Sstart at the village car park Main Street, Embsay in the village centre. Embsay Crag unmistakably dominates the landscape above. At the rear of the car park head through a kissing gate. Turn half right diagonally across the enclosed field and go through a small gate in the wall corner. A short enclosed path now leads to a wall stile. Cross the stile heading diagonally half left across the field to emerge at a gate in the wall corner.

Turn left to briefly join the road (Kirk Lane) to Eastby. There is a pavement for a short distance. This soon ends. Walk on the roadside for several minutes until a bend in the road. On the bend to our left is a gate that used to mark the original footpath. Stay on the road now for less than 100 yards to a sign marking the track leading to Bondcroft Farm.

Head left up the tarmacadam surfaced farm track, where a fingerpost displays Embsay Crag, just one mile away. The track immediately starts to climb, steeply at times, as it heads up to the farm. At the buildings, keep straight ahead, towards a gate and go over the stile in the wall next to it. Continue to ascend beyond the gate. It is worth pausing to look back at the magnificent vista after leaving the farm behind. To the left a fading interpretation panel denotes Milking Hill Wood which was planted during 1997/1998.

The crag appears closer now and the rocky outcrop makes for fine viewing. Go through the gate ahead and the route is clearly waymarked and obvious. Climb a small grassy bank and the path is soon adjacent to a wall on the left. Go through another gate in a wall soon afterwards. Climb a little further. The path bears noticeably left and makes a beeline for the crag itself, while levelling for a brief moment. However, it isn’t long beforethe final climb to the summit as heather moorland is reached and then, almost prematurely, the rocky summit plateau is reached- a triumphant moment to savour.

The extensive views here will live long in the memory.

This much vaunted vista is perfect for a picnic or rest. In one direction the rugged and inhospitable Barden Moor beckons, meanwhile below, Embsay Reservoir is the next objective.

There are two routes down from the summit; both merge into one path later when the ground levels. The primary route commences near the first large boulder (on the right) when we arriving on the plateau. This descending path is the least difficult choice. It is a more circuitous route, going briefly away from the direction of the reservoir. However, that is soon rectified as the path swings to the left bringing the reservoir into view.

The second option should be avoided by young children and the less able-bodied. It is a far more direct and steeper route that is best avoided when wet. Pick up the path near the far end of the plateau; by walking the short distance to the large unmistakable boulder that appears to be precariously balanced on the crag edge. A narrow and rocky path is noticed just to the right of the large boulder. Descend carefully down this initially steep route. There are various minor sub paths, offering alternative places to put your feet. Continue ahead with the path remaining visible as we gradually lose height. Care and concentration is needed. Luckily the steepness persists for only a relatively short time. Soon the primary path can be seen on our right. It isn’t long before the routes merge into one.

Continue along what is now an obvious and easy to follow path. Blue painted posts are common here, denoting the route. Head towards the reservoir, soon crossing over a footbridge over Moor Beck (Crag Gill). The path heads towards a wall on our left marking the boundary of the Reservoir.

Embsay Reservoir is owned by Yorkshire Water and was built to supply over 25,000 homes in the Skipton area with water. It opened in 1910. There is a pleasant circular walk around the reservoir.

Continue parallel to the wall and then head away from it to reach a fingerpost. Keep straight ahead here, before once again heading towards the reservoir wall. Soon a gate is reached signalling the end of the moorland part of the walk.

Go over the stile (next to the gate) and turn left onto a good-surfaced track. Go through another gate, soon ignoring a small gap in the reservoir wall. (This is the start of a circular walk around the waters’ edge). Continue on our obvious track, passing the headquarters of the Craven Sailing Club on the banks of the reservoir. Pass the reservoir car park, (currently free of charge), followed by the Yorkshire Water treatment works. The track is now a surfaced tarmac road (Pasture Road) as we continue our gradual decent towards Embsay village. Ignore all other minor routes.

The road veers left and you will be opposite a mill pond on the right. Leave the road on a path heading left up several steps. Go into the field continuing ahead near to a fence on left. Go through a squeeze stile adjacent to a gate. Continue ahead with a wall to our right to reach a wall stile in the field corner, close to houses on the right. Cross the stile and continue on straightening direction to soon reach another wall stile ahead in the wall corner. Cross this stile heading diagonally left, and head towards a stone wall and farm track ahead. Go over a wall stile crossing over the track and quickly over a stile opposite, onto a path parallel with the school playing fields. Continue until through a gate in the fence ahead. Bear diagonally half right in a level field to reach a wall stile ahead. Go over the stile continuing diagonally across the next field, to soon reach the kissing gate leading to the car park and the end of the walk.

NB: as an alternative stay on Pasture Road, omitting the left turn near the mill pond. The road leads back to the centre of Embsay village. At the junction with West Lane keep straight, passing Embsay C.E Primary School before reaching the end of the road at Elm Tree Square junction. The Elm Tree pub is on the corner. Turn left briefly to head back onto Main Street where we soon finish our walk back in the car park.