Embsay Reservoir & Embsay Crag

  • Short walk with great variety
  • The views from Embsay Crag are excellent
  • Embsay itself is an attractive village

I think this is my most enjoyable walk near Skipton, a walk round Embsay Reservoir and a short climb to Embsay Crag. The summit of 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 Airdale Valley stretching in to the distance. The views north are very different with the wild moors of Embsay Moor climbing high above the crag.

At your feet lies Embsay Reservoir. Embsay Reservoir is a small reservoir serving the local area and was built in 1909. It nearly floods 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. The growth of Skipton accelerated with the mills necessitating the need for more water until the mills declined and tourism became the main earner for the area.

The walk itself is easy, varied and pleasant. The short climb of Embsay Crag is definitely worth doing.


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!

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & West YD South & West OL2 Buy Map
Start Point: SE 010538. There is a small car park 50 metres to the east of the Elm Tree Inn.
Height to Climb: 200m (650 feet)
Terrain: A little muddy on the climb of Embsay Crag but excellent paths and some pleasant road walking are the main feature. Easy to follow.
Eating & Drinking: The Elm Tree Inn is perfectly located for this walk....and very pleasant.
Similar Walks Nearby: Skipton Woods & Castle
Embsay Moor Circular
Sharp Haw from Skipton
Places to Stay: