Ardsley Reservoir

Looking out over Emley Moor, Ardsley is a picturesque, urban-fringe reservoir less than 5 miles from Wakefield.

Ardsley Reservoir

We're carrying out essential work that may affect your visit

From 8 November, we'll be spending 3 weeks resurfacing the crest of the embankment to make the whole reservoir accessible for prams and wheelchair users. To make sure everyone's safe, you can't walk along this part of the reservoir while we're doing the work and you won't be able to walk the usual circular route. 

Covid-19 update

In accordance with government guidance, our recreational sites and car parks remain open for people to exercise outdoors. We ask that you follow the latest guidance on group sizes and social distancing to help keep yourself, our key workers and others safe.

If you do plan to visit, we continue to request that you are respectful of our sites, staff members, other visitors and local communities:

  • Do not light any BBQs or fires and call 999 to report any uncontrolled fires that may be at risk of spreading.
  • Make sure you take any litter home with you.
  • Please follow any instructions on signage around the site.
  • Please follow designated paths. The paths are there to keep you and our key workers safe.
  • If the car park is full, please do not park on verges or on the road as this causes traffic issues and can block important access for operational vehicles or the emergency services.

Enjoy some West Yorkshire charm at Ardsley Reservoir

Ardsley is a delightful short walk at only 1.5 miles long with flat, surfaced paths the full way around. Park up at our free car park (Haigh Moor Rd, Tingley, Wakefield WF3 1EE) and enjoy the West Yorkshire charm!





Walk Distance Difficulty Facilities
Ardsley walk 1.3 miles 1 out of 4


How to get there

By car

You can use the free car park (WF3 1EE), which is just off Haigh Moor Road, on the western side of the reservoir. This is easily accessible from a number of main roads - it is less than 3 miles away from the M1, the M62, and the A650.


There are only 19 parking spaces at this car park and they fill up quickly most days.

By public transport

There are bus stops along Haigh Moor Road, a short walk away from the start of the reservoir walk route at the car park.

More things to do near Leeds

Whether you fancy a gentle stroll around a reservoir, a challenging hike or an afternoon of fishing, there's plenty to do around Leeds.

Find more things to do near Leeds

Muddy wellies

Can you swim in Ardsley Reservoir?

No, you can't swim in Ardsley Reservoir. Reservoirs are really dangerous places and have lots of dangers hidden under the surface. We don't allow anyone to swim in our reservoirs, even if you’re a great swimmer!

Why can’t you swim in Ardsley Reservoir?

Ardsley Reservoir has lots of hidden dangers. The water is very cold (even in summer) and cold water shock can kill. Ardsley Reservoir supplies water to be treated, so there's machinery and strong currents under the water. There may also be blue-green algae, which causes rashes and severe illnesses.

Can dogs swim in Ardsley Reservoir?

No, it’s not safe for dogs to swim in Ardsley Reservoir and they shouldn’t drink the water. Blue-green algae can form on the surface, which is poisonous and can kill them. There’s also dangerous machinery and strong currents under the water.

Is wild swimming allowed in Ardsley Reservoir?

No, Ardsley Reservoir is dangerous. Reservoirs aren't the same as natural lakes, they’re man-made and have large machinery that’s working 24/7 just below the surface. They’re also very cold, have strong currents and might have blue-green algae which causes rashes and severe illness.