6 North West reservoirs to enjoy a family day out at


28th August 2020

If you’re looking to have more outdoor adventures with your family, the large number of reservoirs in beautiful, scenic locations might be just what you’re looking for.

All across the North West, areas such as Saddleworth Moors and the Peak District are filled with numerous reservoirs, some small, but others expansive with an exhilarating walking route around them.

If you’re looking to get out and enjoy more outdoor time, we’ve put together a list of reservoirs worth a visit.

1. Ladybower Reservoir

Ladybower Reservoir

On the edge of the Peak District in the High Peak area, is the huge Ladybower Reservoir.

It’s located in the Upper Derwent Valley alongside two other close reservoirs, with the area now attracting a high number of visitors every week. Ladybower was created in the 1930s, on the site of former villages Derwent and Ashopton, the remains of which surface at low water levels on very rare occasions.

A walk around Ladybower takes an average of two hours, during which you’ll find many relaxing spots to take a break and enjoy the views. There are also spots around the reservoir to stop for a break, including the popular pub Ladybower Inn.

2. Dovestone Reservoir

Dovestone Reservoir

Located on the edge of the expansive Saddleworth Moors, Dovestone Reservoir is one of the most popular beauty spots in the wider Oldham area. Surrounded by looming hills and woodland, the path around the reservoir features many great sights.

At the halfway point of your walk around the water, you’ll find a dam that splits the upper point of Dovestones from the additional Yeoman Hey Reservoir, something you could add to your itinerary for a longer, combined walking route.

Dovestone Reservoir is a short drive away from the small village of Greenfield, where you can find numerous country pubs to round off your day out with a drink and a good meal.

3. Scammonden Reservoir

Scammonden Reservoir

Not long after spotting the well known “house in the middle of the motorway” on the M62, you’ll get an unrivalled view of Scammonden Reservoir, with the road a part of its large dam.

Scammonden isn’t surrounded by rolling hills or forests like other popular reservoirs, instead placed in the middle of wide-scale gentle greenery. It’s a rural spot, and despite the busy motorway at one end, the 42 hectare reservoir makes for a peaceful visit.

4. Rivington Chain

Not far from Bolton is the Rivington Chain of reservoirs, featuring three lengthy bodies of water that can provide you with a long day of walking.

Starting at the bottom of the chain is the large Lower Rivington Reservoir, on the banks of which you’ll find a replica of Liverpool Castle, built in the early 1900s. As the name suggests, the original Liverpool Castle was based in Merseyside, but was demolished in 1726. In 1912, work began on building a scale replica in Rivington, commissioned by William Lever – the work continued until his death in 1925, with the unfinished building now looking like genuine castle ruins.

Liverpool Castle replica at Lower Rivington Reservoir

The next reservoir in the chain is Upper Rivington Reservoir, split from the lower waters by a road. This part of the chain is nicely surrounded by dense woodland, providing a peaceful, scenic walk.

At the Northernmost part of the chain is the longest of the reservoirs – Anglezarke. A walk around the full reservoir will provide you with a lengthy day out, while you can also sit above the water and enjoy the sights from a viewpoint based near the car park.

As well as the three reservoirs in the chain, you’ll also find the smaller High Bullough and Yarrow reservoirs very close, with the area offering plenty of choices for relaxing walks by the water.

5. Stocks Reservoir

Stocks Reservoir

Located in the beautiful Forest of Bowland area, Stocks Reservoir is one of the quieter locations you can visit. While it’s popular with walkers and has its own fly fishing club and cafe, it’s not located close to any towns or villages, and is based in quite a secluded Lancashire spot.

The reservoir is a part of the River Hodder, and is located next to the dense Gisburn Forest, a great spot for walking that also features a bike trail through the trees.

Overall, a superb spot for a lovely weekend walk.

6. Longdendale Chain

One of the longest reservoir chains in the North West, Longdendale is made up of six individual reservoirs.

The chain begins in the village of Tintwistle with Arnfield Reservoir, a small reservoir located on the outskirts of Swallows Wood. A little further up the road is the much more scenic Bottoms Reservoir, joined up with Valehouse Reservoir, located below some picturesque hills alongside Woodhead Road.

At the edge of Valehouse is Rhodeswood Reservoir is a dam, on the other side of which is Torside, the largest reservoir in the chain. Torside Reservoir has a car park and public toilet for visitors to make use of, and is also the home of Glossop Sailing Club.

Torside Reservoir

Finally, the end of the chain is where you’ll find Woodhead Reservoir, the second largest body of the water in the area. Whilst it’s not always possible to walk around the entirety of each reservoir, there are routes on most of the sides for walkers and cyclists, with cycling route NCN 62 running along the south of the water.

Another area packed with gorgeous scenery and multiple walking choices.

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