A walk around Fewston Reservoir

The walk around the perimeter of Fewston Reservoir is one of the best of all the reservoir Walks in the Leeds and Harrogate Area. The paths are well maintained on all of the 3.7 mile walk. Additionally the views of the reservoir and the immediate countryside are virtually unobstructed. This can not be said of the walk around neighbouring Swinsty Reservoir where much of the walk is enclosed by walls. This easily makes Fewston the preferred option. On a good days the views are spectacular as the photographs of my walk around the reservoir show.

Google Maps Open Source Maps

Statistics and Files
Start: Car park off A59 Distance: 3.7 miles (6.0 km) Climbing: 81 metres
Grid Ref: SE169553 Time: 1.5 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Fewston Reservoir
Start: Car park off A59 Distance: 3.7 miles (6.0 km)
Grid Ref: SE169553 Time: 1.5 hours
Climbing: 81 metres Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

The Walk:

Fewston Reservoir - the north west endFewston Reservoir - the north west end
Looking south east across Fewston ReservoirLooking south east across Fewston Reservoir

Springtime is when this walk should be done. No doubt about it. Just make sure it is a sunny day to appreciate the rich and varied colours that are going to attract your eyes during this excellent level ground waterside walk. Before you start prepare yourself to enjoy peace and tranquility, rich flora, a selection of wildfowl and splendid waterscapes. Just make sure you take care to avoid the lines of the anglers as they exercise their casting skills.

The path around Fewston Reservoir is very goodThe path around Fewston Reservoir is very good
Submerged trees in Fewston's south spurSubmerged trees in Fewston's south spur

Fewston Reservoir has a well laid path around the entire perimeter of the waterside and much of it is pretty close to the edge. There are sections to enjoy away from the water where song birds thrive like the woody section around Beecroft Moor Plantation on the reservoirs south west spur. There is a hollow on the spur where you are likely to hear and probably see a Chaffinch or Willow Warbler. This area is also rich in butterflies. I saw loads of Peacock Butterflies during a walk around the reservoir on a sunny mid May day.

Geese and Goslings on Fewston ReservoirGeese and Goslings on Fewston Reservoir
Fewston Reservoir Dam and spillwayFewston Reservoir Dam and spillway

As well as song birds I was delighted to see two families of geese sticking together to lovingly protect their contented goslings. I counted 18 goslings in a clutch with four adults. There were also Moorhens and Ducks on the Reservoir. some of the ducks had young with them but the Moorhens did not. They breed more than once in a season and did not wish to oblige me this day.

Looking south east to Swinsty from the road crossing Fewston DamLooking south east to Swinsty from the road crossing Fewston Dam
Fewston ReservoirFewston Reservoir

Apart from the wildlife Fewston Reservoir is famed for its large variety of species of wild flowers. It is a botanists dream with spring and early summer the best times to enjoy the flowers on offer. The wetter ground includes cuckoo flower, common valerian, common spotted orchid and meadow sweet while drier areas support milkwork, common vetch, betony, golden rod, common cow-wheat and many many more. Just bring a British Wild Flowers book and you can spend all day around Fewston Reservoir flower spotting. Don't do it though despite the temptation some time must be spent looking over the reservoir to the superb views. This is indeed one of the family weekend walks.

Walking back towards BlubberhousesWalking back towards Blubberhouses
Blubberhouses Church signals the walk is almost completeBlubberhouses Church signals the walk is almost complete
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