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West Yorkshire Walk
Around Silsden Reservoir

County/Area - West Yorkshire - Bradford

Author - Allan Friswell

Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km    Ascent - 450 feet / 136 metres

Time - 3 hours 30 minutes    Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference SE041465
Lat 53.914633 // Long -1.939067
Postcode BD20 9JT (approx. location only)
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Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 297Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 297Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 104Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 104Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Around Silsden Reservoir Photo from the walk - Around Silsden Reservoir Photo from the walk - Around Silsden Reservoir Photo from the walk - Around Silsden Reservoir Photo from the walk - Around Silsden Reservoir Photo from the walk - Around Silsden Reservoir
Click thumbnails for larger images.

From the car park (SE041465) turn left to walk along Kirkgate, the main shopping area of Silsden until you reach the bridge over the Leeds Liverpool canal. Walk over the bridge and just before the Bridge public house go through a narrow gap and down the stone steps on to the canal towpath. Once on the towpath turn left to walk under the canal bridge, in the direction of Skipton passing Silsden boatyard on the opposite side.

Follow the towpath for approx ½ mile until you reach Cowling Swing Bridge 191. Cross the bridge to go through the gate or over the stile before turning sharp right, to descend the wooden stepladder into the field. Follow the canal bank for approx 300yds before turning left uphill across the field to the corner of the dry stone wall. On reaching the wall corner continue uphill, crossing the farm access road before turning left after only a short distance to go through the second gateway onto a field access track. Follow the vehicle tracks as they turn right uphill and continue straight up the field, ignoring the stile on your right, and keeping close to the dry stone wall/hedge on your right. Walk uphill towards the left hand corner of the buildings at Park Green, which can clearly be seen ahead.

On reaching these climb stiles on to Skipton Road. Turn right and almost immediately turn left up a narrow surfaced farm access road to High Cross Moor Farm. About half way up the access road the road divides; here turn right, following the sign for High Cross Moor Farm, and then after only a short distance leave the track by climbing the stile at the side of the field gate which can be seen ahead. Once in the field, bear to your left, heading for the stile in the dry stone wall at the top left hand corner. Continue straight ahead across the next field, following the hedge and wall on your right, eventually reaching two farm gates on the right. Here, at the junction of another footpath which crosses from left to right, continue straight ahead again across two more fields.

At the far end of the second field the path joins a concrete track which you follow downhill into the woodland and over the stream, turning right, then left uphill still following the concrete track; this will lead you to the gate into Low Brackenhill Farm. Go through the gate into the farm complex and turn right amongst the buildings, to eventually reach the centre of the farmyard. The footpath divides here; our route is left through the gate out on to a track. Walk along the track crossing two cattle grids before emerging on to Bradley Road. Turn left and walk up the road, passing Raikes Head Farm on your right and Hole Lane on your left, before turning right off Bradley Road along the first turning on your right down the unmade lane (Hayhills Lane).

After only a few paces along Hayhills Lane cross the stile in the hedge on the left and walk towards the left hand side of the buildings of Upper Hayhills Farm ahead. On reaching the farm climb the stile and walk across the access road to climb over another stile on the opposite side. Continue straight ahead across the next field, heading towards the bungalow, to yet another stile in the fence/wall; then continue straight ahead for 25yds before climbing the stile in the fence on your immediate right. Once in the field turn left to the stile in the corner of the field. Then sharp right down the access road to Pickersgill House.

Follow the track a short distance to where it divides near Pickersgill House, bear left into the yard, then climb a gated stile into a pen, take the gate opposite to leave the pen, turn right and cross the stile / gate on to a field. Continue straight ahead across the field, heading to the right hand side of the caravan park which you enter via a small gate.

From here the path bears to the left and should go in a straight line across the caravan park. However, due to a few Leylandii trees it isn't possible to follow the exact line of the path, so a short diversion around the trees is necessary. Pass them on your right, cross the rough grass ahead and then turn right briefly along the obvious track. When you reach a water tap, an obvious path goes left to the stile in the fence. Over the stile the path continues straight ahead across the field, heading in the direction of the tall, chimney like structure, which can be seen on the skyline. (This is the Old Tower at Cringles, built in the 19th century as a survey tower for Barden aqueduct).

At the far end of the field go through the metal kissing gate and continue straight ahead down the next field, keeping as close as possible to the fence line and the holly and hawthorn on your right. Near the bottom of the slope bear slightly to the right and ignoring the gate, drop down the steps down into the woodland. Buzzards nest here.

Cross the footbridge over Great Gill Beck. Climb the few steps at the opposite side, (ignore the waymark signs which lead to an unnecessarily precarious climb) and turn right to walk along the stream bank for approx 75yds (68m), before turning left up the steep grassy hillside under the trees, immediately coming to and following uphill a faint gravel path. Follow this as it leaves the trees, turns left and heads down to an open gateway. Don't pass through this gateway, but turn right and keep the wall on your left, passing the ladder stile. The footpath continues to follow the dry stone wall/fence in a straight line, going over three stiles to the buildings of Fishbeck Farm ahead. There are increasingly attractive views of Silsden reservoir on your right. On reaching the farmyard, turn left up the incline to walk between the house and the barn; at the rear end of the barn climb the steps over the stone wall onto a surfaced parking area and continue in front of the house to another gated gap, to go through out on to the main road (Bolton Road).

Turn left uphill for a short distance, cross the road with great care and walk along Fishbeck Lane. Follow the lane with its long distant westerly views across Silsden Reservoir all the way to the T-junction with Brownbank Lane. Walk down along the lane for approx 300yds, to turn first left along Swartha Lane. Follow this road as it weaves its way through the countryside and eventually between the houses and farms of Swartha. After passing through the hamlet the road goes downhill, where after about 250yds it turns sharp left and joins Hawber Lane.

Leave the road here on the corner, by going through the gap in the wall ahead. Once you are in the field the footpath divides, and you should proceed left downhill following the wall and the line of trees on your right. At the bottom of the first field go through the dilapidated kissing gate to again follow the hedge line on your right all the way down the field, ignoring the stile you pass on your right, to the bottom right hand corner. Here turn right over the stile and into the next field, to turn immediately left over a second stile and out onto a road, (Hawber Cote Drive). Walk downhill to the next road junction turning left down Banklands Avenue. At the bottom of the avenue, at its junction with Banklands Lane, cross over straight ahead on to the rugby ground and Silsden Park.

Walk round the right of the embankment to the surfaced path between the children's play area and the building. Follow the path as it bears to the right to go down the stone steps, to walk between the skateboard and mountain bike trail area and continue across Silsden Beck, walking straight ahead between Silsden Methodist Church and Mount Carmel Catholic Church. At the end of the street, turn right and then left in front of the Catholic Church to bring you back to your walk start point at Wesley Place car park.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3215 Steeton to Ilkley without a car - moderate - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 2942 Below Silsden Moor from Cringles - easy/mod - 6.8 miles/11.1 km

Walk 3430 Farnhill Moor from Kildwick - easy/mod - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 2904 Cross Hills to Skipton via Low Bradley - easy/mod - 6.5 miles/10.6 km

Walk 2657 Bradleys Both, near Skipton - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 1905 Beamsley Beacon and Bolton Abbey from Addingham - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 1793 Lothersdale from Cowling - easy/mod - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 2661 Keighley Moor Reservoir & Hitching Stone from Cowling - moderate - 9.5 miles/15.4 km

Walk 2319 Ilkley to Bingley - easy/mod - 7.0 miles/11.4 km

Walk 2574 Valley of Desolation & Barden Fell - moderate - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

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