Sponsored post by Yorkshire Water
It’s coming to the end of National Walking Month which has inspired me to get moving again. To kick off, I thought we’d start with a favourite of mine – Swinsty Reservoir – which is managed by Yorkshire Water. This walk has been there for me through break ups, fat moments and family time – I’m not kidding!
Where is Swinsty Reservoir?
Just a 20-minute drive from Harrogate, is the beautiful Swinsty and neighbouring Fewston reservoirs. A map available here. Fewston takes a little longer being four miles long but Swinsty is a three-mile loop through beautiful woodland and impressive views over two dams.
Is Swinsty Reservoir accessible to all?
Yes, as I mentioned Swinsty was therefore me through break ups, I often found myself power walking round the reservoir to clear my head and focus on my future. The path is sturdy and wide enough for wheelchairs, bikes and pushchairs all at once! For the power walkers among us Swinsty is achievable in 50 minutes… however if you have little legs or want a relaxing stroll the average time is 1 hour 15 minutes.
Just the other day I gathered my girls and went for a power walk after work to walk away our worries. Starting off at the Northern carpark, which has great facilities including toilet and an ever so handy boot and bike wash plus there is often a Yorkshire Dales ice cream van, we walked anti-clockwise round the reservoir. The walk takes advantage of the beautiful woodland before passing the old Swinsty Hall and before running alongside the reservoir.
A cute cafe at Swinsty Reservoir
On a weekend I have incorporated a fuel stop at the Washburn Heritage Centre on the East side of the reservoir. The café run by volunteers, offers brilliant homemade cakes and bakes with a proper Yorkshire brew. Centre features exhibitions about the heritage of the Valley and is completely free entry. It’s really easy to get to from the reservoir path and well worth a detour.
The perfect picnic place at Swinsty Reservoir
Back on the path we saw some amazing wildlife including a cormorant, heron, and a few squirrels. We even saw a lady pony trekking – what a lovely way to spend a Thursday evening. You could spend a who day here as there’s plenty of picnic spots including purpose build picnic benches, but please don’t forget to take home your rubbish!
One word of warning is that when it’s a bank holiday or the sun has got his hat on then Swinsty and Fewston are extremely popular, with people travelling from miles around, so be prepared to hunt for parking spaces.