Planning a visit?

What are you looking for?

Living & Working


Visit the Dales


Kilnsey Park Estate

Fish, food,  flowers and fun at Kilnsey

Visitors to Kilnsey Park Estate in Upper Wharfedale have grown by 15 per cent in the past three years, proof that people are increasingly attracted to this centre for conservation which has become one of the most sustainable businesses in the UK. It was established in 1978 to help the 1,300 acre estate diversify from farming and become more self-sufficient. 

The 800-year-old estate, run by the Roberts family, has long had an interest in sustainability. In the 1930s William Roberts, grandfather of current manager Jamie Roberts, installed a hydro turbine to generate electricity for the village of Kilnsey and a passion for conservation was born.

Jamie’s father Anthony installed a new turbine in 2001 and a second was added in 2012. They harness the power of Sykes Spring, which produces a million gallons of water a day, to provide up to 30 kw of electricity, much more than the Estate needs, with the surplus sold to the National Grid.

Two water source heat pumps heat the park’s shop, café and holiday accommodation and provide all their hot water, with solar panels generating additional electricity. A woodchip-fed biomass boiler heats three other properties. All this cuts energy bills by at least £8,000 a year.

Yorkshire Food Destination of the Year

Pristine water from the natural spring is used to farm high quality fish and feeds the popular fly fishing lakes. It is limestone-filtered which explains why the 35 tonnes of rainbow trout sold each year taste so good. Some of it is smoked at Kilnsey’s artisan smokehouse, which is expanding its range to include local smoked meats, cheese and game. You can enjoy this and other local produce in the Estate’s café, awarded Yorkshire Food Destination of the Year in 2014.

 “Our rainbow trout are a very sustainable and healthy source of protein,” says Jamie. “It’s recognised that farming trout helps take the pressure off threatened marine  fish stocks. It’s a really efficient way of feeding the planet.”

Visitors are attracted by more than the fish and the food. Kilnsey Park is one of only two sites where you can see the Lady’s Slipper Orchid, the UK’s rarest orchid, reintroduced in 2007 in partnership with Natural England. It is one of 150 types of wildflowers in the nature reserve, a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest.

You can also experience the rare sight of red squirrels, introduced by Jamie’s mother in 1994 as part of a national captive breeding programme. They are sent to other sites where they can be safe from grey squirrels and breed securely.

If you are young or just young at heart, you can enjoy family bush-craft events from spring through to autumn having fun building dens and dams and learning how to light fires without matches.

Contact Kilnsey Park Estate on 01756 752150 or visit

What's going on in the Dales

Upcoming events and search for what's on when you visit.

Three Peaks

Find out everything you need to know about walking the iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks.

Essential visitor info

How to get here, where to stay and more.

Get outdoors

Find out about walking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding


Get inspiration whether you want family-friendly ambles or long-distance challenge >