Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 26th December 2012
Distance: 3.1 miles
Ascent: 190 feet
Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
With: Lisa and Rhiannon
Start Grid Ref: SE186537
A short family walk around Swinsty Reservoir for a bit of post-Christmas fresh air.
Route Summary: Anti-clockwise circuit of Swinsty Reservoir starting from Swinsty Moor Plantation Car Park
1. The woods of Swinsty Moor Plantation
2. Showing Rhiannon how to really jump in muddy puddles
3. Swinsty Reservoir
4. Swinsty Dam
5. Swinsty Reservoir from the dam
6. Askwith Moor
7. Another view of Swinsty Reservoir
Walk Detail: The three mile circuit of Swinsty Reservoir has become something of a favourite, especially since the birth of my daughter in 2007. When she was just a few months old it was the first walk I carried her on and last year it became the first walk that she managed three miles on her own two feet. Therefore it was a natural choice for a Boxing Day family walk and a bit of post-Christmas Day fresh air.
We were blessed with some of the only sunshine over what had been a fairly dull and very wet festive period. All the rain over the previous few days (and weeks!) actually provided us with some entertainment due to the numerous large puddles of water on the path. Lisa had the foresight to get Rhiannon kitted out in full waterproofs and wellies which allowed her to jump in and out of puddles to her heart's delight. I have to admit that I indulged in a bit of puddle jumping myself.
There are two notable things about this particular visit. Firstly it was very, very busy - far busier than any other previous visit. Clearly we were not the only ones who felt the need for a bit of fresh air after Christmas. It made me wonder where Boxing Day would rank in terms of busiest days of the year for people being out on foot in the countryside. Quite highly I would imagine.
The second thing I noticed was how high the water level of the reservoir was. This was especially noticeable along the north bank of the reservoir where a number of trees were partly submerged, as were a number of pebble beaches. It is quite laughable to remember how in early Spring 2012 they were talking of a possible drought lasting to Christmas because of the dry weather and now they are talking about 2012 being one of the wettest years on record in the UK!