Scar House is my favourite local reservoir. It is less busy than Fewston and Swinsty, there is the opportunity for dogs to go for a swim, and the scenery is more varied and changing than nearby Grimwith. You can walk around Scar House Reservoir on its own for a nice walk which is around 4 miles, but if you want a slightly longer walk, you can add on neighbouring Angram reservoir to extend the walk.
There is a fairly large car park by the reservoir which gives you direct access to the walk, which includes (clean!) toilets. The walk itself is fairly easy, following the reservoir across a variety of terrain, including open moorland. This can be boggy in winter (and in summer after rain). The moor is home to lots of Yorkshire wildlife, including ground nesting birds such as lapwings which you will almost definitely see in nesting season. We have also seen adders basking on the path in summer so keep an eye out so as to avoid accidentally stepping on them! They are exceptionally well camouflaged, see if you can spot the one in the photo below….
There are some great places for dogs to jump in the water for a swim on hot days (also available on cold days if you have a water loving dog!). There are water birds about so if your dog is liable (like Merry is) to try and swim the length of the reservoir to try and catch a goose you will need to look out for them. There are also lots of sheep on this walk so keep your dog under close control.
Dog friendly rating: 3/5. This isn’t a great walk if your dog is likely to chase livestock and doesn’t walk nicely on the lead. However, if your dog IS well behaved off the lead, you can enjoy a lovely walk around Scar House with almost no people. So if you are looking for quietness, swimming opportunities and a walk which is pretty much entirely off road, Scar House Reservoir is a very safe bet.
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