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Shipley Bridge is the closest place to park to the Avon Dam Reservoir completed in 1957. From Shipley Bridge (two miles north of South Brent) it is a pleasant uphill walk alongside the River Avon up a public track to the Avon Dam. The valley changes from woodland to open moor land and, during the early part of the walk, in late the view of the many flowering rhododendrons which grow along the banks here is splendid. In the car park at Shipley Bridge there remains the ruins of a 19th century naphtha works subsequently used as a clay settling plant. After parking follow the River Avon upstream on a tarmac road. Once past a metal gate you will see the remains of Brent Moor House on your left. It was situated on a levelled area next to the River Avon, and had trees planted around it as shelter. It was a country house and the centre of a large 19th century estate before falling into disrepair. After various uses between the two world wars and after the second, it was purchased along with the land bought by the water company for the Avon Dam reservoir and its associated treatment works. The house was demolished in 1968 as it had become in a dangerous state. Nearby you can find an affecting memorial to young Margaret Meynell who died after a riding incident in 1865. Crossing a bridge the landscape becomes wilder and about half-a-mile further on you will see the Avon Dam. The whole walk from Shipley Bridge to Avon Dam is nearly two miles, about 3.75 miles the round trip. When you approach the dam you will a stony track on your right. If you take this, instead of walking to the foot of the dam, you will get a good view across the reservoir and the open moors that surround it.
River Avon near Shipley Bridge