Embsay Reservoir

Embsay Moor is a pocket-sized reservoir with big character.

Embsay Reservoir

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.

Take a short walk around Embsay Reservoir 

Just North of Skipton, Embsay Moor is a pocket-sized reservoir with big character. The walk starts from our free car park and is only 1 mile long and features one stile and a narrow bridge. For those wanting a longer walk, bring a map and head up into the surrounding hills for breath-taking views.

If you don’t fancy a picnic, Skipton is just 3 miles South of Embsay and features lots of pubs, cafes and even the odd farmers’ market.




Walking Fishing  Sailing  


Walk Distance Difficulty Facilities
Embsay walk 1 miles 2 out of 4



The Skipton Angling Association offers quality fishing on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales national park.

Skipton Angling Association

illustration of trees

Water sports

The Craven Sailing Club welcomes sailors of all ages and abilities for sailing and racing.

Craven Sailing Club


How to get there

By car

From Skipton, take the A6131 towards Settle, Kendal and Grassington. After 2miles, turn left onto Skipton Road. Follow the road for another mile into Embsay and turn left onto West Lane. After 0.3miles, turn left onto Pasture Road. Follow this road, ignoring the blue Yorkshire Water sign for the treatment works. The car park will be on your right.

By public transport

There is a bus stop in Embsay on Main Street a mile away from the reservoir walk.

Can you swim in Embsay Reservoir?

No, you can't swim in Embsay 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 Embsay Reservoir?

Embsay Reservoir has lots of hidden dangers. The water is very cold (even in summer) and cold water shock can kill. Embsay 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 Embsay Reservoir?

No, it’s not safe for dogs to swim in Embsay 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 Embsay Reservoir?

No, Embsay 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.