Swinsty Reservoir

Swinsty Reservoir nestles in the stunning Washburn Valley and provides breathtaking views across the water and the surrounding landscape, especially from the embankment near the River Washburn.

Swinsty Reservoir

Car parking charges

We’re trialing car parking charges at this reservoir from 22 January. All funds will be invested into countryside management, biodiversity projects and our brand new Ranger Team.

See parking charges and how to pay

FAQs about our parking charges

Car parks closed for maintenance

We're resurfacing our carparks with a new layer of tarmac and they'll be closed while we work.

If you're planning to visit, please use an alternative car park.

Swinsty Moor car park and toilets – closed 24-28 June
Swinsty Stack car park – closed 1-3 July
Thruscross car park – closed 8 July
Fewston Blubberhouses car park – closed 8 July

Toilets closed

Our disabled and men's toilets are closed for maintenance.

Discover breathtaking views at Swinsty Reservoir 

Swinsty Reservoir can be found in the Washburn valley, less than 10 miles north of Otley and west of Harrogate. Along with the adjacent Fewston Reservoir, it is a very popular site for visitors throughout the year. There's plenty of choice for those seeking recreation in the great outdoors; whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll around the well-surfaced reservoir paths or a wander through the nearby fields and woods. Also welcome are cyclists and horse riders, as well as anglers seeking high quality course and fly fishing.


ParkingDisabled parking  Toilets    Disabled toilet Picnic area Bus service


Walking     Fishing  

Parking charges

Time Charge
1 hour £1
2 hours £2
6 hours £3
All day £5
Annual permit £30
Annual blue badge permit Free

Please pay using our on-site ticket machines (card only), RingGo app or apply for a permit online.

Find out more about our parking charges


Walk Distance Difficulty Facilities
Swinsty walk 3 miles 1 out of 4

ParkingDisabled parking Toilets  Disabled toilet Picnic area Bus service

Swinsty Beaver Dyke walk 4.25 miles 4 out of 4

ParkingDisabled parking Toilets  Disabled toilet Picnic area Bus service


The Washburn Valley Fishery offers exceptionally high quality fly and coarse fishing in a stunning rural setting.

Go fishing


Visitor information

To keep everyone happy and safe, please:

  • follow government guidance
  • don’t swim
  • take your litter home
  • stick to the path
  • keep your dog on a lead
  • clean up after your dog
  • don’t light fires or BBQs.

Make a day of it

While you're here, why not visit a nearby reservoir?

Fewston Reservoir

Situated in the charming Washburn valley, sharing an embankment with Swinsty Reservoir, Fewston is popular with walkers and runners. Cyclists and horse-riders can also make use of their own permitted tracks in the surrounding woodlands.

Thruscross Reservoir

Thruscross is the highest reservoir in the charming Washburn Valley feeding water into Fewston, Swinsty and Lindley Wood reservoirs. With its altitude comes stunning views of the valley and surrounding moorland.

How to get there

By car

Swinsty Moor and Fewston Reservoir car park (LS21 2NP) is at the southern end of the Fewston Reservoir Embankment. Alternative parking is available at Stack Point car park (HG3 1SU), along the eastern edge of Swinsty Reservoir. Please note that both have a 2.2m height barrier.

From Harrogate

Take the A59 heading west. Before you reach Blubberhouses, turn left at the roundabout onto the B6451. Take the second right onto Wydra Lane, which becomes Back Lane and takes you across Fewston Reservoir Embankment. Shortly afterwards you will reach Swinsty Moor and Fewston Reservoir car park.

By public transport

DalesBus services 820 and 821 run to Swinsty every hour on summer Sundays and bank holidays from Otley and links from Keighley, Shipley, and Guiseley. 

More things to do near Harrogate

Whether you fancy a gentle stroll around a reservoir, a challenging hike, a bike ride with the family, a bit of pony trekking or an afternoon of fishing, there's plenty to do around Harrogate.

Muddy wellies

Can you swim in Swinsty Reservoir?

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

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

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

No, Swinsty 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.