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The Washburn Valley - A Land of Water & Activity

The Washburn Valley forms the southern third of the Nidderdale AONB, to the south of Nidderdale.

It is most well-known for its four reservoirs which span the length of the valley from remote Moorland on the high hills of Thruscross Reservoir (the newest of the four), to the rich and gentle rolling hills that surround Lindley Wood Reservoir.

In between lie Fewston Reservoir and its neighbouring Swinsty Reservoir beside the hamlets of Fewston and Timble.

This landscape, shaped for and by the supply of water, has become a popular destination for walkers, wildlife watchers and cyclists both on and off road.

Each reservoir offers a circular walk around its perimeter and there are several car parks provided by Yorkshire Water at all but Lindley Wood.

The line of reservoirs offers a sliding scale of severity and surroundings for your walk, meaning that regardless of season or appetite, there is a walk for everyone.

Mountain bikers will find purpose built facilities near the Swinsty car park and above Lindley Wood at Stainburn Forest, the two connected by bridleways and quiet back roads.

In addition the valley is the site of the only dam release canoeing facility in England.

It’s no surprise that this part of the AONB has become synonymous with outdoor activities.

The Washburn Valley Heritage Centre holds regular exhibitions showing the once vibrant local area and its formative history, as well as offering tea and cake from their café, making for a refreshing stop when walking around Swinsty Reservoir.

The making of the reservoirs was a ravaging process and many homes were sacrificed to the waters in the name of progress. 

The village of West End lies beneath the water of Thruscross Reservoir, its church and other buildings being revealed by low waters during exceptionally dry periods.

Even when full a number of buildings can be seen along the banks, sometimes half submerged and slightly ghostly as they hang above the waters.    

With no major towns or villages the Washburn Valley offers a peaceful respite and is a treat to explore.

The valley is popular for the traditional Sunday walk and pub lunch, offering everything from a light sandwich to a full gastro-pub experience, depending on your will power.

Number of items:

Number of items: 12

  1. The Timble Inn

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    The Timble Inn

    5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars Hotel

    Harrogate

    The Timble Inn, hidden away in the picturesque village of Timble and nestling in the beautiful Washburn Valley, is a romantic Grade II Listed 18th Century Coaching Inn. Thoughtfully and sympathetically renovated in 2010, The Timble Inn offers 5 Star accommodation and dining.

    No expense has...

    Price

    Guide Price from £150.00 to £200.00 Per room (breakfast included)

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    Book The Timble Inn Online

  2. Washburn Valley Birds Walk

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    Washburn Valley Birds Walk

    Type

    Walking Route

    Harrogate

    Wander through woodland, along river banks and admire views of the reservoir and the Washburn Valley. Historically this walk is very interesting with a packhorse bridge, Dob Park and a monk's trail.

    Nearest village: Timble. Length: 6.5 miles (10.5km).   Time (approx): 3 hours.   Difficulty:...

  3. Cold Cotes Luxury Accommodation

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    Cold Cotes Luxury Accommodation

    5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars 5 Visit England Stars Guest Accommodation

    Harrogate

    Cold Cotes, a collection of warm and welcoming luxury accommodation in a delightful rural setting just 6 miles from Harrogate on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

    The property is set in award-winning gardens and featured both in the Michelin Guide and Alastair Sawdays (for garden lovers)...

    Price

    Guide Price from £89.00 Per room (breakfast included) to £109.00 Per person (breakfast included)

    Indicative Availability

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  4. Fewston Reservoir -  Walking Routes

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    Fewston Reservoir - Walking Routes

    Type

    Walking Route

    Harrogate

    In the middle of the Washburn Valley in the south of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Fewston Reservoir offers a number of relaxing paths along the side of the water and through the woods.

    The walks vary from 1/4 mile to 6 miles in length.

    Some of the walks are shared with the...

  5. Stainburn Forest MTB Trails & Walks

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    Stainburn Forest MTB Trails & Walks

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Harrogate

    The man made mountain bike trails at Stainburn Forest offer a selection of short routes that reward repeated riding and test any riders ability. 

    The forest also provides habitats for a variety of bird and wildlife and offers rich and diverse fauna.

    Stainburn Forest is high on technical...

  6. Thruscross Reservoir - Walk

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    Thruscross Reservoir - Walk

    Type

    Walking Route

    Pateley Bridge

    This walk of 4.5 miles follows the edge of Thruscross Reservoir, the top most and newest reservoir of the Washburn Valley.

    Often referred to as ‘West End’ after the village it swallowed up, Thruscross is famous for the appearance of the village when water levels hit severe lows.

    Thruscross...

  7. Swinsty and Timble Cycle Route

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    Swinsty and Timble Cycle Route

    Type

    Cycle Route

    Harrogate

    With something for everyone the trails which make up Swinsty & Timble Cycle Route are made up with a network of Bridleways and permissive routes, and custom built mountain bike trails.

    Family cycling can be found along the forest tracks, while a rewarding but accessible selection of mountain bike...

  8. The Timble Inn Restaurant

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    The Timble Inn Restaurant

    Harrogate

    The Timble Inn Restaurant is part of the beautiful Grade II Listed 18th Century Coaching Inn hidden away in the picturesque village of Timble, in the Washburn Valley.  Renovated in 2010, The Timble Inn offers 5 Star dining and accommodation with a focus on elegance and comfort.

    Our charming...

  9. Afternoon Tea at the Timble Inn

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    Afternoon Tea at the Timble Inn

    Harrogate

    Enjoy a lazy afternoon with us at The Timble Inn, an idyllic 18th Century Coaching Inn and 5 star hotel in the rolling hills of the Washburn Valley.

    Our Afternoon Tea offers a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches with a variety of exquisite fillings, the traditional fruit scones with jam...

  10. Swinsty Reservoir Walking Routes

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    Swinsty Reservoir Walking Routes

    Type

    Walking Route

    Harrogate

    Swinsty Reservoir, managed by Yorkshire Water sits in the Washburn Valley on the southern side of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Sitting just below Fewston Reservoir and sharing parking and facilities Swinsty offers walking routes for able and disabled visitors to explore the...

  11. Scaife Hall Farm

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    Scaife Hall Farm

    Harrogate

    Our working hill farm is situated at Blubberhouses just 8 miles from Harrogate on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. We keep sheep and Belted Galloway cattle. Our well appointed rooms all offer ensuite shower rooms, TV with built in DVD, beverage trays and complimentary toiletries. 

    Our hearty...

    Price

    Guide Price £42.50 Per person (breakfast included)

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  12. Blubberhouses Tree Trail

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    Blubberhouses Tree Trail

    Type

    Walking Route

    This riverside walk is full of interest with a variety of tree species, and abundance of wildlife and glimpses of an industrial heritage.

    Nearest village: Blubberhouses. 

    Length: 3 miles (5km).

    Time (approx): 1-2 hours.

    Difficulty: moderate

     

    View the Route Description & Map.

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