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Taste of vast skies and wilderness on reservoir walk

Drive west out of Oakworth, near Keighley, 300 metres west of the Grouse Inn there is some roadside parking. Join the Millennium Way just to your north and climb up the farm track to Harehill House.  The ‘Bradford’ Millennium Way (to differentiate it from many others of the same name!) is waymarked with yellow or blue discs and is a lovely circular route of 45 miles.

Continue along the east side of the farm and alongside the next field wall until the path turns 90 degrees west (to your left) at the next stile. You are now on the open moorland. Stick with the wall on the left for half a mile before taking the path heading just north of west gradually up hill.

The path soon arrives at the south end of Keighley Moor Reservoir at the dam. The reservoir is one of many in the area, the landscape with its deep v-shaped valleys perfect for capturing a large amount of water in the smallest area. As a result they tend to be very deep.

The reservoirs largely serve Keighley and the area towards Bradford. I find Keighley Moor Reservoir a particularly fine spot, exceptionally peaceful with the peace only disturbed by a kestrel dive bombing an unsuspecting mouse or vole. The route takes you straight across the dam wall. Briefly turn left to enjoy the real tranquillity of the area.

From the north end of the dam take the utilities road/track east past the gamekeepers lodge at Higher Intake to Morkin Bridge. There is a pretty waterfall a few metres to your left. However the route turns right along the quiet road and climbs steadily (initially steeply!) for one mile until a cross roads is met. Turn right off the road on to Broad Head Lane.

One hundred metres beyond Broadhead Farm take the rougher lane to your left and continue heading south. Where the lane bends to the left it is possible to cut the corner and take a direct footpath to your start, but I prefer following the lane and soon arrived at the woodland of Tewitt Hall. Before arriving at the hall look behind and to the north where there are lovely long distance views towards the Dales.

Turn right at the foot of Tewitt Hall’s lane and enjoy the views the other way, into the bleaker but exciting Bronte Moors. Just before reaching the main road there is a very small, very moving memorial to 6 Canadian airmen who died on a training flight on Tewitt Lane in 1944. On reaching the main road the car will only be 300 metres beyond the Grouse Inn.

Fact Box:

Distance: Roughly 6 miles

Height to Climb: 210m (690 feet)

Start: SE 007382. Head west from Oakworth there is parking just past the Grouse Inn.

Difficulty: Medium. Mix of road, lanes and good moorland path. Some uphill sections.

Refreshments: The Grouse Inn lies very close to the start and finish of the route. Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL21) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan is the owner of Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales:

• He has written 3 books on walking in the Dales; ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’, ‘The Dales 30’ mountains and the ‘Walks without Stiles’ book. All these books (and more) are available direct from the Where2walk website.

• Book a Navigation (Map and Compass Skills) Training day near Settle or a bespoke day for a private group. The next available date is Sunday May 19th.

• Join our “Dales 30 Weekenders” in Hawes & Sedbergh.

Where2walk.co.uk also features 100’s of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.



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