Top 5 Reservoir Runs Around Skipton


As a Fitness Coach it’s my job to get people fitter, stronger and healthier.  Luckily, living here in Skipton means we have plenty of options when it comes to getting active in the great outdoors.

With that in mind, I thought it’d be a good idea to list my five favourite reservoir runs in and around Skipton – so get your trainers on, get out there, and get healthy!


Embsay Reservoir – 1 mile long

Embsay Reservoir

The shortest and most accessible run, Embsay Reservoir is just a few minutes’ drive from Skipton town centre.  It’s ringed by a good, solid path for most of the way and isn’t too long, making it the perfect route for beginners.  But it’s also an excellent circuit for more experienced runners after some ‘optional extras’, as the face of the dam provides great opportunity for short, steep hill sprints that will turn your legs to jelly!

Click here to see a route map.


Swinsty Reservoir – 3.2 miles long

Swinsty Reservoir

Lying halfway between Skipton and Harrogate, Swinsty Reservoir is another great option for beginners.  It’s pretty short, is flat all the way around, and makes a great training venue for those gearing up for 5k events.  And, like Embsay, the ‘optional extras’ here will help improve anyone’s run times.  Oh, and it even has a little picnic area halfway round for those who fancy taking things a little easier!

Click here to see a route map.


 Fewston Reservoir – 4 miles long


Right next door to Swinsty lies its bigger brother Fewston.  The well-maintained path hugs the waterline all the way around and there’s always plenty of vocal wildlife to cheer you on your way!  Ther
e are lots of benches along the way, too, in case you need a breather – or, if you’re like me, you can use them for a whole range of weird and wonderful exercises!  Remember, when it comes to getting fit the only limit is your imagination…  

Click here for a route map.


 Grimwith Reservoir – 4.25 miles long

Grimwith Reservoir - 4.25 miles long

Out past Grassington, the Grimwith Reservoir route is only a bit longer than Fewston but because it lies off the beaten track it feels very different.  It’s mostly flat but there are a few slopes to contend with, and being more remote and higher up runners are more exposed to the elements.  But, as a wise man once said (probably), if you’re feeling cold just work a bit harder and you’ll soon warm up!  

Click here for a route map.  


Thruscross Reservoir – 4.9 miles long

Thruscross Reservoir

Last but certainly not least is Thruscross Reservoir, which is a run of two halves.  The first takes place in scenic woodland surrounded by greenery and animals – I love it!  Then the second half opens right up and has a totally different, more expansive feel.  A word of warning: the whole path hasn’t yet been completed so some sections can get very muddy or simply disappear, leaving you scrambling your way through the trees to find where it re-emerges!  It’s this ‘interesting’ aspect of the route that makes me love it so much!

Click here for a route map.


So, that’s my top five reservoir runs, but I’m always on the lookout for more reservoirs to play at, so if you have a favourite then let me know by leaving a comment below or messaging me on my Twitter account.  

Cerin Rees




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