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!


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.


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.

Wellbeing By Water – Looking Beyond #BlueMonday

Blue Monday…. Is it really the most depressing day of the year?  Simply put, no. 

The third Monday in January isn’t the most depressing day of the year (there’s no evidence to back this) but as we continue to navigate through the current pandemic, the particular challenges that brings, coping with shorter daylight hours and colder weather, it’s a useful reminder for us to take time to check-in with ourselves.

Spending time outdoors in green spaces with nature is a widely recognised as a way to help us combat stress, anxiety and low mood.  

But did you know that time spent by blue spaces such as canals, rivers and reservoirs, may have even greater wellbeing benefits?

Research shows that spending time by water, whether that’s a couple of minutes on a lunchbreak, or a longer walk or cycle along a towpath really does make us feel happier and healthier. Find out more here:

Our charity looks after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, with 316 miles of our network in Yorkshire and the North East. Some of our waterways run right through the hearts of our towns and cities – Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Sheffield & Tinsley Canal, Huddersfield Broad and Huddersfield Narrow Canal course through their namesake towns, providing open space for people living in these urban communities.

Sheffield and Tinsley Canal

8 million people in the UK live within 1km of a Canal & River Trust waterway (that’s 15% of the population) and 1 million people in Yorkshire & North East live near their local canal or river, so you can really appreciate the potential that the waterway network can bring to the wellbeing of the nation. These waterside places, on the doorstep for so many people, are more important than ever and our blue spaces are a fantastic free way to enjoy during your daily dose of exercise. 

If you live near to a water why not go and experience the benefits for yourself?  If you’re not sure where your local waterway is have a look here:

Please follow the latest government guidance and stay local, follow social distancing at all times, both from other people and from moored boats where people may be living aboard.

You can also experience our waterways that are further afield virtually, from birds eye tours, virtual open days, online jigsaws, audio tours and more:

View the Canal & River Trust walks on our map:

Tees Barrage Park (East) Infinity Bridge Loop
Saltaire to Bingley
Goole to Rawcliffe Bridge
Tinsley Pump House to Rotherham

Written by Lizzie Dealey, Canal and River Trust

Welcome to Walkshire

Welcome to Walkshire, the year long campaign from Welcome to Yorkshire to make the county the home of walking in the UK. You might ask yourself what is Walkshire? What does it mean for me and hopefully, how can I get involved?

We are blessed with some of the most iconic locations in the country to stretch those legs and get outdoors, however, Walkshire isn’t just about celebrating the countryside and our many beautiful sites across the region. Just as walking is accessible to all, Walkshire is accessible to all. We will be focussing across the year on urban walks, walks on your doorstep, walks with friends and walks that discover the history and heritage of our fine county.

Whilst we will be covering walks all over the region it is really important to make sure that you follow the countryside code at the latest Covid restrictions at all times. We’d want you enjoy Yorkshire but respect the people and places of our unique part of the world

There will be a walk a day published across all our website and social media channels. This will help you build up a library of walks to choose from when you have time to get out and about. These will be themed seasonally ranging from a mental health focus in January, child focussed walks in the school holidays and spooky ghost walks at Halloween. We’re also collating many of our walks on our handy Walkshire map so that you can find them easily and check out different types to try out when you’re ready.

Walking is also a fabulous way to support some of our communities and local businesses. That cup of coffee, the ice cream for the kids or the quick snack to refuel will make a big difference to some of the businesses that have had a hard time in the last year. They want to see you, and Walkshire provides that great excuse to see them.

We’re also working with some famous faces from the region who will share their experiences and favourite places for a stroll, as well as some of the region’s finest bloggers who will talk about the thing that they are passionate about, walking. We know that you will be engaged and inspired by their stories as they talk with passion about the places that they love. They are all different people with different approaches but united by a love for the region and benefits of walking. You’ll get to meet people (and the odd dog) that you’ll want to learn more about, and from, in the coming weeks and months.

We will also be working with Yorkshire Cancer Research and helping them raise much needed funds to continue their good work in the battle against cancer and it’s impact on people and families. The benefits of walking and being healthier reduce your chances of developing cancer and you’ll have opportunities to get involved with fundraising during the month of May when we hold our ‘Tour De Walkshire’. We’re proud to be supporting such a great local cause.

You also hear from great organisations such as The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Sustrans and the Canal & River Trust, and with three National Parks in the county you truly are spoilt for choice on where to roam. All of these maintain great and unique walking routes across Yorkshire and we hope you’ll enjoy their stories and routes over the year.

So what is Walkshire and how can you get involved?

Simply, Walkshire is for everyone. We’ll show you over the course of the year that Yorkshire has every type of walk that you could possibly imagine in every location the region has to offer. You can get involved by getting out and about, sharing your experiences of Walkshire on social media and this website.

A final request from us here at Welcome to Yorkshire as you enjoy Walkshire, please make sure you respect local Covid guidelines, always follow the countryside code and be sure to check the weather before setting out on a walk. Yorkshire is the most beautiful place and let’s make sure we keep it that way.

Enjoy 2021, the year of Walkshire.

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.


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.


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!/ 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!

Buggy-friendly Temple Newsam, Leeds

As a family with two young children, we’re always on the look out for places to go that really make you feel that you’ve done a ‘proper’ walk, but are also buggy friendly! Aaagggghhhh they are definitely few and far between, but we are persisting with our pursuit, and you can find descriptions on many of my walks on my Muddy Boots Muddy site.

Temple Newsam Estate in Leeds is one of our favourite places to go for a family day out. As well as the playground, Home Farm and cafe (which makes it great for children) the walking is brilliant- and largely undiscovered!

The Temple Newsam Trailway takes you on a seven mile route around the estate, but for a buggy-friendly 3km version, walk from the house and take a short circular route that brings you back in the estate at the back of the ponds. This is a walk that we’ve done with our own buggy many times during the drier months- but please be aware that the track can get VERY muddy in winter and after rain. You’ll get lovely views up to the House, pass below the Little Chapel and see some of the more unexplored areas of the estate. Read more about this walk here.

Rabbit Ings, Barnsley

Family walks are not about distance. They’re about spending time together, exploring wildlife and having fun. Short walks keep little legs happy and give you more time to play games and picnic!

And Rabbit Ings Country Park is a fantastic place to do just that, with a number of routes that you can follow around the 64 hectare site, all quite short. There’s a hill which offers a great viewpoint of the surrounding area and all the way across to Emley moor. If you enjoy a walk whilst your children cycle next to you, the paths around Rabbit Ings are mainly surfaced tracks so perfect for little riders.

Read more about walking at Rabbit Ings Country Park here. On your way round you can see lots of different types of wildlife- why not take a camera and ask your children to take pictures of what they see? Back at home go through the pictures and learn the names and some facts about what you have seen. Draw pictures from your photos or make some models from play-doh. Make sure children have had an adventure, not just a ‘walk’.

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.

Family adventures at Meanwood Park

This Meanwood Park and the Hollies walk is sponsored by Weetwood Hall Estate

As a mum, I love getting out for walks. In fact, I thank walking for saving my sanity when I had a new, colicky baby. Walking has no rules, it can be as far or as challenging as you want it to be and you can do it anywhere! This walk is in Leeds, a fantastic place to visit without even leaving the city!

Meanwood Park, in North Leeds, is one of my absolute favourite places to visit as a family. It’s not at all what you think of as a park, especially being so close to Leeds centre (but does have a good cafe and playground if that’s your thing). It has little streams and bridges, fabulous woodland and LOTS of opportunities for little explorers to, well, explore! We love this route which is just over 3km and takes you up to the Hollies.

Luckily I’ve found that a lot of new parents share my love for getting out with their babies and children on walks. My Muddy Boots Mummy blog has a range of suggestions of family-friendly Yorkshire walks, and has led to the Muddy Boots Baby Walking Group, who meet weekly to go on walks with our babies! Meanwood Park is a favourite of ours because it is so accessible to families! We’re always on the look out for new friends, so feel free to join in!

Useful links

Visit Leeds