Lindley Wood Reservoir Circular Walk

in Otley in West Yorkshire

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.

Lindley Wood reservoir

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.


OS Map with GPX Route Marked:

Download file for GPS

Lindley Wood Reservoir

A lovely walk for a pleasant afternoon, around the countryside surrounding the Lindley Wood Reservoir – built in 1869.

From the parking spot, turn right, then immediately left down the public footpath. Follow this clear track through the wood to the edge of Lindley Wood Reservoir. After a small clearing, the track enters the wood again, so follow it through, crossing a bridge over Church Gill, eventually coming out onto the B6451 to the left of Lindley Lodge. Turn left, crossing over the viaduct – with stunning views over the reservoir on the left and Norwood Bottom on the right. Take care as there is no pavement here and vehicles can be travelling fast. The road turns right, then left, and then there’s a public footpath along a track to Crag Farm on the right. Follow this long, straight track, but just before it turns right to the farm, take the footpath on the left to walk alongside a boundary. As you enter the next field, head for the far left corner, cutting across the field, then follow the boundary on your right all the way around to eventually meet the B6451 again. Climb the wall stile and carefully cross over the road, taking the footpath on the right, set into a farm access track. Follow the hedgerow on the right across two fields until you reach a quiet road through a gate. Turn left, and follow this road all the way until it turns left over Lindley Bridge to where you parked.

Andrew White

Start Location: Small parking area off Cinder Lane, near Lindley Bridge, Otley LS21 2LA

Walk finish location: As start

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.

Picture of Chevin End Guest House

Chevin End Guest House

West Chevin Road, Menston, Otley, LS29 6BE, United Kingdom
Picture of The Horse & Farrier

The Horse & Farrier

7 Bridge Street, Otley, LS21 1BQ, United Kingdom
Picture of Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa

Chevin Country Park Hotel & Spa

Yorkgate, Otley, LS21 3NU, United Kingdom

Attractions near Lindley Wood

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.

Otley Tourist Information Centre

Nelson Street, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 1EZ

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

Anglo Welsh canal boat holidays

Canal Wharfe, Elliott Street, Silsden, near Keighley, Yorkshire, BD20 0DE, United Kingdom
Picture of Barley Mow Hotel

Barley Mow Hotel

22 Cornmarket, Pontefract, WF8 1BJ, United Kingdom

White Lion

White Lion, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EX, United Kingdom

8 thoughts on “Lindley Wood Reservoir Circular Walk”

  1. When I clicked on the link labelled “View this route on our map” it took me to an advert for accommodation (somewhere called Maple House) not a map of the walk. It looks like a nice walk but it’s not much use without a map.

  2. Several hours later, my wife, dog and I did this walk and it was lovely. We started at the reservoir bridge going along the river and up, finishing in Lindley Wood itself.

    Fortunately, I found the exact same walk on the Happy Hiker’s web site where there was a proper map (complete with .gpx file download) so the fact that the map here didn’t work didn’t matter.

    We had a lovely morning to do the walk, which took us just under three hours at a fairly leisurely pace (our excuse is that our dog is a senior lady). We walked along the river, up through attractive farmland onto the moor and then back down to the wood alongside the reservoir. It was very quiet and very pretty with some fine views over the Washburn Valley. We feel like we’ve had a proper walk but it was all fairly easy going, mostly with clear paths and anyone who is moderately fit should have no trouble with this walk.

    All three of us enjoyed ourselves very much.

  3. This listing has two overlapping walks referenced with two different start points – the original listing for the walk was the Dob Park Road start but the blog post in the middle and the map overlaid in pink refers to the walk with the start point at cinder lane – and is a little shorter. Starting at Dob park road is a longer walk. Both are lovely walks but this listing would be difficult to follow as currently described.

  4. Lindley Wood reservoir looked like a good cycle destination on the map but when we got there we were confronted with a huge skip overflowing with rubbish. Every toilet was locked & obviously hadn’t been open for a long time if the dog eared notices on the doors indicated. The car parks were full & people milled around the closed toilets. Maps indicated that there were footpaths to get to the water but nothing for bike access. There were a few picnic tables in the car park but no view of the water. So dismal that we turned around & cycled back. We travel around UK extensively but this is the worst reservoir we have found. It must have been in this state for a very long time.


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