Thornton Steward Reservoir

Thornton Steward is one of our smaller reservoirs, but it's full of character!

Thornton Steward 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.

Small, but full of character!

6 miles to the west of Bedale, Thornton Steward is definitely one of Yorkshire Water’s smaller reservoirs, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of character! On sunny days you can observe the sailing club sculling around and the fly-fishermen trying their luck. Park up at our free car park (Moor lane, HG4 4BQ) and take a ramble across the unsurfaced but moderately flat grassy paths and enjoy the open countryside.


ParkingPicnic area


Walking  Fishing  Sailing  


Walk Distance Difficulty Facilities
Thornton Steward walk 1 miles 1 out of 4

ParkingPicnic area


The Felling Fly Fishing Club offers fishing at our Thornton Steward Reservoir.

Felling Fly Fishing Club

illustration of trees


Thornton Steward Sailing Club offer family-friendly sailing at our Thornton Steward Reservoir.

Thornton Steward Sailing Club


How to get there

By car

You can use our free car park, which is off Moor Lane (HG4 4BQ).

From Harrogate

Take the A684 heading west. After about ½ a mile, turn left onto Sinks Lane. After a mile, turn left onto Moor End Lane, which then becomes No Man’s Moor Lane. Continue on this road for about 3 miles, then turn left onto Moor Lane. After about ½ a mile, you will come to the car park on the right.

By public transport

Unfortunately there is no public transport currently available to Thornton Steward Reservoir.

Can you swim in Thornton Steward Reservoir?

No, you can't swim in Thornton Steward 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 Thornton Steward Reservoir?

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

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

No, Thornton Steward 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.