Withens Clough Reservoir (Walks, Parking + More Info)

If you’ve just heard of Withens Clough Reservoir, you might be wondering what the walk is like or whether it’s worth visiting at all… I’m always on the lookout for new walks, especially near home in Yorkshire, so I had to try it out.

And if you’re looking for an easy countryside walk, this is for you. It’s flat, circular and perfect for a dog walk, clearing your head or just getting some fresh air.

Don’t miss out on spending some time in the peace and quiet of the West Yorkshire countryside. This post has everything you need to plan your visit…

A house on the shores of Withens Clough Reservoir

Withens Clough Reservoir: Need to Know Information

Here’s the most important things to know before you visit…

Opening times: 24/7.

Entrance cost: Free.

Car Parking: Free car parking is available in the Withens Clough Reservoir Car Park, about 5 minutes walk from the reservoir.

Walks: 1.8-mile circular loop.

Route conditions: Half pavement/gravel, half grass paths.

Can you swim at Withens Clough? No.

Is this suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs? The route is flat but does have grass paths – so it may be suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs designed for outdoor, all-terrain use (less so standard types).

Dog friendly? Yes, it’s a great place for a dog walk.

Facilities at the reservoir: Aside from the car park, there are none.

My Experience – Would I recommend here?

When I arrived at Withens Clough Reservoir, I only intended to park there and walk up to Stoodley Pike Monument. But, when I saw the reservoir and felt how peaceful it felt, I walked here instead.

It was a Friday afternoon during one of those short-lived heatwaves the UK is famous for, but there were only two other people around. Plus, the flat, fairly short walk was very appealing since I’d just walked to Lumb Hole Falls and was feeling the hot weather.

And honestly, it was lovely. Calm, quiet and beautiful – a little Yorkshire gem.

Views over the hills of the West Yorkshire countryside

Where is Withens Clough?

The reservoir is located in the West Yorkshire countryside, south of Hebden Bridge and east of Todmorden. Cragg Vale is the nearest village.

If you’re hiking the Pennine Way, the reservoir is just a few hundred metres off the trail

Withens Clough Car Park, located about 300 metres from the reservoir

Withens Clough Reservoir Walk

Distance: 1.8 miles/3.0 kilometres
Difficulty: Easy
Walking time: 40 to 60 minutes
Start and endpoint: Withens Clough Car Park

The walk around the reservoir is easy to follow, making for a relaxing outing in the countryside. There’s no complex directions and little chance of getting lost – but nevertheless, a few directions are below to help you know what to expect.

  • From the car park, head uphill towards the reservoir through the gate and then a second gate. Luckily, this part is the only uphill section of the whole walk, as you gain 35 metres in elevation.
  • At the reservoir, you can go in either direction – clockwise or anti-clockwise. I prefer to save walking across the reservoir wall until last as I think it has the best views. So the rest of the directions are for an anti-clockwise loop.
The gravel path along the northern side of the reservoir
  • Continue along the path, past the house on the right-hand side, keeping the water to your left.
  • About halfway around the reservoir, the gravel path becomes a grassy one – as you cross a narrow strip between the reservoir and a smaller body of walk.
  • Follow the trodden grass path, keeping the water on your left-hand side.
  • The reservoir wall will soon come back into sight and you can walk across, taking in views of the hills below.
  • Finally, head back downhill to the car park.
The grassy, unsurfaced path around the southern side of the reservoir

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to the reservoir is driving but it’s also possible by public transport. Buses run to the nearest village from Hebden Bridge and Huddersfield, just requiring a short extra walk.

Withens Clough Car Park

The Yorkshire Water-run Withens Clough Reservoir Car Park is free to use.

It’s a small car park but space for around 15 to 20 cars, I’d say. There aren’t any marked spaces but just a gravelled area for people to make the most of.

To get there, use this Google Maps pin or the what3words location of ///backers.alley.outlawing.

Yorkshire Water recommend using the postcode HX7 5TD. But this covers a large area and if you put it into Google Maps, it doesn’t actually take you to the car park.

So you know, the road up to the car park from Cragg Vale (Rudd Lane) is not in good condition. There’s lots of potholes and it’s very narrow, so drive carefully.

And also, there used to be a 1.8-metre height barrier at the car park entrance, but when I visited in September 2023, this was gone.

Public transport

The 900 and 901 buses run along the nearest main road, operating between Hebden Bridge and Huddersfield.

You can get off at Cragg Vale and then walk about 1 mile up to the reservoir. The walk takes about 30 minutes, with 400 feet (120 metres) elevation gain along Church Bank Lane, Rudd Lane and Withens New Road.

Check out the latest bus timetables online here.

Stoodley Pike on the top of the hill overlooking the water

Other Nearby Walks

From Withens Clough, it’s about 2 miles gently uphill to Stoodley Pike. Or you can walk around the moorland to Mankinholes or Warland Reservoir.

Slightly further afield, to the other side of Hebden Bridge, there’s Hardcastle Crags, Lumb Hole Falls and Bronte Waterfall. All are worth visiting if you have the time and energy.

If you have any questions or want any more information, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Information is correct as of October 2023 but is subject to change in future.

Find your next Yorkshire day out…

HEBDEN BRIDGE: Lumb Hole Falls (Best Walking Routes & Parking Spots)

ILKLEY: Ilkley Moor Walks: 4 Beautiful Circular Routes

YORKSHIRE DALES: Grimwith Reservoir Walk (Circular Route)

MALHAM: 7-Mile Malham Cove Circular Walk via Janet’s Foss & Gordale Scar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *