Embsay Reservoir, near Skipton

Location: Embsay Reservoir car park, BD23 6PR

Distance: 1 mile circular

Link to route

This is our ‘go to’ short walk with it being so close and it is a great starter walk for toddlers. The reservoir offers stunning views of Embsay Crag, Crookrise Crag and out over Skipton.

The car park is free and the walk is a circular route.

The terrain is a mix with a track for half of it and then grass around the rest although parts have been improved over the last year. It does remain boggy in parts so wouldn’t recommend a pram (although I managed to get a trike round in the summer).

On a summers day when the water level is a little lower there are a few ‘beaches’ including a really nice sandy one that emerges next to the spillway which is great for paddling and throwing stones in the water. It’s also a good rest point after walking along the crest of the embankment. There is another beach which is quite rocky but be careful as this is home to all the geese so you can imagine what you may mistake for a stone! Take the wipes with you!

There are plenty of benches to stop and rest and of course eat snacks but they are also great for just watching the world go by, the boats and wind surfers on the water, the geese flying in, the dogs swimming, and just general people watching.

Reservoir crest road with views of the crag
The crest road
embsay reservoir walk
Easy to navigate route
beach area to paddle in the reservoir
Sandy beach for paddling
Inlet streams
View of the reservoir from the crag
View of the reservoir from the Crag

For other short walks try Bolton Abbey Priory, Skipton Woods, Stainforth Force or Linton Falls.

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