Lindley Wood Reservoir Circular Walk

Lindley Wood Reservoir is the oldest of the reservoirs in the Washburn Valley. Built between 1869 and 1876. Further up the valley are three others named Thruscross, Fewston and Swinsty.

Lindley Wood reservoir is situated further down the valley and a quiet, lesser known yet beautiful area to explore. There is no direct path covering the whole circumference of the water’s edge but this 6 mile circular walk takes in not just the reservoir but the surrounding area too providing expansive views of the lower Washburn Valley as well as the reservoir from above.

This walk has so much all in one walk. Open countryside, a reservoir, forest paths, woodland paths and riverside paths and a bit of history. Perfect!

Parking

There is a small parking space for around 4 cars at the Dob Park Rd junction with Weston Moor Road. The Otley to Blubberhouses Road. (SE 195 492). If heading out of Otley, go up the hill on the Blubberhouses Road, past the turn off for Clifton. The road will bend right sharply then afterwards as it bends left sharply the junction is on your right. It is a dead end road and the spaces are immediately on the right as you enter the road.

Route

Walk down Dob Park Road for 100m and take the right turn where the signpost says The 6 Dales Trail.

Follow the track and keep to the right hand track when there is a divergence. This will give you outstanding views down toward the reservoir as well as a unique view of Almscliffe Crag in the near distance.

The track then leads you down into Crag Farm. Pass through and past the farm and as soon as the track bears left you take the gate the first gate on the right.

Pass through this field keeping the wall to your right and in the next field, turn left, and you will see a high ladder stile to go over.

As you walk through these fields you get a real good views down to the reservoir below but also over the whole lower Washburn Valley. Forest covered hills and green fields in every direction.

Head down the slope. Keep to the right hand side of the field as it bends round to the right.

At the end of the field in the corner you will see a stile with home made handrails that leads onto the road. Go straight across the road taking care and onto the footpath directly across.

Walk through the next two fields and through the gate onto the lane where you will turn left and walk down it until you cross the bridge.

Immediately after crossing the bridge you will see and take a path that heads left off the lane and into the woods. Signposted Norwood Bottom.

This is the reservoir path proper and you follow it all the way along. Lindley Wood itself is enchanting at any time of year.

A very quiet footpath that provides a great forest walk combined with views across the reservoir.

Follow this track all the way to the end where you will meet the road again and turn left across the bridge.

Immediately after the bridge turn right over a stile and onto a path by the River Washburn.

You will eventually come to a bridge that takes you across onto the right hand side of the river and carry on. Keeping the river to your left.

You will eventually come to a ford with a pretty setting by the river and an old moss covered 17 century packhorse bridge. A perfect place for a picnic by the water.

Cross that bridge and follow the track that goes uphill and turns into a tarmac lane. This leads you all the way up and back to your starting point. This will be the steepest part of the trail so take your time and enjoy turning around and looking back across the valley.

Nearby Places to Stay and Eat

The nearest town is Otley in West Yorkshire (3 miles away) which in itself is a lovely place to take in if visiting the area. There are many shops, cafes and restaurants to choose from as well as a great bustling market on certain days. There are a few bed and breakfasts to choose from too.

The other way north for around 5 miles is Mackenzies Smokehouse Farm Shop at Blubberhouses. A huge place selling not just farm and food products but many housewares and unique items. The cafe is fantastic and can highly recommend their roast Sunday dinner.

View this route on our map.

A Walk Of The York City Walls

This is a city walk with a big difference to the norm. York still has most of its medieval walls surrounding the centre of the old city. This creates one of the best 2 mile city walks in the country.

It is a great way to discover York’s history from the Romans to the Vikings and to the present day.

Walking along the top of the walls you can get a great view within to the castle and Minster etc, plus out to over the landscape of the Vale of York.

Along the route you pass through and by the Bars (old gates to the city) and many of these gatehouses contain cafes to get refreshments or little museums to learn more about the city.

You can see more to inspire your trip in this article.

Find Your Feet – Tips For Walking Beginners

Walking in the great outdoors is most definitely one of the great joys of life. Getting out in the fresh air, taking in nature, beautiful landscapes and discovering new places along the way. Not only that but walking has massive health benefits, not just physically but mentally too. Our mental health is improved with the escapism from our usual busy lives and the chance to get away and think positively whilst stimulated by invigorating surroundings.

Some people think walking or hiking is for elitists etc. This is simply not true. I myself can enjoy a walk that is 1 mile just as much as spending a day up on the mountains for over 20 hours. It is not about speed, it is not about number of miles, it is about enjoying the time you have and the surroundings, be it with great company or on your own.

Here I will note some basic tips for beginners who want to venture out and walk in the countryside, but would like some great basic tips to get you started and gain some confidence.

Finding Easy Routes

I have found that one big thing that puts off beginners is the fear of getting lost. If you are just starting out then going far into the outdoors can be quite daunting if you don’t have a good sense of direction to start with.

There are many ways I advise to gain new confidence in routes and direction whilst building up your walking feet.

Ask to join some more knowledgeable friends on their walks. This also adds a good way to enjoy some social chat rather than just sitting somewhere for a coffee to meet.

Reservoirs, lakes, canal and river walks are also a good way to start with less navigation problems. Many waterways have well defined paths. Plus if all you have to do is keep the water on one side of you then you generally can’t go wrong. Yorkshire Water for instance have great paths around many of their reservoirs and have enhanced the countryside surrounding it.

As you build up to going on longer tracks you may want to explore the grounds of iconic landmarks. Some stately homes and historic buildings have incredible parklands to walk. Some have miles of pathways to discover with a history of their own to learn.

Start with the more famous iconic walks. Famous walks can get busy, especially in the summer months but this can be an advantage to someone who is really scared of getting lost. There are more people around to help plus the sign posting is clear, and the paths are more obvious. Take the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail as an example. A walk of waterfall filled beauty with an obvious 4 to 4 and a half miles pathway.

Maps – Don’t be scared of the word map. Leave extreme map reading to when you are proficient and heading out into the proper wild. Many websites have smaller beginner walks shown on a more readable and easy to read map, showing landmarks etc. This is often accompanied by step by step instructions on things to look out for on the way and when to turn.

Smartphones

Turn off your computers, put away your phone and enjoy a walk away from it all. Yes, very true, but I always have my smartphone in my pocket, fully charged, for a few reasons.

Location – If I ever do end up off track I can always turn on my smartphone map app and pinpoint my location and the direction I am facing.

Make a call – You can always contact someone if needs be. Phone connection in the outdoors is so much better than it was even just a few years ago. I find 4G in places there was no signal at all 10 years ago.

Kit

The good old British weather is marvellous thing. This green and pleasant land is so green and lush because of the amount of rain alas. Our amazing rocky landscapes are awe-inspiring to see but thus we must also make sure we keep our bodies safe when out walking.

Footwear – Your feet take most of the strain on a walk. Grassy fields, muddy paths, rocky climbs and stony tracks. As a beginner I would always advise waterproof boots, hiking boots that cover the ankle. There is no need to spend 100s of pounds but keeping your feet dry, comfortable and not worrying of spraining your ankles will leave you to enjoy the surroundings more.

Jacket – Even if the sun is beating down as you set off on your walk, always carry a waterproof jacket at least in your backpack. We all know how quick the weather can change. once you start getting into hills and peaks you will find this change can happen even faster.

Layers – I always advise to carry one extra layer of clothing too. A fleece or jumper. On a cool day you will still get warm when walking, yes it is great exercise. However if you want to stop and have your sandwich lunch maybe on the top of somewhere you will very soon feel the cold as the sweat cools etc. Take that extra layer and put on at breaks and stops. Why be uncomfortable?

Hat and gloves – If walking in the cold months then take a hat and gloves with you. Why not visit https://shopyorkshire.com/more-products/?v=79cba1185463#!/ for inspiration?

Enjoy Yourself

Walking is great for you. It is fabulous for the mind and it helps you keep fitter. Yorkshire has thousands and thousands of walks for all standards.

It is not something to be scared of and once you get the bug you will want to do more and more.

These are just a few basic tips to begin with to help you on your way, I look forward to sharing more on these pages during 2021 and beyond.

Happy walking!

Paddleboarding On The Canal – Skipton

Escapism and mental health are important for our wellbeing. Walking is one hobby to get into, wind down, relax and see some amazing places and areas you normally wouldn’t.

Yorkshire is blessed with some wonderful waterways, rivers and canals that bring other new hobbies that can help your mind and body.

In Skipton I met up with Jo Moseley to take part in some paddle boarding on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Calm water, the sun shining and surrounded by the peaks of the Yorkshire Dales. What a refreshing thing to do.

It was such a marvelous experience that even Malc my dog also got involved in.

Read the full story and see the pics

Ingleborough – A Winter Walk Above The Clouds

I love walking in Winter. After a heavy snowfall, the crisp and cold dry air. There is something I find exhilarating about then climbing up above the clouds to see the landscape, from above, in all its glory.

I had set my sights of climbing up Ingleborough in the ice and snow and then one day the conditions were perfect for it. Blue skies above the cloud inversion. The Yorkshire Dales covered in white snow. I set off before dawn so I could take my time and enjoy the whole day. These days always create memories.

I have spent many a moment in my life on Ingleborough. Be it via the Yorkshire 3 Peaks or on a days walk on a whim. To see it on this day and these weather conditions makes you see the world in a whole new way and get so much satisfaction from making the effort.

Read the full story on BaldHiker

Walk Up The Central Tower of York Minster

If you want to see the City of York in its full glory as well as the landscape surrounding it then a walk up the central tower of York Minster is definitely worth the climb.

230 foot high above the city you can see out in every direction and point out all the landmarks around. You can see all the way across the Vale of York to the North Yorkshire Moors as well as the ancient walls going around the medieval historic streets.

The 275 narrow spiraling steps up can get the heart and lungs pumping that is for sure but the expansive view from the top is a reason so many visitors make the effort and take away great memories.

Find out more on this York Minster Central Tower post on BaldHiker.