Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve Review for Families

On a weekend we love to spend all our time outdoors. Even if the weather isn’t too great. Given we run a family blog also we want to explore the great areas throughout Yorkshire (and sometimes beyond) where you can spend your weekends for fantastic outdoor fun. Ogden Water Country Park is the perfect destination for just that. 

This local nature reserve offers a serene setting with beautiful lakeside views and an abundance of nature. The park’s natural beauty, well-maintained facilities, and family-friendly activities make it an ideal destination for families seeking a memorable outdoor adventure.

Our family recently visited the park and had a fantastic time exploring the stunning surroundings and enjoying the wide range of activities it has to offer. It truly offers a haven to escape the busyness of life and reconnect with nature and loved ones. 

Where is Ogden Water Country Park Located?

Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve is nestled near Halifax in West Yorkshire. Situated just 4 miles from the centre of Halifax, Ogden Water is easily accessible by car or public transport. The park’s address is Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve, Ogden Lane, Halifax, HX2 8XZ.

History Of Ogden Water Country Park

Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve has a storied history that spans over a century. Its 34.5-acre reservoir, encircled by 174 acres of woodlands and open moor, has evolved into a cherished recreational haven.

In the 1850s, the Halifax Corporation constructed the reservoir, employing 500 workers over four years to secure a vital water source for the town. Holding 222,000,000 gallons and perched 300 metres above sea level, the reservoir remains capable of supplying Halifax by gravity alone.

The woodlands surrounding the reservoir were planted in the early 1900s and harbour diverse tree species, including Scots Pine, Larch, Beech, Silver Birch, and Sycamore. This woodland, along with the moorland, serves as a habitat for a variety of bird species.

In 1987, Calderdale Council Leisure Services joined forces with Yorkshire Water to manage the woodland. They’ve since enhanced its wildlife value and accessibility.

Today, Ogden Water invites visitors to explore its 5 kilometres of paths, including 2 kilometres suitable for wheelchair users. A wind farm, built in 1992, powers 7,000 homes with sustainable energy. 

The park is rich in history and has been a beloved destination for families for many years. It was voted Yorkshire’s favourite reservoir in 2018, and it’s not hard to see why. The park offers a tranquil escape from everyday life, surrounded by mixed coniferous and broadleaf woodlands.

With a legacy of providing recreation and solace, Ogden Water continues to be a cherished local beauty spot, connecting generations with nature and history.

What is there to do for families?

Now, let’s get to the exciting part—the activities for families at Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve. From the moment we arrived at Ogden Water, we knew we were in for a treat. The park offers a range of activities that cater to families of all ages. Our day at the park was filled with adventure, and here’s a breakdown:

Nature Walks and Wildlife Spotting

One of the main attractions of Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve is the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area. The park features a level footpath around Ogden Water, making it accessible for families with strollers and young children. Matilda and Barney were excited to run towards the lake’s edge. We followed them along the footpath, enjoying the beauty of nature and the calming sound of the wind in the trees. We took leisurely walks along the path, soaking in the serene atmosphere and spotting local wildlife. The park is home to many birds, and our kids loved listening out for them.

Woodland Adventures

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, the park offers three longer walks that take you deeper into the woodlands. These walks are perfect for families who want to immerse themselves in nature, discover hidden trails, and appreciate the beauty of the natural surroundings. We loved exploring the woodlands and discovering the hidden nooks and crannies along the trails.

The woodlands are home to various tree species, including towering firs, pines, and stunted oaks. Ground flora adds pops of colour with flowers like pink purslane and common spotted orchids.

Picnicking and Relaxing

Midway through our walk, we stumbled upon a cluster of picnic tables, beckoning us to take a break and enjoy a family lunch surrounded by nature’s splendour. We savoured our packed sandwiches and snacks, soaking in the tranquillity of our surroundings.

Family-Friendly Events

Throughout the year, Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve organises family-friendly events, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit. From Halloween fancy dress walks with fireworks to nature-themed workshops, there is always something happening at the park. Keep an eye out for upcoming events and make your visit even more special.

Facilities at Ogden Water Country Park

Ogden Water Country Park offers various facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for families.

Visitor Centre and Café:

While the visitor centre was closed during our visit, we heard that it’s usually open and run by dedicated volunteers. You can find it near the dam. The café offers hot and cold drinks, soup, confectionery, ice cream, and small gifts, making it an ideal place to grab a snack or refreshment.


Conveniently located across from the visitor centre, the park’s toilets are open daily from 6 am to 6 pm. There’s even a ‘radar key operated’ disabled toilet with baby change facilities.

Areas for improvement

While our overall experience at Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve was fantastic, we would like to highlight a couple of areas that could be improved. 

Firstly, we noticed a significant amount of irresponsible dog owners who did not clean up after their pets. The presence of dog poop throughout the park was not only unhygienic but also unpleasant for families and children. We hope that more emphasis is placed on responsible dog ownership and proper waste disposal.

Secondly, we found that the park could benefit from better signage to guide visitors, especially for those who are not familiar with the area. Clearer directions to the park, including the small turnoff from the main Halifax road, would greatly help families find their way more easily.

Would you recommend it?

Absolutely! As a family, we had a great time at Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve. The park’s natural beauty and plethora of activities make it an ideal destination for families looking to spend quality time together outdoors. Whether you prefer leisurely walks, wildlife spotting, or picnic adventures, this park has something for everyone. The facilities are well-maintained, and the visitor centre provides a cosy spot to relax and enjoy refreshments. We highly recommend visiting Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve for a memorable family outing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a café?

Yes, there is a café at the visitor centre, although it may be closed on occasion. Hot and cold drinks, snacks, and more are typically available.

What is your favourite part?

As a family, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one favourite part of our experience at Ogden Water. However, spending quality time together exploring the woodlands, indulging in a picnic by the lake, and connecting with nature made our visit a really fun time that both children enjoyed.

Is it suitable for dog walkers?

Yes, dogs are welcome at Ogden Water, but they must be kept under close control or on a lead around the waterside path. Additionally, owners should clean up after their dogs.

Can we bring our own bikes?

Unfortunately, cycling is not permitted on the site, but there are several bridleways nearby for cycling enthusiasts to explore the surrounding areas. However, the park offers a fantastic opportunity for walks and exploration.

Is there parking available?

Yes, there is free parking available, including disabled bays at the entrance. However, be mindful of the park’s closing times, as they do lock the gates.

Are there any entrance fees for visiting the park?

No, there are no entrance fees for visiting Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve. It’s free to enjoy the natural beauty and activities the park has to offer.

Pros & Cons


  • Beautiful natural walks
  • Stripped back fun.
  • Brilliant cafe


  • In places, there’s a lot of dog poo which hasn’t been picked up.

Park enjoyment rating

Image Credit: https://dynamic-media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-o/11/78/7b/9e/ogden-water-country-park.jpg?w=1200&h=-1&s=1

Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Ryan

Leave a Comment