Walk: 4.5 mile circular walk around Eccup reservoir, Alwoodley, Leeds
Accessibility: 2 or 3 stiles and can be muddy in parts.
Parking: on road. Eccup Moor Road 287420 or Alwoodley Lane 297408
This is a nice little circular walk of about 1.5 – 2 hours. A mixture of walking on the perimeter of the reservoir and road walking. I usually park at Eccup village (2) and do it in reverse of the map. The Dog can be off lead entirely. So I walk down an arable field and cross a stile at the bottom which can be quite muddy after a lot of rain. Then up a short path to another stile where you enter a large field. Branch left here, keeping Goodrick Plantation on your left. There can be sheep and cows in this field, but usually in the distance. Keep your eyes peeled for Red Kites who usually hover and swoop around here. They are pretty common.
Through a gate and down a path between fences, you come across an old ornate house which I presume must of been the old manager’s houses many years ago when the reservoir was first built. It’s quite imposing when you walk down the lane from Alwoodley Lane.
Here The Dog and I walk through a gate and follow the path with the reservoir to my left and the golf course to my right. There’s a little drainage channel here and The Dog loves jumping in and dredging sticks. Further along she’s able to chase imaginary squirrels in between the trees. You are unable to get to the reservoirs edge as it’s been fenced off, but it’s a lovely flat walk with lovely view.
Another house appears at the end of this path and here you turn left to walk over the dam of Eccup Reservoir. Here The Dog tries to have a look by jumping up the dam wall, but not very successfully. At the end there is a lot of machinery and pipes, with water gushing and whooshing through the grilles, sometimes slopping up through the grating. There’s a lot of noise from the water too. It’s fascinating and I would love to know what’s happening there.
In the 1840s the Leeds Waterworks Company acquired land from the Earl of Harewood for Eccup Reservoir to provide the City of Leeds with clean drinking water. The reservoir was expanded in the 1850s and again in the 1890s. It now has a water treatment works.
Four brick shafts were constructed in Alwoodley to serve the tunnel which brought the water from Eccup Reservoir over the Seven Arches aqueduct in Adel Woods into Leeds.
There’s a slight incline and the road bends right where you can see a footpath sign. Take this path past houses that seem to be just dropped there. They are full of security cameras and grilles and really I wonder who would buy a house and live like that.
Finally you reach the Eccup Moor Road and turning left again, you follow this road back to the car. It’s very quiet except for the occasional car, bike or utilities vehicle heading to the water treatment works.
I love this tree. It’s been dead for years and is just a skeleton. I half expect a couple of vultures sitting there shrugging their shoulders wondering what to do next. It’s so gnarled and a piece of art in its own right.
The road is fairly straight and drops downwards on a slight gradual incline. Here you get great views across towards Cookridge and see planes coming into land at nearby Leeds Bradford airport. It’s a great evening walk and there are options to extend it too. Take a pair of binoculars for the Red Kites and geese will gather here too, making a huge cacophony of noise. Other birds can be seen too.
A pleasant stroll on the edge of Leeds with countryside stretching beyond. Enjoy.