On your bike
Winscar reservoir was built in the 1850s with further works taking place in the 1970s to improve the capacity. The impressive reservoir can be observed from the bridleway (Route 68) which runs between the two free Yorkshire Water car parks on Windle Edge and Broad Hill (both are now open). The bridleway is a wide tarmac track and is flat for the entire duration.
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?
Ramsden Reservoir sits just within the Peak District National Park boundary and shows off the rugged charm of the area.
Langsett Reservoir's walking routes weave through majestic woodlands, offer stunning vistas across the water and boast breathtaking views from a higher vantage point on Midhope Moors.
How to get there
There are 2 car parks at Winscar Reservoir, one is just off Dunford Road and the other off Windleden Lane.
Follow the A616 south towards Holmfirth. After around 8 miles, turn left onto Dunford Road/A6024. Follow Dunford Road/A6024 though Holmfirth for around 2 miles where the entrance to the Dunford Road car park will be on your right.
There are only 40 parking spaces at Broad Hill car park and 14 parking spaces at Windleden Lane car park which fill up quickly most days.
By public transport
There is a bus stop in Dunford Bridge and along Dunford Road.
Frequently asked questions
Can you swim in Winscar Reservoir?
No, you can't swim in Winscar 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 Winscar Reservoir?
Winscar Reservoir has lots of hidden dangers. The water is very cold (even in summer) and cold water shock can kill. Winscar 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 Winscar Reservoir?
No, it’s not safe for dogs to swim in Winscar 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 Winscar Reservoir?
No, Winscar 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.