Grimwith Reservoir: It’s Not So Grim Up North

As I write this blog we should be travelling up to Tomintoul to spend the week over New Year exploring in the Cairngorms. Alas, like many people our plans have been scuppered by Covid, but we are taking this as an opportunity to explore lots of new walks closer to home, as well as re-visiting some old favourites. One such walk is the gentle four mile meander around Grimwith Reservoir in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, somewhere we have been visiting for years, a place of increasing popularity as the secret now appears to be out!

We have been visiting Grimwith for years and it has always been a blissfully peaceful walk. We were a bit shocked on our last visit to find the car park completely full – it just goes to show the effect lockdown has had on getting people to appreciate the outdoors more!

Grimwith is a good choice for all ages and abilities. The four and a half mile circular route around the reservoir is easy to follow and 90% flat – there’s just one slope to climb at the end! The path around the edge is generally well surfaced and dry, although there was one horrifically muddy patch on our last visit, that we almost needed to swim across to get to the other side!

Parking is free in the Yorkshire Water car park which also has accessible toilets (these are currently closed due to Coronavirus). As I mentioned earlier, Nidderdale’s reservoirs are becoming increasingly popular, so don’t leave it too late to arrive or you might not get a space!

Scattered along one side of the reservoir are a few benches which are the perfect place to stop and enjoy your lunch. If you want to stay for longer, there are a few holiday cottages right by the water’s edge – I imagine visitors get absolutely amazing sunsets from here!

Dog friendly rating – 4/5. This is a great walk for your four legged friends, as evidenced by the absolutely huge number of other dog walkers we saw (including what looked like one dog walking club!). For this reason I’ve knocked off one point as some dogs, like Coal, don’t like busier environments. Generally everyone was polite enough to put their dogs on a lead when they saw ours were on a lead, but there were one of two who didn’t bother, so we had a few moments with a very stressed out Labrador!

There’s no livestock around the edge of the reservoir so offlead walkings is fine – but do keep an eye out for sheep in the gated section at the end of the reservoir where you will either start or finish your walk. A big bonus on this walk is that there are no stiles which is always great news for anyone with a dog bigger than a spaniel!

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