Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs

  • Easy walking round 2 reservoirs
  • Plenty of birdlife, fish and woodland
  • Close to Harrogate

I have driven past these 2 beauties 100’s of times and each time vowed to walk round them. However I never left the A59 until a lovely summer’s day presented myself and Mist a couple of free hours to explore. Starting at the west end of Fewston I actually was tempted beyond Swinsty Dam and added an extra 1/2 hour on to the round trip, not sure the extra was really worth it.

The walking is easy on an excellent track, Swinsty appears the busier, possibly due to its proximity to Harrogate and a bigger, all singing all dancing car park. The bird life is wonderful and the walk is shared with fly fishermen (the reservoirs are apparently well stocked with brown trout, courtesy of Yorkshire Water). However it was the constant close proximity to the water that I enjoyed most, unusual to be so close for so long.

Recommend: Do not skimp and do just one reservoir, leave yourself time to do both

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Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2018

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. 297 Harrogate
Start Point: SE 170552. Nr Blubberhouses. I started at the free car park at the west end of Fewston Reservoir and took the south banks first.
Height to Climb: 105 ms (344 feet)
Terrain: The path round the reservoirs is well maintained but there are a couple of sections which make it unsuitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs
Eating & Drinking: On the walk itself there are some picnic tables at all 3 parking areas (the one north of Swinsty is nicely situated and there may be an ice cream van) whilst the nearest pub is the Hopper Lane at Blubberhouses.
Similar Walks Nearby: Beautiful riverside on the River Nidd
Walking the grounds of Bolton Abbey
On Ilkley Moor Bahta’t
Places to Stay:


  1. V. Allerton says:

    Much of the pathway around Fewston is fine for wheelchairs, buggies, etc. BUT such users will not be able to walk all around the reservoir and would need to re-trace their route back to the carpark.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Awkward but possible

  3. Robert Greenwood says:

    Is it possible to cycle (responsibly) around the resovoirs?

  4. Michael Ellison says:

    A good walk for able-bodied. Please note that the path around Swinsty is sutiable for wheelchair and pushchair users – although for a manual wheelchair user you will need a strong person pushing you. Due to the terrain around Fewston that is not suitable for wheelchairs.

  5. Eileen Mullard says:

    Thank you for all this wonderful info! I was looking at the mileage for both and you have provided this thanks! These two reservoirs are so lovely gentle walking of up and down, safe and so many birds and butterflies! And I agree to be close to water is amazing! Both paths are well maintained.

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