KID-FRIENDLY WALK | Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs – North Yorkshire
Why I love it: I love taking the kids up for a walk or a run around the Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs. The scenery is stunning and if you go early enough you can find baby deer on the pathways and the reservoir so still it looks like a perfect mirror reflecting the skyline. We love taking a picnic and sitting on one of the many benches around the pathways and then the kids love to spend hours skimming pebbles on one of the small beaches around Swinsty.
Distance: Swinsty alone is 3.1 miles. Fewston alone is 3.7 miles. You can also do both, which is a healthy and hearty 6.8 miles.
Route: The two reservoirs sit next to each other just off the A59 between Harrogate and Skipton. There are three main car parks. One at either end of Swinsty and one at the far end (Skipton end) of Fewston. Personally, I love the main one, which is right in the middle of both reservoirs. Not only does it have a handy and (usually) clean toilet block, but it also means you can make up your mind when you’re there about which reservoir to tackle or which way to head round both.
It also usually also has an ice cream van on lovely Summer days, so a good bribe for the kids!
Terrain: Both reservoir walks take you through woodland as well as on paths near the water’s edge. The pathways are well kept, though there are plenty of muddy puddles through the winter to delight welly-clad toddlers. Fewston is a slightly hillier walk than Swinsty, but the hills are short and easy for all ages and abilities.
Pram friendly? Both walks are pram friendly. The pathways are slightly muddy or bumpy in places, but in general it’s all pretty even. There are signs stating no bicycles, but I have seen plenty of tiny tots on push along bikes or those balance bikes – just be careful as some of the paths are quite steep and near the water!
What to look out for: It’s a fabulous place for wildlife. I have seen a deer and her fawn whilst out running early in the mornings. There are also geese, ducks and plenty of birds to spot along the way. Gareth Southgate’s massive spooky mansion is also a good spot if you walk around Swinsty, as is the great man himself who can be regularly spotted out walking with his family and their dogs.
The amazing Brownlee brothers are known to do some of their training around the reservoirs and have been spotted by yours truly. Very friendly they were too.
Facilities along the way: Toilets and ice cream van at the main car park between Swinsty and Fewston. There are plenty of benches to sit on and admire the gorgeous views along the way and at the main car park, there are several picnic tables in the central grassy area. Many people bring picnics and set up camp here for the day.
Car parking and cost: Car parking is FREE!
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