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Walking Around Grimwith Reservoir a Hidden Gem in the Yorkshire Dales

Updated on April 9, 2019

Where Is Grimwith Reservoir ?

Well, the postcode is BD23 5ED so that should help get you there. Geographically it is in the U.K in the Yorkshire Dales between Grassington and Pateley Bridge. We would have never found this walk if we were just passing by, we googled walks in the area in advance, and this one popped up. It is just past a little village called Hebden, and you definitely need the satellite navigation on as it isn't signposted until you are on the turning itself. This is probably why it is such a quiet walking route. There is a huge free carpark, which has a set of toilets that aren't to shabby, and there is also a sailing club hidden away here.

About Grimwith Reservoir

Grimwith reservoir was built between 1856 and 1864. The reservoir site consist of areas of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas Of Conservation, and Special Protected Areas. It has grade 2 listed buildings, and is a conservation area for many different birds such as the Eurasian Wigeon, Greylag and Canadian Goose on the water, and the Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Reed Bunting and Lesser Redpoll on the wetlands. Making it a great place to go for bird watchers and walkers alike.

The Actual Walk

  • You arrive on the carpark and are granted a spectacular starting view. Up above the waters edge, it puts you in a good mood from the outset.
  • The walk is about 4 miles / 7 kilometres long, and took us less than 2 hours to complete, on a nice sunny day you could easily spend more time here, bring a picnic and sit by the stream.
  • The paths are clear to see, I don't think you would get lost even if you had no sense of direction, there are man made paths all the way around, so it is easy to follow, there are also little sign posts to point you in the right direction.
  • It isn't the best walk for dogs as they have to be kept on their leads for the majority of the time due to the conservation of the birds, but my dog didn't mind, there are a couple of areas where they are aloud off leash if kept under control. Any water loving dog would be very disappointed though as there are only 2 little streams that are accessible to them, they aren't allowed in the actual reservoir.
  • The views all the way around are really nice, we got the feel of being in an old period book based on the moorlands, there were hills all around, crags and crevices and little streams leading into the reservoir.
  • We visited on a Sunday and the sailors were out on the lake, it was mesmerising to watch from all the differing angles of the route.
  • The grade 2 listed buildings are fenced off for conservation but you can still see them and there are little signs to tell you more about them. There are also signs to tell you about the local wildlife. So it's nice to read and understand what's around you as you go.
  • If you look carefully at some of the walls on the route they have carved stones in them with poems engraved about the Reservoir, just a nice quirky touch we thought.
  • The weather was nice and fine when we visited, but there was still a wind blowing, it was very exposed, so I imagine on a winters day it would be very wild and bleak up there, so maybe a walk best suited to nice weather days.
  • On one of the search results for this walk it had an image of users with disabilities and wheelchair users, however I think this is quite misleading, the paths are very bumpy with loose stones and there are lots of hills up and down all the way around. I work with a wheelchair user, and this would be a nightmare for her chair. So a word of warning, heavy duty prams could handle this fine, but unless you have an off road wheelchair, it's a no go!
  • It really is a quiet and peaceful walk. It wasn't crowded at all, there were others on the walk but we never followed or had people following us. So that was nice, you get your own little space.
  • There aren't any bins except the one at toilet on the carpark so be prepared to carry your rubbish / dog waste bags with you. Many people left their dog waste bags at the side of the paths, which is gross, I'm a dog owner and it gives us a bad name, please don't do that, nobody wants to look at bags of poo when they've come to see nature!
  • All the way around you can hear the different bird calls, it really is a bird watchers dream. I just love listening to the different sounds whenever I'm out walking, it's really peaceful and relaxing.

So That Is Grimwith Reservoir

If you are holidaying in Grassington or another nearby town and enjoy walking and wildlife then this walk is definately worth doing. Or even if you live in the surrounding area go check it out, we live about an hours drive away, and we thought it was worth the trip for a nice change. It's not too strenuous a walk and there are plenty of benches to sit and take in the views. A great cheap day out for all the family to enjoy.

© 2019 Michelle


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