Ardsley Reservoir

A flat and scenic running loop around a reservoir teeming with wildlife


Elevation gain:46m

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Ardsley Reservoir is a runners best friend whether you’re training or you want to get out and enjoy being in a beautiful environment.

Also known as Tingley Reservoir, this dazzling 2.5 kilometre flat loop will help you find a rhythm mentally and physically. 

Wanting to find your way to the start of the route? Here is a link for a Google Maps Directions page.

This route has a distance of 2.14km and an elevation gain of 46m.

The largest non-stop incline begins in the final third of of the route, and has a distance of 134m and an elevation gain of 11m. You can see this on the above elevation chart in red.

The largest continual decline is 151m long with an elevation drop of 10m which starts in the final third of the route. This is shown on the chart as green.

Route Highlights

The highlight of running around Ardsley Reservoir are the views out over Emley Moor. If you look close enough you can make out the grade 2 listed transmitting station mast. This needle like structure is the tallest freestanding one in the United Kingdom.

Best Time To Run

One of the best times to run around Ardsley Reservoir is in early autumn in the morning. If the mist is low hanging you'll get a spookily eerie view over the water. This can all change if the crisp sun breaks through revealing blue skies and clear sights over towards the moor.

Route Description

Begin the run in the car park and make a left down towards the reservoir. Ahead of  you will be a split in the path, take either the left or the right and simply follow the reservoir path to make a single loop. 

At this point you’ll begin to sync in with the beautiful views around the reservoir. And we won’t blame you if you want to stop and take a moment to appreciate it – particularly the views looking over Emley Moor and  beyond! 

Want to make your run a little longer?

The Leeds Country Way passes close to the west of the reservoir. This waymarked long distance path is a great way of extending your run further afield.


Running can be a hot and sweaty affair at any time of the year. On a warm day you might be tempted to cool down in the water after finishing your run. Unfortunately swimming is not permitted due to the strong undercurrent!


Positioned 5 miles just outside of Wakefield, Ardsley Reservoir spreads out over 60 acres with water coming from as far afield as Barnsley to keep it topped up. This liquid resource is keeping the people of Wakefield going, and the nearby operations of the Coca-Cola factory.

The reservoir was made in 1880 and fed mainly from upland reservoirs in Ryburn Valley. An emergency feed was created after a drought in 1995, linking the reservoir to underground aquifers in the east.

For more information about Ardsley Reservoir, we would recommend you take a look at Ardsley Reservoir page on Discover Leeds.

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The paths have been maintained as wide and flat to comfortably allow a buggy or wheelchair to use it. Despite this you will need to consider the soggy puddles on wet weather days.

Dog Friendly

If you want to run with your dog on a lead then you’re more than welcome to do this at Ardsley Reservoir. Walking and running with a dog on the lead is possible because the paths are wide and flat. 


With no toilets on site try to plan your reservoir run around not needing one; if nature calls you can always head to the nearest café called Beans. Beans can be found at the top of Haigh Moor Road where Westerton Road and Hollerton Lane meet. 


Ardsley Reservoir is popular with all types of visitors – particularly in the summer – be prepared to find the free car park immediately on your left off the Haigh Moor Road entrance full.

An alternative parking spot is to use the roadside parking on Haigh Moor Road.

Food and Drink

The Hare and Hounds pub in Tingley is a mile walk away from the car park reservoir. Grub and refreshments are sorted here!

Other Running Routes Nearby

Looking for other routes near Ardsley Reservoir? Here are three just around the corner.