something for everyone in this region. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll by the water or a more adventurous kayak trip, make sure you take the time to explore some of these amazing places when you visit South West England.