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  • timbarber

A lovely loop walk around Grimwith Reservoir from The Craven Arms in Appletreewick

I’d not been to Appletreewick for a couple of years, but having read that The Craven Arms in the village was used for the inside shots of The Drovers Arms in series 3 of All Creatures Great and Small, I thought planning a walk from there would give me a good excuse to call in for a pint.

NB (originally The Green Dragon in Hardraw was used for the inside shots but temporarily shut down by the time they filmed season 3)

We had gained permission to park at the pub after promising to return for drinks, so arrived, put on our boots and headed on up a track to the left of the pub.

The path ascends steeply along a narrow track which is lined either side with dry stone walls. As we gained height some great Dales views started to be seen.

We eventually met a path running across at right angles to the main path and took a left fork. This rough track took us through rough farmland up onto the Moor dotted with old disused mine shafts.

We eventually met the Grassington to Pateley Bridge road, crossing carefully and as we climbed up the hill the Yorkshire Water site of Grimwith Reservoir came into view.

We walked past the car park and found the reservoir side path and followed it in an anti- clockwise way.

Grimwith Reservoir was originally built by the Bradford Corporation in 1864. It is one of the largest reservoirs in Yorkshire, acting as a Compensation reservoir. It is also home to the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club - so one of the few reservoirs in Yorkshire allowing water sports.

On the eastern edge of the reservoir there is a unique cruck barn dating to the 16th century but re-built by Yorkshire water in the 1980’s and moved further away from the water line. These buildings are rare in the Dales and High Laithe Cruck Barn has a heather thatched roof and still has the original cattle stalls inside.

We continued around the reservoir and walked over the reservoir wall before having our packed lunch in front of the strange tower which sits next to the wall.

The tower is actually an Overflow and Valve Tower which controls the level of water in the reservoir, sending water through the valve and down the slipway into the River Dibb if levels of water get too high after excessive rainfall.

From here we followed the main entrance drive out of the reservoir until we met the Grassington to Pateley Road again. The turned right and walked to Dibbles Bridge before finding a footpath sign and a small stile.

The bridge is the site of England’s worst ever road traffic accident in terms of fatalities, when in 1975 a coach crashed at the sharp bend over the bridge, killing 33 people including the driver. We were glad to get off the road and back on a path.

We climbed up past a small outcrop of limestone, whilst my pals dog Stanley had a quick dip in the river.

As we gained height again the rain which had been coming down quite heavily started to stop and the skies cleared. It meant again, some stunning Yorkshire Dales views came into show.

The path traversed the River Dibb in the valley bottom, until we met the steep path we had climbed up this morning and descended back into Appletreewick.

We celebrated finishing our 10 and a half mile walk with a pint of local Hetton Pale. The pub actually is home to another cruck barn, this barn behind the pub provides a location for larger events with its 7m high roof, sheep’s wool insulation, heather roof and oak trusswork and is a wonderful addition to the pub.

The actual pub dates to the 1600’s and has so much character with its original fireplaces, low beamed ceilings and stone flagged floors.

The bar man showed me the side bar where they filmed the scenes for the inside of The Drovers Arms in All Creatures Great and Small and there are some pictures on the fireplace of the scenes filmed for the TV show.

I’ll have to add it as a stop on my All Creatures Great & Small Tour.

Anyway it was good to get a few miles in the legs, catch up with friends, get some great views and enjoy a pint in a historic pub. What’s not to like?


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