Langsett Reservoir walking for families

Langsett Reservoir is a stunningly beautiful body of water located in the Peak District National Park in South Yorkshire, England. The reservoir, which was constructed in the late 19th century to supply water to the city of Sheffield, has become a popular destination for walkers, cyclists, and nature lovers from all over the country. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the history of Langsett Reservoir, the various walking routes surrounding it, where to park, cafes available nearby, and why it is a great place to visit as a family.

Langsett reservoir

History of Langsett Reservoir

Langsett Reservoir was constructed in the late 1800s by the Sheffield Corporation Waterworks to supply water to the growing city of Sheffield. The reservoir was designed by civil engineer Thomas Hawksley and was completed in 1904. The reservoir covers an area of 1.2 square kilometres and can hold up to 2,800 million litres of water. The water is fed into the reservoir from the surrounding moorland and is then piped to the city of Sheffield via a network of underground pipes.

The construction of the reservoir required the relocation of several small communities, including the village of Langsett. The villagers were compensated for the loss of their homes and land, and many of them moved to nearby towns and villages. Today, the site of the old village of Langsett is marked by a plaque and a small monument.

Where does the walk take me?

We visited Langsett reservoir on a beautiful day in the February half term. Our youngest was at nursery so it was just Beth, Matilda (7) and myself. The walking routes would be challenging for a small child without an adult utilising a carrier and it’s not pushchair friendly. Our daughter is a competent walker so she was able to complete one of the routes but the terrain is mixed and in places challenging.

There are a number of walks you can take but we chose the more difficult Langsett Long walk which is over three miles through a mix of woodland and moorland. The views from the moorland are outstanding and our daughter absolutely loved every minute.

Yorkshire Water state the difficulty level as 2 out of 4 which I would agree with. Their website has a number of handy walking guides so you are able to identify which is best for you.

If your child is a competent walker then this route is more than suitable. Our daughter was tired at the end but we took plenty of snacks and the sheer amount of things to see was enough to keep her entertained. We finished with a visit to the cafe in Midhopestones (more below) which was the icing on the cake of a wonderful day out.

What level of walker is it suitable for?

As mentioned above, it really depends on how competent you are with walking. The terrain is steep in places and there are a number of steps. Our daughter is 7 and she successfully managed to walk the entire length of the trail however she is experienced in walking long(ish) distances.

I would advise giving it a go and leaving plenty of time to walk the route. I would also recommend doing so in good weather conditions. We had beautiful weather which made the entire day just even more enjoyable. I imagine in poor weather conditions it would be a real challenge to get younger children to fully enjoy the walk.

Younger children will be able to do the vast majority of the route if combined with a backpack carrier.

Would you recommend it?

Absolutely. This is one of those places where children can be creative. With such a varied landscape there’s so much to see and do that your children will really enjoy the walk. Walking routes weave through majestic woodlands, offer stunning vistas across the water and boast breathtaking views from a higher vantage point on Midhope Moors.

We enjoyed it far more than we thought we would and our daughter referred to it as one of her favourite days in a long time.

Where to Park

There are two car parks near Langsett Reservoir that offer easy access to the walking routes. 

Langsett Barn Car Park – This is a large car park located near the Langsett Barn Visitor Centre. The car park is free to use and offers easy access to the Langsett Barn and Reservoir Walk. We ventured to Langsett Barn Car park in half term and were able to find a parking spot with relative ease.

Langsett Flouch car park – Alternative parking is available at Langsett Flouch car park which is further west. This has approximately 24 spaces. 

Cafes Available Nearby

After a long walk around Langsett, we ended our walk on Midhope Cliff Lane where the reservoir joins Little Don River. We were then met with two options for food and refreshments. These were The Waggon & Horses pub and Bank View Cafe. We chose the cafe option.

Bank View Cafe offers a great selection of food and we really enjoyed our meal. They also offer ‘old school’ desserts (think school dinners). The cafe was really busy and is welcoming to locals, walkers and cyclists alike.

Is it suitable for cycling?

Although the main reservoir route from the car park is for walkers only the surrounding bridleways are suitable for cyclists. We saw a number of mountain bikers on route when at the Midhope Moors part of our walk.

I would say the route is only suitable for mountain bikers as it’s what you would classify as an ‘off-road’ route. We will be sure to return in the future with our bikes to enjoy the Bridleway Network which is popular throughout the peak district.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cafe?:

The reservoir itself doesn’t have a cafe however as mentioned above there are two options for refreshments in the Pub and Cafe respectively. The pub has a takeaway serving hatch for those wanting something on the go.

Are there any hills?:

Yes. The route is varied but the track up to the higher vantage point of Midhope Moors is inclined. But as they say, what goes up must come down and you have a nice descent on the other side.

What is your favourite part?:

The breathtaking views from the top of Midhope Moors. This was particularly stunning.

Is it suitable for Dog walkers?

Langsett reservoir is perfect for Dog Walkers. The routes around it are interesting and there’s plenty for both the dog and the human to enjoy. From our visit, it seems to be an incredibly popular location for those with dogs.

We did however see situations where dog walkers hadn’t cleaned up after their dogs which was disappointing.

How much is it to park?

The dedicated parking at both locations is completely free of charge. It’s in a lovely wooded area with picnic benches too.

Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Ryan

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