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You are here: Walk Routes Grimwith Reservoir

Grimwith Reservoir Walk

Grade : E
Distance : 7½Km (4¾ miles)
Height Climbed : 125 metres (410 feet)
Map : Explorer OL2
Stiles : 0
Summary : A great walk for all seasons that takes you on a tour round the reservoir, its nature reserve and protected wetland areas. As you make your way round the route you will discover poetic inscriptions in the dry-stone walls and a little history about the historically significant Grimwith High Laithe, as well as the opportunity for wildfowl and bird-spotting, including Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Wigeon. The name "Grimwith" comes from Old English times and means a wood that is haunted by a ghost or goblin.
Terrain : A mainly flat easily followed route on clear paths.
Start : Grimwith Reservoir car park and picnic site Grid Ref: SE 0631 6405. Nearest Post Code BD23 5ED (the cottages by the car park)
Access by car : from Skipton, on the A65 turn north onto Grassington Road (B6265) to Threshfield, where you turn right to stay on the B6265. After about 4½ miles turn left at the blue Grimwith signs and follow the narrow private road over the cattle grids for about 1 mile to the car park.
From Pately Bridge, head towards Grassington on the B6265 for about 7½ miles, then turn right at the blue Grimwith signs and follow the narrow private road over the cattle grids for about 1 mile to the car park.
Access by public transport : none.


1   Grid ref : SE 0631 6405
Before you start your walk you may wish to take a look at the interpretation board by the picnic area. When you're ready to start, make your way down this entry road.

2   Grid ref : SE 0620 6408
Turn right through the gate in this picture by the Grimwith Reservoir signposting then head along the reservoir wall before following the track round to your right at the other end.
The reservoir is Yorkshire Water Authority's largest and holds 4,800 million gallons of water. A reservoir has existed on this site since Bradford Corporation first constructed one in 1864. The present one however was increased sevenfold before being completed in 1983. It is home to many wildfowl and there are protected wetland areas. It will be to your right throughout the walk.

3   Grid ref : SE 0509 6473

At the T-junction by the signpost on the other side of this gate, follow the track to your right over two bridges.

4   Grid ref : SE 0535 6575

Bear right at the next junction, shown here with the second bridge.

5   Grid ref : SE 0541 6551

As the track bends round to your left through a gate, you continue straight ahead through this kissing-gate into a wildlife area.

6   Grid ref : SE 0590 6501

After about 800 metres (half a mile) you join the track straight ahead in this picture, passing the remains of the small hamlet of Gate which dates back to the late 17th Century and was flooded to make way for the reservoir. As you continue along the track keep a look out for the poetic inscriptions in the drystone walls.

7   Grid ref : SE 070666493
At this junction on the next bend, bear right across the wall separating the reservoir from Grimwith Beck before passing Grimwith House, which was vacated in the 1970s to make way for the expansion of the reservoir and is undergoing restoration. It is a replacement for an earlier house flooded by the first reservoir in the Victorian era. This is followed by the restored Grimwith High Laithe, a rare example of a Yorkshire cruck barn built around large 'A' frames ('crucks'). Built in the 17th Century with daub and wattle walls in-filled with wood or rubble. It was relocated and restored when the reservoir was enlarged because of its historical significance

8   Grid ref : SE 0722 6433

On reaching this junction a short way past Grimwith High Laithe, follow the permissive path veering off to the right.

9   Grid ref : SE 0661 6404

Then bear right again here at the other end as you rejoin the track and continue ahead back to the car park and picnic site. If time permits, why not spend a few moments finishing your flask of coffee as you look back across the reservoir. The resident chaffinches may even come up for a few farewell chirps before you finally head off home.

last route check 19/01/2019
Copyright © 2014-2019 Alan Windebank, ©1999, ©2017 Walkingworld Ltd All Rights Reserved
Last route check 19/01/2019