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My Dad David died 10.09.13 aged 69. He had a huge love of the countryside. He loved walking and was a keen angler. I was desperate to find and own an object that summed Dad up, after an insightful conversation with a friend, I remembered his walking boots. This set me thinking... How about stepping into them and going for a walk somewhere with a body of water (sea, river, lake, canal, pond, tarn...) and stunning, just as Dad would have wanted.... Here I go in 'My Dad's Boots'

Monday, 30 March 2015

Yorkshire Dales - Grimwith Reservoir

The second of my two March walks brought me to a place a little closer to home and an area my Dad visited regularly, in the main to fish the River Wharfe in Grassington and on a few occasions to walk the shoreline path of Grimwith Reservoir. I thought it was time I took up the reservoir walks again as I have spent a lot of time bagging Lakeland Wainwrights recently, don't worry I have plenty of those planned in the near future. This walk takes a very obvious, well made path around this Wharfedale reservoir, there is only one short section that poses any challenge. A map isn't really required but if you want to include this reservoir in an extended walk on the the neighbouring moorland then an OL2 would come in handy. 

Map: Bing and Ordnance Survey

I arrived on the B6265 and parked up on the free Yorkshire Water car park, got suited, booted and brewed up. The weather was somewhat mixed but the prevailing wind was strong and gusty so I decided that tea should be taken in the safety of the car.

The reservoir is the home of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club. As I walked the path I was entertained by a number of their members.

The 4.5 mile route starts directly from the car park. 

The scenic path takes you with the reservoir to your left the heathy Grimwith Fell to your right. There are a number of 'Yorkshire Tea' box views to be enjoyed on this walk. 

Prior to the construction if the reservoir in 1864 Grimwith was a small hamlet and there are a number of interesting rural buildings that pepper the shoreline of the reservoir. In some cases  these are remnants of the dwelling houses and farm buildings. One of these is a beautifully reconstructed Cruck Barn at High Lathe.

The walk is punctuated with, as far as I can see, three inscribed stone plaques offering some lovely poetic words. Not sure if this five-bar gate renders these gate posts empty?! 

The ruin of the Grimwith House is a prominent feature of one of the reservoir peninsulas. 

Grimwith Beck joins the reservoir.

I took five and rested MDB on the reservoir shore to watch the 'tide' roll in, a small bonus of the gusty weather.

I rejoined the path and continued my journey.

I spotted some small signs of spring bursting into life, the buds are developing well on the Goat’s Willow (Salix caprea). 

These windsurfers were making brilliant use of the gusty weather, talk about making lemonade if you are given lemons. 

The hill fog and wet weather drifted in.

A ruin from the inundated hamlet of Gate Up.

The half way marker is soon reached.

Just as I get to the only less well made section of the path, that passes through a nature area, the heavens open.

As I near the end of this section there is a welcome glimpse of sunshine.

The recent wet weather has created some strong waterfalls as the peaty water drains from Grimwith Moor.

Gate Up Gill flows into the reservoir from Hebdenhigh Moor.

The path takes you passed a small section of forest, Bracken Haw.

Grime Lodge Crags can be seen on the horizon from the path.

Blea Beck, then Blea Gill join the reservoir.

The view over to Grimwith Moor on the west shore.

The path runs parallel with a wooded shelter belt, glimpses of the reservoir can be seen through the naked branches.

The option to take the path along Hartlington Moor Lane presents itself. 

I continued along the shoreline walk passed a derelict barn. The views over the reservoir were dramatic and led me to toy with idea of the barn as a future home. 

The sun came out again and was joined by blue skies.  

The last section of the path is between the reservoir dam and an area called Hartlington Pasture, a designated wildfowl haven where I enjoyed the sight of Plovers, Lapwings and Curlews. For me the sound of a Curlew is such a sound of home.

The end of your walk is punctuated with a stark example of industrial brutalist architecture, the reservoir spillway. A reservoir has the capacity to be a beautiful, naturalistic environment bursting with ecosystems of plant life, wildlife and wildfowl but they have an important job to do, providing a huge volume of water to large populations. The strong concrete clad structures are of great significance and should be, in my opinion, regarded as highly as the place simply looking pretty and being a great place to recreationally enjoy. 

The path passed the spillway takes you trough a gate and via a short section of roadway, and the entrance to the sailing club, back to the car park for a final brew before setting off. 

A great walk with some great views which I must enjoy again in sunnier warmer weather.  

Till next time.... Tight laces. MDB x

So glad I took your sage advice Phil, thank you. 

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