Swinsty Reservoir, like its neighbour Fewston Reservoir, is always popular and probably more so as it is the nearer of the two to Leeds and Harrogate. However, both are equal in character and both highly recommended.
Swinsty feels that little more protected from the elements, giving shade and extra warmth to walkers in the colder seasons.
Walk from the picnic area to follow an anti-clockwise course around the reservoir.
The paths around are well maintained by Yorkshire Water and people appreciate the work put in to provide a clear way round.
Natural viewing seats are also abundant on this first section as you walk round the north east bank and past the Grange toward Fewston Embankment.
The walk along the reservoir side path is one of slight undulations, like walking on the line of the easiest roller coaster.
The easily manageable ups and downs make for interesting walking, which include points to view the full magnificent setting of Swinsty Reservoir.
Leave the waterside at the northern most point of the reservoir, which heralds a short sharp climb of 20 metres to the roadside, which leads to the crossing of Fewston Embankment.
Cross the embankment between the two neighbouring reservoirs of Fewston and Swinsty.
The footpath on the west side invites you to take in the view over to Fewston Reservoir with the Blubberhouse hills emerging in the west beyond the reservoir.
Cross the road and look over the wall to the east, looking down to the waters of the spillway running from Fewston Reservoir and along a tree lined river-way toward Swinsty - it makes a beautiful picture.
After crossing the embankment, climb 10 metres to the Timble Road car park.
The car park is a popular spot for it offers walks in many directions.
One follows a course around the fringe of Swinsty.
Alternative options are walks around Swinsty Moor Plantation, walks around Fewston Reservoir or even walks in the countryside around Timble village and Beecroft Moor Plantation.
Continue from the car park through Swinsty Moor Plantation to Swinsty Hall from where you turn left to reach the walled track on the west side of Swinsty Reservoir heading toward Swinsty Embankment.
On reaching the embankment, attention is drawn south down the Washburn Valley and south east to Norwood Edge Plantation and its landmark communications tower.
Cross the embankment from west to east, arriving at Swinsty Cottage.
The final stage of this tour of Swinsty Reservoir follows the waterside path north and soon you are back at the road bridge which you cross to get back to the car park.
A delightful walk all year round.
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