The Lofthouse and Angram Reservoir walk in Nidderdale

North from Lofthouse to Braken Ridge then west to Scar House Reservoir via the Nidderdale Way, which generally follows the course of the River Nidd. Further west along a track above the reservoir then north and south-west to the summit of Little Whernside and about a mile beyond. East by way of a bridleway to the Angram Reservoir dam and along the southern banks of Scar House Reservoir. Finally south-east to Middlesmoor on the Nidderdale Way over In Moor, and continuing back to Lofthouse. A 17-mile walk in Nidderdale.


The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of Nidderdale, reference OS Explorer 298, 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.

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Looking west over Nidderdale towards In Moor.


Cottages on the Nidderdale Way at Bracken Ridge.


Looking west from the Nidderdale Way at Thornet Barn. The Scar House Reservoir dam can just be seen about a mile away.


The view south-east over Nidderdale towards Lofthouse Moor (left) and In Moor (right).


The approach to Scar House Reservoir.


Scar House Reservoir

Scar House Reservoir is the second of the three reservoirs in Upper Nidderdale. The others are Angram Reservoir and Gouthwaite Reservoir. Angram and Scar House were built to supply water to the Bradford area of West Yorkshire. Water is transferred to Chellow Heights via the Nidd Aqueduct using only gravity and no pumping.

The dam contains over one million tonnes of masonry, rises to 55 metres above the river and is almost 600 metres long. It was completed in 1936. The reservoir is fed almost exclusively from Angram reservoir, which in turn is fed predominantly from the flanks of Great Whernside.

Scar House was the last reservoir to be built in the Nidd Valley and took fifteen years to complete. Stone for the dam was quarried from Carle Fell Side, to the north-west of the dam. Scar House was once home to more than 1250 villagers who built the Nidderdale dam, and evidence of the village can be seen in the form of concrete bases on the approach road to the reservoir.

The Nidd Valley Light Railway was constructed to enable the reservoirs at Scar House and Angram to be completed. The railway opened in 1907 and closed in 1937. In 1932, the former church building at Scar House was moved to St Martin’s Church in Heaton, Bradford.

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The track leading to Scar House, on the north-east side of the reservoir dam.


A rare sighting as this little creature scurried across the path. Moles are common in Britain but spend almost their entire life underground. It’s the first time I have ever seen one alive in the wild.


The western end of Scar House Reservoir, with Great Whernside in the background.


The view south-west towards the dam of Angram Reservoir.


Superb views of Nidderdale from the southern flanks of Little Whernside.


Low water levels after the long hot summer of 2018.


The view of Carle Fell above Scar House Reservoir.

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Overflow weir of Angram Reservoir.


Angram Reservoir dam and tower. The hill in the background is Little Whernside.


Carle Fell Side.


Scar House Reservoir.


Scar House Reservoir. The quarry on Carle Fell Side can be seen in the background. Stone from this quarry was used to build the dam.


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