Saturday, June 30, 2012

Roadford Lake

Roadford Lake is outside North Devon, but only just. It's on the North West edge of Dartmoor just past Okehampton, so not too far away really, and an hour and a bit drive from most places in North Devon. If its a nice day, it's worth a visit.

There are lots of walks from the Visitor's Centre on the east side of the lake, mostly along nice gravel cycle paths. I visited on Thursday and Friday with a bunch of school children, and we were dropped off 4km from the Visitor's Centre. Unortunately we were given a defective map and it took us some time to find the nice gravel cycle track, by which time we were all very muddy, having tramped through woodland and fields. Still, the children enjoyed it - mostly. I recommend starting from the Visitor's Centre, then you can't go wrong. It also has a nice cafe, with lovely cakes.

A short ferry ride across the lake you will find the Outdoor and Active Centre. Here you can try your hand at many water sports :sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, etc. They also have an indoor climbing and bouldering wall, archery, and high ropes. On Friday the children tried a few of these out. I went out in a row boat with one of my colleagues. I also made it as far at the top of the tower at the start of the high ropes course, but no further. It just looked a long way down. I wish I'd done it now, but I suppose there's always next year!

Next to the Outdoor Centre is a campsite. We were almost the only ones there on Thursday night. Everyone else had more sense. It was raining and blowing a gale all night. The facilities are good though, nice wash room and showers, an undercover picnic area, a large barbeque. If all this sounds like your cup of tea, I would recommend a visit. I'd go down again, perhaps with the dog and the children - although next time I might give the camping a miss.