Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Lindley Wood Reservoir
Date: 19th June 2011
Distance: 8.4 miles
Ascent: 782 feet
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE232470
Route Summary: Leathley - Farnley Lane - All Saints Church, Farnley, - Newall Carr Road - Dob Park Road - Dobpark Bridge - Lindley Wood Reservoir - Leathley Mill - Leathley
Walk Summary: I'd been really looking forward to this weekend as I was supposed to have been heading out to the Lakes for my first wild camping experience. As it happened I was discouraged by the weather forecast and so had cancelled the camping trip for another time.
Come Saturday the rain that had been forecast for most of the day hadn't materialised, at least not where I live, so in the afternoon I decided to head out for a fairly local walk in Washburndale. The main aim of the walk was to visit Lindley Wood Reservoir, the lowest of the four large reservoirs that are a feature of the Washburn valley.
Starting at the small village of Leathley I made an early crossing of the River Washburn before making for the Otley - Blubberhouses road across a mixture of fields and back road verges. It wasn't the most exciting stretch of walking I've ever done though in the region of Haddockstones Farm there were good views across lower Wharfedale towards Otley Chevin and Ilkley Moor.
My Explorer 297 OS map was clearly out of date as I also came across a number of signposts marking new rights of way, most of these were for the recently launched Six Dales Trail from Otley to Middleham which traverses almost the entire length of the Nidderdale AONB.
After a thankfully brief stretch on the Otley - Blubberhouses road I crossed some more fields to arrive at the top of Dob Park Road and the start of a fairly gentle drop back down to the River Washburn. This section featured fine views across lower Washburndale towards the plantations of Norwood Edge with its prominent mast.
Upon arrival at the river I crossed Dobpark Bridge. One of the highlights of the walk Dobpark Bridge is an old packhorse bridge spanning the Washburn and is beautifully sited in a wooded dell above a ford.
From Dobpark Bridge I followed the right of way southwards all the way to the viaduct that carries the Otley - Pateley Bridge road over the northern end of Lindley Wood Reservoir. The level of the reservoir itself was well down, probably as a result of the dry spring we've had.
After crossing the viaduct I continued on a pleasant path through Lindley Wood my only disappointment being that the tree cover allowed very little in the way of views across the reservoir. Upon reaching the dam the path continued all the way to Leathley Mill, the main point of interest of this section being the mill goit that once helped power the mill.
This was a pleasant enough excursion. Whilst I have memories going back to childhood of Thruscross, Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs I could never recall having visited Lindley Wood Reservoir before so it was nice to finally do so. Still as a walk it was fairly poor compensation for a trip to the Lakes.
1. The River Washburn near Leathley
2. Looking across Otley to the wooded slopes of Otley Chevin
3. Burley Moor from below Haddockstones Plantation
4. One of a number of signs for the recently launched Six Dales Trail
5. Norwood Edge
6. Dob Park Bridge
7. Water levels at Lindley Wood Reservoir were low
8. The path through Lindley Wood
9. Lindley Wood Reservoir
10. The village stocks in Leathley