Scar House Reservoir, Yorkshire Dales


Distance: 14km/9 miles  l  Ascent: 475m/1558ft  l  Time: 4.5 hours  l  Walk type: Farm, moorland 

A route with spectacular views throughout as it follows the Nidderdale Way from the hill village of Middlesmoor in the Nidderdale AONB. Watch red kites and kestrels soar from the walk’s highest point before dropping down to cross the reservoir wall at Scar House, skirt the edge of Masham Moor and briefly follow the lovely River Nidd.

Navigation level: Easy  l   Difficulty: Moderate  l  Type: Circular 

Start/End location: Moor Lane car park (free, 8 spaces), Middlesmoor, HG3 5ST (SE092743). 

scar house




Getting there

Where: Circular route from the Nidderdale village of Middlesmoor. By car travel north via Low Wath Road from Pateley Bridge. Dalesbus operates a Sunday and bank holiday bus service in the area from May to October only ( 

Maps: OS Explorer 298, OS Landranger 99. 

Eating & drinking: The Crown Hotel, Middlesmoor (01423 755204, search ‘Crown Middlesmoor’ on Facebook). 

Sleeping: The Crown Hotel & campsite, Middlesmoor (as above); Abbey Holiday Cottages (07802 176466,  

Visitor information: Pateley Bridge Tourist Information Centre  (01423 714953, 

Guidebooks: Short Walks in Nidderdale by Jon Fallis (£9.95, Cicerone, ISBN 978-1786311542). 



  1. From the exit of Middlesmoor car park, turn right and continue straight on along the road (past The Crown campsite), which shortly becomes a track and public bridleway. From this position at the head of the Nidderdale Valley, enjoy views back to the distant Gouthwaite Reservoir and Pateley Bridge, then follow the track all the way to the far end where it drops down to Scar House reservoir. 

  1. Turn right onto the reservoir road, then left over the dam wall, following signs for Nidderdale Way. By a Yorkshire Water information board about Scar House and Angram reservoirs, turn left up cobbled track then shortly after right to follow the Nidderdale Way. The track winds through moorland down into a narrow valley, then steeply up towards a shooting lodge. Just before the lodge, turn right onto a footpath that leads through a gate and then steeply down a grassy path which bears left then undulates along the side of the valley.  

  1. Stay left when the path forks, and continue on a good track that levels off at New Houses Edge Farm. Ignore left fork just before Bracken Ridge Farm, continuing straight on along the track as it begins to descend and then bears right, with views across valley back towards Scar House. 

  1. Eventually the track becomes a footpath which descends steeply to the river Nidd and through a large farm. On the way out of the farm, stay left (don't turn right up to the road) and go through a metal gate which leads to a path by the river. Follow this path through a wooden gate, then cross the river and continue on to a farm where a right turn leads along a footpath up the drive of the farm.  

  1. Turn left along the road, then take first public footpath on right, signposted Middlesmoor, which leads diagonally up over a series of fields and stiles. As the footpath arrives at a cobbled lane, continue on past the church, then turn right into Middlesmoor and follow the road back to the car park and start.  


Problem with this route?

If you encounter a problem on this walk, please let us know by emailing If the issue is with a public path or access please also contact the local highways authority directly, or find out more about solving problems on public paths on our website.

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