Baldersdale Reservoirs

This is a great route which combines open moorland tracks and reservoir side paths.  It starts at the car park on the South side of the dam on Hury Reservoir.

Circular  |   12.6km (7.85 miles)  |  Difficulty: Easy

Please note that the route given is a rough guide and should not be relied upon solely when planning a walk. Remember to plan ahead, get a proper map and ensure you have the right equipment.

This route is relatively easy with several gentle climbs and descents.  There are several opportunities along this walk to follow alternatives paths which won’t have any major impact on the route’s length or difficulty.

1: The route leaves the car park and follows the road Eastward to where a footpath sign points uphill.  The route could be followed anti-clockwise, but going this way gets all the inclines out of the way earlier.  Walkers should follow the footpath sign uphill towards the farm, then turn left at the farmyard and follow the track around to a gate.  The route now crosses this field to the gate on the far side.  Walkers should be aware that bulls and cows are often kept in this field so skirting around the edges may be necessary.  Once on the moor the route leads uphill until it reaches a clearer track

2: Walkers have an option here where they reach the track.  The route follows a track on the North side of Yawd Sike but there is an opportunity to cross the stream by heading left to a small bridge and up to the track on the valley’s far side.  Both of these tracks follow the stream until they reach a section of Pennine Way.  The route now follows the Pennine way North.

3: The route passes Goldsborough.  Walkers can climb this outcrop if they want a view of Baldersdale and surrounding Teesdale.  The path along this section, despite being part of the Pennine Way, can become difficult to follow.  If walkers lose the track they should continue downhill towards the road.

4: When the route reaches the road it follows it Westward.  Here there is another choice for walkers.  They can continue following the Pennine Way at the sign post along the road which cuts downhill towards Blackton Reservoir   However, this involves passing through several fields which may contain cattle.  The alternative is to carry on along the road.  This is a quiet road with little traffic and provides easy walking and great views of the valley.

5: The road ends at a farm gate.  The route passes through the gate and bears immediately left where it leaves the farmyard then heads downhill.  Walkers who followed the Pennine Way at point 4 will meet back up with the route here at the bottom of the hill.  The route then heads West and crosses a bridge.

6: Walkers could continue along the Pennine Way and cut out part of the route by proceeding straight to point 9.  Those not wishing to miss any of the route should turn left at the fence here and head uphill through Blackton.  The route continues up to the dam.

7: The route now crosses the Balderhead Reservoir and continues along the road past the reservoir uphill.  Walkers will then find themselves on another road at the top of the incline.

8: The route follows the road Eastward until it reaches a footpath signpost pointing downhill.  The route follows the Pennine Way here downhill.

9: Eventually the route reaches a farm which it passes to the right and heads down to the reservoir side.  Walkers should now follow this path Eastward all the way along the side of Blackton reservoir.

10: Eventually the route reaches a dam, walkers could cross the dam here and follow the track on the far side to point 11.  The route however follows an alternative track through a gate on the Northern side of the reservoir and follows the track down to another dam.

11: The route now crosses the damn, heads up hill through a car park and follows the road back to the start.  An alternative to this is for walkers not to cross the dam and stay on the North side of Hury Reservoir.  There is a track on this shore which eventually reaches yet another dam which can be crossed to reach the start point.

There are plenty of places to start this route with car parks at both ends of the dams on all three reservoirs in addition to one near Clove Lodge.  The route is good in most conditions, however some sections may become quite muddy in wetter weather.  In some places the track is difficult to follow but for most part it is well maintained, especially when following sections of the Pennine Way or quiet country roads.   Even where the track is difficult to see there are markers on all the gates which the route passes through making finding the way easy. 

This route is based on one suggested by Northumbria Water.

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