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Eccup Reservoir view over the reservoir on an overcast day

Eccup Reservoir

5 miles of incredible scenery to explore and breath-taking views across the water.

Eccup Reservoir view over the reservoir on an overcast day

Offering spectacular scenery, stunning woodlands and glistening sights as the sun hits the water, Eccup reservoir is the perfect place for a waterside ramble.

Classed as a Sight of Special Scientific Interest and the largest body of water in West Yorkshire, it is no surprise that this wet landscape is a nationally important haven for birds.

Home to over 150 birds and abundant with vegetation and rare balsams Eccup Reservoir is brimming with natural beauty. A fabulous place for bird watchers, families and runners alike.

Location Details

Take a look around

  • Eccup Reservoir woods
  • Eccup Reservoir woods
  • Eccup Reservoir
  • Eccup Reservoir
  • Eccup Reservoir path around the reservoir
  • Eccup Reservoir path around the reservoir
  • Eccup Reservoir sign
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Things to Note

Eccup Reservoir has the following on-site or nearby:

  • Nearby Food & Drink
  • Nearby Parking
  • Nearby Toilets
  • Pushchair Access
  • Rubbish Bins
  • Wheelchair Access


Based in Leeds, Eccup Reservoir is located 7 miles north of the city centre in the lavish Leeds suburb of Alwoodley and near the quaint village of Eccup. Start your walk on Alwoodley Lane and then take the path by Goodrick Plantation through Owlet Hall farm, through the shady woodland before the reservoir comes into view.

Things to Do

Great Place for Bird Watching

Eccup Reservoir is Site of Scientific Interest due to its feathered inhabitants and makes for a bird watchers dream. The reservoir is home to over 150 bird species who come and go throughout the seasons. Keep your eyes peeled for the likes of goosander, pochard, wigeon, mallards, redshank, common sandpiper, swans and herons and see what else you can spot. Take to the viewing platform to get a closer look across the water.

See what vegetation you can spot on western banks of the Reservoir. Keep an eye out for the rare Bladder Sedge, which has only been found at two other sites in the county.

Look up and you may spot the reddish belly of the magnificent Red Kites swooping gracefully in the sky. Recently saved from extinction in the UK, Eccup Reservoir is a great place to see Red Kites flourish.

Somewhere to Run or Walk

Take a leisurely stroll, run or hike round the 5 mile circular route of the reservoir. Passing through woodlands over a dam and alongside Sand Moor Golf Course, there is lots to see along the way. Run Leeds has put together a run route, which outlines the full loop.


Why not make your day out to Eccup Reservoir a family friendly day out and go on the hunt for geocache treasure. There are 25 geocaches hidden around the reservoir. Take a look at the geocaching website to find out more.

Great Place to Walk the Dog

Eccup reservoir is dog friendly, providing lots of open space for your four legged friend to explore. Please keep dogs on a lead in areas where sheep are grazing and there are ground nesting birds.

Whilst the water may look calm and inviting on a warm day, beware as dangerous currents lurk beneath the surface. Swimming and fishing are not permitted in the area and dog walkers are advised to keep dogs away from the water’s edge.


Eccup Reservoir was constructed in 1843 and expanded in the 1850 and 1890’s. It is owned by Yorkshire Water and is the largest body of water in West Yorkshire, covering an impressive 220 acres. There are a few hints that Eccup Reservoir was built over a historic Roman settlement. Partly because remains of settlements had been found in nearby farmers’ fields in the year 1702. This is written about in John Mayhall’s ‘Annals of Leeds and the surrounding district.

The land was donated to the Leeds water company in the 1830’s by the 3rd Earl of Harewood, in a bid to help combat the city’s lack of clean water, which was a major cause of disease.


Eccup reservoir is dog friendly, providing lots of open space for your four legged friend to explore. Please keep dogs on a lead in areas where sheep are grazing and there are ground nesting birds.

There are no public toilets located at Eccup Reservoir. Toilet facilities are available at the nearby New Inn pub for paying customers.

Food and Drink

Eccup Reservoir provides the perfect backdrop for a picnic with all the family. Take a break anywhere along the 5 mile route to enjoy the peace and quiet. Watch the birds on the water taking to the skies. Unfortunately fires and BBQs are not permitted.

Just north of the reservoir you will find the dog friendly New Inn pub. Offering pub grub and beverages, there is a beer garden for the warm summer nights and a cosy fire to warm yourself on a crisp winters day. Located on Eccup Lane LS16 8AU, the pub is located past Thorn Bush Farm at the north western corner of the water.

Or how about treating yourself to some fine dining in nearby Alwoodley? Fancy Italian? Head over to the authentic Amici. Or how about a delicious Mexican at The Olive Branch? The Olive Branch 

The Avenue Fish Bar is a great takeaway stop on the way home.


There is no car park at Eccup Reservoir, however on street parking is located on Alwoodley Lane LS17 7PF.


Eccup reservoir is considered a moderate and inclusive walk. The majority of the route has wide tarmacked roads and surface paths with no steep inclines, making it suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Beware however as the route passes through fields, so some terrain may be uneven and boggy.

How to Get To Eccup Reservoir

Google Map Directions

Eccup Reservoir can be reached by following the A Roads from nearby areas. If travelling from the city centre take the Ring Road or A61. On street parking is available on Alwoodley Lane. Visitors then need to talk a walk down Goodrick Lane through Owlet Hall Farm to find the reservoir.

Travelling by bus? Take the 36 from Leeds City Centre. There is a bus stop on Alwoodley Lane which is 0.4 miles from the start of the circular walk.

Other Locations Near Eccup Reservoir

Looking for other places near Eccup Reservoir? Here are three other locations just around the corner.