Thruscross Reservoir

  • Walk around the reservoir
  • Plenty of interesting woodland
  • Varied terrain

There is something peaceful and satisfying about any walk that circles a reservoir. The peaceful element comes from the wooded shorelines and tranquil waters whilst the satisfaction is from an obvious physical feature that can be completed in a relatively straightforward walk.

Thruscross Reservoir has the additional benefit of some varied walking; in particular there is some wild country at the northern end. The River Washburn leads in to some wild moorland and for a mile the walk passes over the heather clad moors, fine in the warm summer sun but I am sure it could be  bleak place in a winter storm! The reservoir itself was completed relatively recently (1966) but did still require the flooding of a largely derelict village (West End). The remains of the flax industry, largely the mills, that West End was built upon can be seen along the north western shores.

Recommend: As the highest of the 4 Washburn reservoirs this makes for some lovely late evening light for the budding photographer.

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Thruscross Reservoir map

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. 298 & 297 Nidderdale Buy Now
Start Point: SE 155574, From the Yorkshire Water car park head for 50 metres away from the dam and turn right on a path in to the woods.
Height to Climb: 163 ms
Terrain: A mix of woodland paths, moorland an some intermittant paths to the North West
Eating & Drinking: This is very much a picnic walk, plenty of lovely spots to stop in.
Similar Walks Nearby: Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs
Lower Nidd at Dacre Banks
Brimham Rocks
Places to Stay:


  1. Claire Halpin says:

    I really enjoyed this walk – thank you – wish it had been longer!

    The only niggle for me was that the public footpath around Whitmoor Farm is not at all well sign-posted. Fortunately I had the OS map on my phone so was able to find the route.

    A couple of other people I met walked through the wood along the reservoir between waypoints 6 and 7 instead of taking the moorland path just outside the wood; they said it was muddy with a lot of scrambling over trees – I wonder if that is what your previous commenter did as I had no problems like this.

    The moorland section was beautiful, and I spotted a Dipper from the bridge over the Washburn

  2. Deborah Sefton Reid says:

    Really quite a difficult walk on the moorland side – not for faint-hearted.

    Starts very pleasantly on Northern side – lovely in fact and easy enough for most walkers and children – but the return on the far side is gruelling, very muddy with fallen trees in the wood and hills to climb.

    You can leave the walk at the little bridge and return to car park on the road where some interesting birds might be seen – Snipe I think.

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