Explore the Beauty of Nidderdale on the Fewston Reservoir Circular Walk
Discover the beauty of Nidderdale with this Fewston Reservoir circular walk. Spanning four miles, this route is suitable for beginners and children, offering serene views and an invigorating experience.
Begin at the car park by the side of the A59 at Blubberhouses. Ascend the steps to reach the main road, then turn right to cross the bridge over the River Washburn. Once over, take an immediate right into the woodland path. Ensure the reservoir remains on your right for the entirety of your walk, hugging its scenic shores on a well-marked footpath.
Initially, the path will guide you along Fewston Reservoir’s northern banks, culminating at the northern tip of the Fewston Embankment. Cross this embankment, and soon, you’ll be tracing the southern shores of the reservoir.
Completing the Fewston Reservoir circular walk takes approximately 1½ to 2 hours at a leisurely pace. As you loop back, you’ll find yourself at the car park, marking the end of your picturesque stroll. If you’re interested in a longer walk, check out Fewston Reservoir Walk: Discovering Swinsty Reservoir and More on this website.
Fewston Reservoir Circular Walk: Maps and Tools
Visit either the OS Maps website or the Outdooractive website to view this walking route in greater detail. Both platforms offer a range of features, including the ability to print the route, download it to your device, and export the route as a GPX file. You can also watch a 3D fly-over and share the route on social media.
Fewston Reservoir Circular Walk: Distance, Duration, Statistics
Distance: 4 miles
Distance: 6½ kilometres
Duration: 2 hours
Ascent: 276 feet
Ascent: 84 metres
Type: Circular walk
About Fewston Reservoir
Fewston Reservoir, situated in Yorkshire, England, lies in the picturesque Washburn valley, just to the north of Otley and to the west of Harrogate. Initiated in 1874 by the Leeds Waterworks Company, Robert Brooks oversaw its construction, with the advisory expertise of Edward Filliter from Leeds and Thomas Hawksley from Westminster. The reservoir was completed in 1879, presenting a historic yet enchanting site.
As part of its construction, both Fewston Mill and West House Mill at Blubberhouses were taken down. Remarkably, the stones from these mills were repurposed to construct a surrounding wall for the reservoir. Equipment and locomotives from the nearby Swinsty Reservoir project also contributed to its formation.
Holding an impressive capacity of roughly 3.5 million cubic metres, its overflow seamlessly channels into the Swinsty Reservoir, demonstrating a well-considered design. However, the original metallic pathway around this overflow is now missing.
Now under the guardianship of Yorkshire Water, the reservoir is diligently managed to cater to walkers, anglers, and wildlife. The Fewston Reservoir circular walk is a favoured choice, showcasing stunning vistas. Its trails also attract runners, while nearby woodlands offer specific tracks for cyclists and horse riders.
Fewston Reservoir boasts excellent accessibility. The Swinsty Moor car park provides accessible loos and parking bays. The reservoir itself has an accessible pathway, characterised by its broad, smooth surfaces and the occasional gentle slope. Absent of steps, stiles, or gates, the Fewston Reservoir circular walk remains a top pick for walkers and nature enthusiasts.
Recommended Ordnance Survey Map
The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley, reference OS Explorer 297, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.
Fewston Reservoir Walk: My Photos
The walkway meandering through the northernmost woodland of Fewston Reservoir, south of the A59.
The forest pathway adjacent to Fewston Reservoir’s northern end, situated south of the A59.
The tranquil trail running through the forest on the northern fringe of Fewston Reservoir.
A snapshot of Fewston Reservoir, seen from one of the numerous benches positioned along the path.
The south-eastward view from Fewston Reservoir’s northern boundary towards Fewston Embankment.
The leisurely journey along the northern rim of Fewston Reservoir.
A relaxed stroll along the northern bank of Fewston Reservoir.
A vista across Fewston Reservoir from its northern coastline.
The north-westward perspective from the northern edge of Fewston Reservoir.
A downward view of Reservoir House at the northern extremity of Fewston Embankment.
The pedestrian and vehicular path crossing Fewston Embankment.
A north-westward perspective of Fewston Reservoir from Fewston Embankment.
A glimpse from Fewston Embankment showing the River Washburn exiting Fewston Reservoir, meandering towards Swinsty Reservoir.
A view of Fewston Reservoir from the southernmost point of Fewston Embankment.
The leisurely trail near the southern extremity of Fewston Reservoir.
The southern tip of Fewston Reservoir’s banks, providing a scenic viewpoint of the reservoir.
The forest trail adjacent to the south-western coastline of Fewston Reservoir.
The route bisecting the woodland on Fewston Reservoir’s western boundary.
The south-eastward view from the western coastline of Fewston Reservoir.