Thruscross Reservoir is a little known gem of a walk, located in the Nidderdale AONB, the less well known but equally beautiful neighbour of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Nidderdale encompasses many of the aspects that make the Dales so popular: miles of footpaths, stunning views over hills and valleys and disarmingly photogenic sheep – all without the hoards of walkers and day trippers that descend on the Dales at weekends and in the summer holidays.
Located a few miles north of Blubberhouses, Thruscross Reservoir is slightly wilder than close by Grimwith, and definitely a more strenuous walk than Fewston and Swinsty. There is free parking at the reservoir and the car park is nearly always less than half full. Take your sturdy boots and be prepared to get muddy if the weather has been wet!
The path on this 4.5 mile walk does become uneven in places (including slippery paths with tree roots growing across them), there are stiles to climb and one fairly short but steep ascent up onto the moor. This is all a small price to pay for the tranquility of the reservoir and the utter peace and quiet you will experience on this walk. We have seen red kites plenty of times on this walk, so if you head up there keep your eyes peeled for their distinctive fork-shaped tails, or listen for their slightly eerie shrieks.
You can visit Thruscross at any time of year and not come away disappointed. The views are not as dramatic as those you would see on summiting one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, but they don’t need to be. They are an undiluted representation of North Yorkshire at it’s finest, somewhat bleak, but always bursting with signs of new life – whether that is a lapwing piping as it flies back to it’s nest or a tree growing against all odds in the most inhospitable conditions atop a moor.
Dog friendly rating – 5/5. Thruscross is the perfect place to take your canine companion for a walk in the countryside. The woodland sections of the walk offer ample opportunities for off-lead play (and many, many sticks) while the reservoir itself can be accessed away from the paths for a swim. Please keep your dog on a lead on the moorland and pick up poo. Remember to take your litter home with you – if you can carry it there full, you can carry it home empty!
NB: Do not throw sticks for your dog incase they cause damage to your dog’s mouth/throat. Where sticks are referenced above, Merry loves to carry them around and admire them!
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