The Grimwith Reservoir Walk is easily one of the best reservoir walks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the spectacular circular walk around Grimwith Reservoir.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For information about other great nearby walking routes, read our guides about Trollers Gill, Yorke’s Folly and Brimham Rocks. Otherwise, please read our big Yorkshire Dales walks guide (coming soon).
Table of Contents
About Grimwith Reservoir
Grimwith Reservoir is one of the prettiest and most scenic reservoirs in the northwest of England. It was initially built between 1856 and 1864 by Bradford Corporation Waterworks. Then, during the 1960s, the corporation expanded upon the first reservoir, making it the largest body of inland water in Yorkshire.
These days, it’s owned and maintained by Yorkshire Water. In fact, it’s the largest reservoir operated by Yorkshire Water, which supplies water to various areas in Yorkshire.
Grimwith Reservoir is also home to the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club (AKA Grimwith Sailing Club). Other than sailing, the reservoir is the location for a stellar walk. Indeed, I’m talking about the Grimwith Reservoir Walk! This guide will dive into all of the nitty-gritty details about the lovely walk.
First, let’s look at the exact location of Grimwith Reservoir.
Where Is Grimwith Reservoir?
Grimwith Reservoir is located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in North Yorkshire. The reservoir is located just north of Appletreewick and sits roughly between Grassington and Pateley Bridge. Please click on the image below to access an interactive map on Google Maps.
Grimwith Reservoir Walk Overview
- Type: Circular Walk
- Distance: 7km (4.3miles)
- Time: 2–3 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 50m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead/Parking: Yorkshire Water Car Park
- Grimwith Reservoir postcode (car park): BD23 5ED
- Map: Wikiloc
Grimwith Reservoir Walk Map
Here’s a map of the Grimwith Reservoir Walk. To be honest, trail navigation for this walk is very straightforward and self-explanatory. You’ll simply walk around the reservoir! So, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to rely too heavily upon a map. But just in case, you’ll find a link to a GPS-guided map above.
Grimwith Reservoir Walk: Trail Description
In the trail description below, we’ll talk about the highlights of the Grimwith Reservoir Walk.
Walking Around Grimwith Reservoir
Starting at the Yorkshire Water Car Park, you’ll follow a road down to the southern edge of Grimwith Reservoir. You’ll then commence the walk in a clockwise direction. Truth be told, you can walk in either direction. But, for whatever reason, most people walk around Grimwith Reservoir in a clockwise direction.
After passing the Valve Tower, you’ll follow along a flat expanse of grass. With Hartlington Pasture to your left, you’ll soon turn a corner heading along the western border of the reservoir. Soon, you’ll cross a bridge passing Blea Gill. You’ll then pass over another bridge, which takes you over Gate Up Gill. Both of these gills flow into the reservoir at the northwest end near Bracken Haw. Certainly, from the northwest side of Grimwith Reservoir, you’ll enjoy lovely views of the reservoir. Additionally, the surrounding natural terrain is superb.
The path then continues around the northern edge of the reservoir, where you’ll pass a series of ruins and houses. First, you’ll pass the remains of a farmhouse, which are essentially ruins from an old hamlet called Gate Up. You’ll then pass the ruins of Grimwith House. Bear in mind, it isn’t possible to explore the ruins. You’ll also pass a well-preserved and impressive thatched-roofed barn called High Laithe. Along the way, you’ll find useful information boards, which provide more information about the sites you’ll pass.
Finally, you’ll pass some traditional cottages (Snave Barn and Skyfell), which are possible to book if you’re looking for accommodation situated on the shores of the reservoir.
Finally, you’ll pass many sailboats as you near a return to the car park to complete the Grimwith Reservoir Walk.
Things You Need to Know About the Grimwith Reservoir Walk
Now you know all about the Grimwith Reservoir Walk, let’s look at all of the practical information for visiting. Let’s start with how to get there in the first place.
How to Get to Grimwith Reservoir
The easiest and quickest way to get to Grimwith Reservoir is to drive there yourself. We’ll look at more details about the Grimwith Reservoir Car Park below. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are very easy to book online.
FYI – it doesn’t look like it’s possible to get to Grimwith Reservoir using public transport.
Grimwith Reservoir Car Park
As mentioned, you can park at the Yorkshire Water Car Park for free. You’ll find a large car park with plenty of space. Even when it’s busy on the weekends, there is usually enough space to park.
Grimwith Reservoir Walk Amenities and Facilities
Other than the large car park, the reservoir also has a toilet block, which is well maintained. Otherwise, you won’t find much in the way of shops. So, make sure to pack your own food and drinks.
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Grimwith Reservoir Walk.
Is Grimwith Reservoir Always Open?
Yes, the reservoir is always open.
Are There Grimwith Reservoir Car Park Charges?
No, the Yorkshire Water Car Park is totally free of charge.
How Long Does the Grimwith Reservoir Walk Take?
The walk takes most people around 2–3 hours.
Can You Cycle Around Grimwith Reservoir?
As far as we’re aware, cycling isn’t banned at the reservoir. Personally, we didn’t see anyone cycling around the reservoir. Certainly, the path around the reservoir is more appropriate for walking.
Can You Swim in Grimwith Reservoir?
No, similar to the rules at many reservoirs across the UK, swimming isn’t allowed at this reservoir. This is for safety and environmental reasons.
Is Grimwith Reservoir Fishing Allowed?
To our knowledge, fishing isn’t allowed at this reservoir. Fortunately, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has plenty of reservoirs where fishing is allowed. These include Fewston Reservoir, Swinsty Reservoir (guides coming soon), Thruscross Reservoir and Embsay Reservoir. For a full list of reservoirs where fishing is allowed in the Yorkshire Dales, click here.
Is Grimwith Reservoir Dog-Friendly?
Yes, you can bring your pooch along for this reservoir walk. But, it’s advised to keep doggo on a lead to help protect the natural space around the reservoir.
What Is the Size of Grimwith Reservoir?
The surface area of the reservoir is around 1.5 square kilometres, whilst the maximum depth is around 15 metres. Amazingly, the reservoir holds approx. 21,771,225,010 litres of water!
Nearby Walks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
If you want to do other awesome nearby walks, then you’ll have to see more of the breathtaking Yorkshire Dales National Park. Below, we’ve listed some of the other best places to visit and walks to do nearby in the Dales (some guides coming soon).
- Trollers Gill: an underrated limestone gorge near Appletreewick.
- Yorke’s Folly: one of the best walks in the nearby Pateley Bridge.
- Conistone Pie and Dib: Conistone isn’t too far from Grassington. Starting from the gorgeous village, you’ll explore some exceptional limestone landscapes.
- Simon’s Seat and Bolton Abbey Waterfall: explore the epic rocky outcrop at Simon’s Seat and the underrated Bolton Abbey Waterfall in the Valley of Desolation.
- Malham Cove Walk: visit the famous Malham Cove, Malham Tarn (coming soon), Gordale Scar and Janets Foss.
- Ingleton Waterfalls Trail: there are many beautiful waterfalls to see along the Ingleton Falls Trail.
- Brimham Rocks: an outstanding National Trust attraction.
- Settle Caves and Waterfall Walk: from Settle, you’ll visit Catrigg Force, Attermire Scar and Scalebar Force.
- Ilkley Moor: a famous moorland in the west of Yorkshire.
What to Wear and Take
These are our five hiking gear essentials for the Grimwith Reservoir.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: although it’s an easy walk, the trail can get muddy, icy and slippery in winter. You’ll want to wear hiking boots with good traction, particularly if you visit during winter. Sadly, we saw someone with inappropriate footwear, slip and hurt their knee!
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
For a longer hiking gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
- Accommodation: as mentioned, there are Grimwith Reservoir cottages which are possible to stay at. If you want to book either of these gorgeous cottages (Snave Barn and Skyfell), click on the link to find out more information.
- Other reservoirs in the Yorkshire Dales are worth exploring: we’ve heard Gouthwaite Reservoir and Scar House Reservoir are two other reservoirs worth seeing. Otherwise, Eccup Reservoir and Scammonden Reservoir, although not located in the Yorkshire Dales, are located in Yorkshire, and are also picturesque.
- This walk is somewhat accessible: this walk is deemed as accessible for people using wheelchairs and motor scooters. That’s because of the decent condition of the flat path that circles the reservoir. But, there are some steep sections and uneven parts of the track. This has been reported as difficult to use by some people who are mobility impaired.
Please leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
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