Embsay Reservoir

A walk from Little Miss Yorkshire

Embsay Reservoir walk is a great starter walk for little ones. It is only a short, one-mile circular walk, but it packs a lot in.

The walk offers stunning views out over Skipton, with Embsay Crag and Crookrise Crag forming a beautiful backdrop to the reservoir.

The walk starts at the Yorkshire Water car park, which offers free parking (BD23 6PR).

You’ll find that the terrain is mixed. Half of the route consists of a track, with other parts of the walk being comprised of stony paths. There are also some grassy areas which can get muddy, so you might want to pack wellies if required. The route is not pram friendly, though in the height of summer you may be able to navigate a good off-road pram round if it is dry enough.

I would recommend doing the route anti-clockwise, taking in the crest road first. Once you go through the gate onto the grassed area, there is a sandy beach which appears near the weir when the water level is low in the summer months. This is the best place for paddling and throwing stones in the water. The route continues around the reservoir before crossing over a footbridge. On the top of the hill is perched an old barn which my little man loves to explore, trying to see if the ‘dragon’ is at home. This is also a good distraction to stop him from lingering at the next beach area. This is the one used by geese, so I would be careful when looking for ‘stones’ to throw in the water!

From this point the path emerges onto the track. Here, you’ll find THE best puddles! This is why I suggested going anti-clockwise, as you’ll find that a change of clothing is required immediately after this!

There are plenty of benches dotted around, which make for good snack spots. You could also just sit down and watch the other families walking, the boats and wind surfers on the water, the dogs swimming and the geese flying around.

You can extend the walk by climbing either of the Crags. I would certainly recommend doing this at some point.

Read the full blog on Embsay Reservoir by Little Miss Yorkshire here.

For more family friendly walks in Yorkshire, check out Little Miss Yorkshire’s website or Facebook page.

Skipton Castle Woods

If you are visiting Skipton, you simply have to walk through Skipton Woods. It’s the perfect place for little ones to explore, with routes of varying distances available. There’s a particularly great short walk starting from the top of the High Street.

The best way in is by starting on the canal and walking up behind the castle (Mill Bridge entrance), as this way you get to view the castle sat way up high on the rock.

You’ll find the entrance to the Woods, a Woodland Trust site, just between the houses. The wicker lady with her bow and arrow points you in the right direction. If you’re after a pram friendly route, enter the woods by walking up Chapel Hill instead and follow the road round to the right. This will bring you to the same entrance. You can follow the path all the way up but you’ll need to retrace your steps back out.

One of the routes we like doing regularly is the ‘red dotted route’. This takes in the whole woods and exits onto Short Lee Lane. To make things even better, there is usually an ice cream van parked in the lay-by, giving our 5-year-old all the motivation he needs! From here, you can go over the stile into the field on the left and climb up to the top to take in the amazing views over the town. The footpath continues down the hill, emerging onto Chapel Hill. This route is 3km.

Our little man loves exploring the woods and there is always so much excitement. Obviously, throwing stones into the water (Round Dam) features high on the list, but he also loves playing hide and seek, running round the bench amphitheatre, watching the waterfall and jumping in all the puddles. Apparently all the ‘big sticks’ can be found here too!

To read more about this walk from Little Miss Yorkshire, read the blog on her website here, or follow her on Instagram.