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Roadford Reservoir

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General details:

Roadford Reservoir is a large man made reservoir in Devon (not Cornwall, as was kindly pointed out to us) with excellent facilities for family sailing, camping, bbq's and relaxing by the waters edge.

The lake is man made, & sits in a valley. Whereas most man made reservoirs suffer very badly from the wind shadow caused by the adjacent hills, Roadford is more fortunate: The hills around the lake are very low and the lake is large enough to mean that you can sail in all wind directions. That said, the lake lies North-South and these are probably the best directions for it - meaning short reaches.

Below are various pictures showing Roadford on a calm weekend. Click on the images to see a larger version. (Some of the images are on the large side so may take a while to download).

top end of lake middle of lake bottom end of lake

top end of the lake

middle area of lake

bottom end of lake

camping area showers/changing rooms BBQ area

camping area

showers & changing

undercover bbq area

The camping area leads pretty much right down to the lake, meaning that it's no problem to leave your kit rigged all night protected by the shelter of the trees, then pick it up, walk down to the water's edge and have a quick blast before breakfast - Probably the best possible start to a day.

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Directions to the right place:

Travelling south on the M5, head past Exeter then take the A30 Eastbound. Shortly before you get to Launceston (~10 miles after the turning to the A368), Roadford Lake is signposted off the A30 (past Broadwoodwidger - I kid you not.). Follow the signs which take you north of the A30 for about 2 miles. Ignore the first entrance you find to the lake picnic area and drive for about another mile until you see the signpost for the entrance to the water sports centre. Turn down the track and follow it past the warden's buildings and park on the grass immediately adjacent to the water's edge.

Click here for a location map

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How the winds work:

The lake runs North-South so these directions will provide the best wind, however because the lake is very big and only has low hills around it, the lake will work in all wind directions.

Wind Direction Comments
N Blows along the lake - ideal
NE Should work okay
E Should work okay
SE Should work okay
S Blows along the lake - ideal
SW Should work okay
W Should work okay
NW Should work okay
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Tidal conditions:

Err - not very!

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Rescue cover is provided on the lake which doesn't really have any hazards to mention.

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Hot showers, camping, under cover bbq area.

Grassy rigging / parking area.

Rescue cover.

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B&B's / campsites

Camping is avaible on the edge of the lake for a nominal fee. Showers, electric hook up, toilets and undercover bbq area are provided.

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Pubs and eateries

There are some good ones around but they're a drive away. I think one of them is called the Village Inn, but I don't know what village it is in - I believe it is Ashwater, a couple of miles North West of the lake.

You can always bring some food and cook it yourself on the bbq facilities provided!

Other possibilities slightly further afield are:

Tally Ho Inn in Hatherleigh is a bit of a drive but serves excellent food and beer - vouched for by Martin Farrimond, Aug 2008

Elliot Arms at Tregadillet - just west of Launceston, a stone's throw from the A30. Reasonable food in an interesing pub with a good choice of real ales.

For the truly bizarre, I recommend a visit to The Highwayman, Sourton. No real ale when I (Martin) visited in Aug 2008, but very welcoming to cold, wet miserable, Dartmoor cyclists; good simple food, and surroundings to keep you busy for hours.

I've had a recommendation for the Clovelly Inn at Bratton Clovelly, about 3 miles drive from the lake. (Thanks Les): "Undoubtedly the best pub in the area, if it you want food you may have to book in advance, it really is that good!"

For good fish and chips try The Winds of Change at South Petherwin, Launceston. Full extensive bar menu available all home cooking. 1.5 miles on B3254 sw of Launceston.

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Update from Mike Ratcliff - Jan '04 (Thanks, Mike)

Update from- Apr 2009

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This page last updated: 30th Aug, 2020.

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