I came to walk around Langsett Reservoir as a back up plan. I had intended to go elsewhere, except, it was a very sunny Saturday and the roads were busy. What should have been a journey of just over an hour, sat nav told me would be nearly two hours. So I abandoned that idea and popped over to walk Langsett, which was a short drive away.
I had fully expected the Langsett Reservoir to be busy, being that it was a sunny weekend, and it’s the Peak District which draws in the crowds. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The reservoir is large enough that you are dispersed…sort of. The first section of the walk, from the car park, did have a few people about, however, once I got around the other side, across the Midhope moor, it got quieter, and then through the woods a bit later, didn’t pass a single person.
What I’m going to do in this guide, is first give you an overview of what to expect on the walk around Langsett Reservoir, with full logistics, and map. Then I will go on to describe the walk route with lots of photos. At the end, I will provide suggestions for other reservoirs I recommend.
What to expect on the walk around Langsett Reservoir
For the first section of the walk around the Langsett Reservoir, you will be fully under the trees. The trail is fairly level (with one small hill), on a well maintained, wide dirt path. At the first corner, there is a grassy area by the water, which seemed to be where people like to hang out.
After this, the route is fully out in the open, as you walk up the hill to the moorland section. There are a couple of ways you can go when up in the moor. I chose the more off-piste route, which involved a bit of overgrowth and scratchy heather. The alternate way is more user friendly, if you prefer.
When up on the moor, you will get a wonderful view down to the Langsett Reservoir, and pass by some farm ruins, before you walk back down and along the edge of the reservoir again.
The next section (on the route I took*) is fully in woodland, and very rugged and off-piste. Think lots of tree roots and barely there trails.
*There are other trail options. I chose the one keeping me right on the edge of the reservoir.
You will then finish off along the dam, with an optional pub and cafe stop right at the end.
How long is the walk around Langsett Reservoir?
The full circular route around the Langsett Reservoir is about 3.7 miles, and took me about 1h 20min to walk.
Fun Fact: The Langsett Reservoir is the largest supply reservoir in the Sheffield District, and holds over 1400 million gallons of water. It also has one of the largest earth embankments in the UK.
Is the walk dog friendly?
Dogs are welcome at Langsett Reservoir, however, they must be kept on a lead, particularly across the moor. I did pass some sheep up there. There are no stiles, however, I did have to climb over a wooden fence near the end. There are alternate trails though, which likely take you to a proper gate.
Is the walk pram friendly?
Part of the Langsett Reservoir is pram friendly to walk along, however, the full circular around it, is not. Conveniently, it’s the first section from the car park which you can take a pram on. However, there is one hill on this section, which doesn’t have a proper path. Further down when I describe the route, I have provided a photo, so you can decide if it will be suitable.
Can you swim in Langsett Reservoir?
No, swimming is not permitted at Langsett Reservoir. This is due to hidden machinery under the water, strong undercurrents, and blue-green algae.
Parking for Langsett Reservoir
The main car park for walking around the Langsett Reservoir is the Langsett Barn Car park. If this is full, there is another one up the road called Langsett Flouch car park. They are currently free to park in, however, they are owned by Yorkshire Water, who have plans to trial charging for their car parks. Supposedly it was meant to come into force at the end of 2022. We are well passed that. I am grateful that they are slow.
Although there are plenty of spaces, they fill quickly. When I arrived at about midday on Saturday, I had to wait a bit for a space.
- Start/Finish: Langsett Barn car park. Post code: S36 9DF.
- Where is it: Langsett reservoir is located in the Yorkshire region of the Peak District National Park. It’s on the north eastern edge.
- Public transport: Yes. There is a bus stop next to the Waggon and Horses pub. Buses 26a and 407.
- Distance: 3.7 miles
- Time: 1h 20min
- Difficulty: Easy
- Terrain: Dirt trail, gravel, rocks, tree roots
- Amenities: Toilets at the Old Barn which is next to the car park. There is a pub (Waggon and Horses) and cafe (Bank view cafe) near the car park. On this route, you walk by them at the end of the walk around the Langsett Reservoir.
- Time of year: I walked around Langsett Reservoir in early summer
Map for the circular walk around the Langsett Reservoir
You can see my more detailed route map for the Langsett Reservoir walk on Alltrails
For more from the Peak District, including many more reservoir walks, check out my guide on the best walks in the Peak District here.
Route Description for the Langsett Reservoir walk
From the main Langsett Reservoir car park, you want to walk to the other end. There is a path on the side of the car park if you wish.
I decided to walk around the Langsett Reservoir anticlockwise. This is a good direction if you want to finish at the pub.
So, going anticlockwise, turn right when you reach the other side. You will notice a couple of trail option. Either will work. I chose the more obvious one. This will lead you all the way down to the water. When you get there, turn right. Now it’s as simple as following the path.
As I mentioned earlier, this bit is very gentle, along a well maintained dirt trail, with lots of trees.
Further along, there is a hill, but it’s not too big, and levels out fairly quickly, to get you back onto a nice path.
When you reach the junction, you can take either, but make sure to turn left at the next junction. This will lead you down to the grassy open area.
Walk up to the moor
Cross over the bridge, and turn left, through the gate, where you will be entering the moorland section.
This is where the terrain become more rugged. At first it’s sandy, but when you reach the uphill, it becomes a lot more rocky. I was hoping for a view after the walk up this hill, but interestingly you can’t see the Langsett Reservoir from here.
As you near the top, the trail will curve you to the left (photo below is after the trail turned left)
Now, to keep things simple, stay straight on this main path, then turn left at the next main turn. However, according to my map, there was another option. It’s almost hidden. At the edge of the trees, at the fence corner on the left, there is a trail. I had to double check my map, as it almost didn’t seem correct.
It was indeed correct, and as I could see lots of people following the main path, I decided to take it.
Walk the hidden trail?
The trail this way is super narrow, and partially hidden in parts by the overgrowth of heather. It was a little scratchy in parts, but I’ve tackled much worse.
As I made my way through, I suddenly remembered something. Adders. I had seen a few signs lately warning of adders, although, those were in North Yorkshire. But maybe they are here too? Now wishing I had taken the other path, I quickened my pace.
This section went on surprisingly long…or it could just be I was nervous now, and wanted to get out quickly.
If you took this route, when you reach a big wooden gate on the left, there should be a trail split to the right. Take the right, which will lead you up the moor and onto the main path.
This is where you will find the ruins. I wasn’t expecting them, so it was a nice little surprise. I was also surprised by the great view down to the Langsett Reservoir as I walked up.
If you were already on the main path, you just continue straight. If you came up from the off-piste path, turn left.
Walk back down to the Langsett Reservoir
Through the gate, you will be led downhill on the main rocky path, passing through sections of trees, to reach the corner of the Langsett Reservoir.
Around the corner, there is a small uphill, then through the gate, you have your next route options.
I chose the left trail to walk right along the edge of the Langsett Reservoir. It becomes very off-piste a bit later on, so if you would prefer not to, then stick to the main path
Walk along the rugged edge of the Langsett Reservoir
It all starts out fairly simple, along a nice trail, then as you get further in, the trail sort of disappears and you are faced with lots of undulations, tree roots, and general ruggedness.
The best I can guide you, is to just make sure you keep walking with the Langsett Reservoir to your left.
If you reach this sign, well done:
At this junction, I stayed left:
Then at this junction, I took the right, then middle:
Next it’s a big walk uphill, then at the top, I kept to the trail right next to the fence, mostly because I could look down over the Langsett Reservoir.
You might see a big uprooted tree up here, which for a moment I thought was the yeti monster.
Keeping to the trail right next to the fence, you will be lead into a mass of woodland again…and then the wall.
The road on the other side of the wall, is where you want to get to. So I followed the wall to the right, to find an opening, which led me to this:
This isn’t a gatet. It’s a fixed fence. I checked my map, which indeed told me this is correct. I wasn’t sure I trusted it through, so had a bit of a wander around, then someone else appeared and climbed over it. So I followed.
Walk across the Langsett Reservoir Dam
Once you make it onto the road, turn left, and follow it downhill to walk across the dam, with the Langsett reservoir to your left, and a castle looking fort thing ahead.
On the other end, if you want to stop at the pub, follow the road as it curves to the right, and it’s just there.
To get back to the car park, turn left at the trail sign:
Then when you reach the junction, you can go either way. I took the right, which involves a few steps. If you don’t want the steps, then take the left. Although, if you have tackled the previous bit, then you should be ok with the steps.
More local reservoir walks
There are a few reservoirs you can walk around, near Langsett. My number one recommendation is the Dale Dike Reservoir. It’s the most peaceful one I have found in the Peak District. I walked it on a very sunny weekend, and passed less than a handful of people.
Next to Dale Dike, you have the Agden Reservoir. Whilst there were a few more people about, it was still very peaceful. The only thing I wasn’t keen on with that one, is the bit of road walking.
My favourite reservoir in the Peak District, is Wessenden. It’s further north, in a valley of moorland hills, and features lots of waterfalls. It seemed to be quite undiscovered, and a stark contrast to the very popular Dovestone Reservoir just down the road from it.
Ladybower Reservoir is another one you could try. I think everyone knows about this one. I must have got lucky, as it wasn’t very busy when I walked it. Actually, I think I walked it on a weekday which could be why. Anyway, every single person out here, who I have talked to about whichever reservoir I had just walked, doesn’t usually know it, but they tell me they know Ladybower.
If you would like to try out other types of walks, then you will find much more on my Peak District walking guide.