Where is this walk?

Embsay Reservoir and Embsay Crag

November 22, 2019

I think this is my favourite walk near Skipton. It starts with a walk round Embsay Reservoir and follows with a short climb to Embsay Crag.

The Walk

Just over a mile outside Skipton is Embsay village. The village is reasonably large, more of a suburb of Skipton. However it is set on the edge of the moors and has two outstanding virues. One of the these is Embsay Reservoir, the other Embsay Crag.

The summit of Embsay Crag is really a jumble of gritstone rocks. It is an excellent place to perch and survey the surrounding area. To the south lies Skipton and the wide valley of Airdale which stretches far to the south. The views north are a direct contrast. Here the land climbs on to Embsay Moor, a vast plateau of bleak moorland only punctuated by a couple of remote reservoirs.

At your feet lies Embsay Reservoir. Embsay Reservoir is a small reservoir serving the local area and was built in 1909. It once flooded the Cotton Mill on its northern banks where the workers on the reservoir stayed. Today the reservoir is the home of the Craven Sailing Club neatly bringing together the areas more recent history, tourism. The growth of Skipton accelerated dramatically during the industrial revolution. This necessitated the need for more water from the reservoir. After the cotton industry declined tourism became the main earner for the area and the sailing club and walking flourished.

The walk of Embsay Reservoir and Embsay Crag is one of the 20 best walks in the Dales.


There is a a small pool just off the bridlepath to the north of the reservoir. It is a quiet spot on an often busy walk. Find it!

Navigation Tips on Embsay Reservoir and Embsay Crag

This is simple to follow but venture further north from Embsay Crag and you will enter Embsay Moor. Now Embsay Moor is one of the most difficult navigational challenges in the Dales.

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