England,  Routes

Dovestone Reservoir Circular: An Informative Guide


Dovestone Reservoir Circular Walk

Dovestone Reservoir Circular Walk is a great walk with spectacular views. The route is approximately 14km and is a looped trail (hence the circular indication!) in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England.

The rating for this walk is ‘difficult’. The trail is mainly used for walking, hiking, bird watching and nature trips. We absolutely loved the stunning views on this hike, definitely a favorite!

There is a carpark at the start of this walk with public toilets.

Postcode: OL3 7NE

Carpark Prices: £1.80 All Day or 60p for 3hours

Free: RSPB members and blue badge holders

Note: The carpark fills up quickly, so arrive early morning or later in the day to avoid disappointment.   

Grid Reference: SE013036

Starting the Dovestone Reservoir Circular walk

Once you’ve found your parking spot, head towards the sailing club on chew road. Follow the path around keeping the reservoir on your left. You will soon come to a gate, head through the gate and keep following the path along Chew Road. Cross the bridge and take the track to your right.

As you follow the track, it will become an incline all the way up to the top. (be warned!!!). Chew Brook is on your right-hand side until you come to Chew Reservoir.

Chew Reservoir is 1600ft above sea level, making it England’s highest reservoir and it was built in 1912.

However just before you reach Chew Reservoir you reach the old quarry and immediately past it you will see where you need to break track on a manmade path leading into the grassed area on your left. This takes you up to the top and then you will come back on yourself along a well-marked track, through the grass.

Following the rocky track along, you will soon come to some Rocks, called ‘Robs Rocks’. We stopped here for our picnic and some pictures (of course).

Continuing the route…

After our picnic we continued the route along the path. The path offers a very scenic route, you will soon see Dovestone reservoir down below in the distance as well as all the other hills surrounding you, it’s a beautiful sight!

As you follow the path you will see many beautiful rock formations along the way. These make for great photo opportunities.

Below you to your left you will soon see a small ruin that we don’t know much about, but we do know it’s called Bramley’s Cot. It is believed to have been built for Bramley Bottomley between 1857 and 1889, but the rest is literally history. (If you know more than us, let us know in the comments?)

Another landmark that you will soon reach is a unique pile of rocks and stones, with a memorial plaque that is for two local hikers, Brian Toase and Tom Morton, who sadly lost their lives in 1972 while descending the second Cella Tower in The Italian Dolomites. This is a touching moment of the walk.   

Continuing the walk along the path, taking in the spectacular views, you will pass Dovestone Edge. This rock is used for rock climbing by experienced rock climbers or at least those with gear. You may see some in action on your hike!

The path will then become narrow as you head slightly downwards before crossing a stream. The path then opens up again onto a large grassed area… if you look to your right, you will soon spot a cross up on the hill.

The Ashway Cross

The large cross on the hill was placed in memory of MP James Platt who was tragically killed in an accidental shooting in 1857. Another touching piece of history along this route. After visiting the memorial, you then need to walk back down the hill and back onto the path and continue the route… towards the next picturesque spot.

Reaching the Trinnacles…

A magnificent point of the walk when you reach the amazing rock formation that is The Trinnacles. Many people climb up the rocks for an incredible photo opportunity. If you decide to do this, please be careful, if you have any concerns, don’t risk it.

However, right by the Trinnacles is another more accessible rock that makes for a fabulous photo, see ours below! 😊

At this point, look into the distance where Greenfield Reservoir can be spotted, as well as the path you’ll be aiming for on the route back!

Coming to the end of Dovestone Reservoir Circular walk…

Green Field Waterfall

After the Trinnacles you will come to the top of Green Field waterfall, this is where the ascend of the hill really starts. Take care coming down the waterfall, as this part is like a downward scramble. But the feeling of walking right by the waterfall is wonderful.

Be sure to take some photos at this point to! 😊

Back at the bottom

As you reach the bottom of the waterfall, you come to a small dam and cross the bridge onto the footpath. The views are still so beautiful as you now follow an easier underfoot path beneath the hills. (thank goodness, as your feet and legs might be killing by now!)

Continue following the path until in the distance you will see Greenfield Reservoir. (The one you could see from the Trinnacles!)

Continue around The Reservoir…

The path continues around the Reservoir and through some tall trees, before passing Yeoman Hey Reservoir. A bridge crosses Yeoman Hey Reservoir to your left, however, take the smaller bridge ahead and continue along the path until you come to a gate on your left, and then drop down through some more trees.

Continuing along this path you will soon spot Dovestone Reservoir in front of you, you will be on the opposite side of the Reservoir with the water to your left as the path continues around and back to the carpark.

Swimming in the Reservoir: Please note that swimming in a Reservoir is strictly forbidden, as it is very dangerous. However, if you are local to the area you could look at joining the sailing club which offers organised sailing training.

Hiking Gear: If you notice on our pictures, were constantly wearing different layers, the weather changes throughout hikes. Have a look at packing essentials before you set off.

All Trails: You can also find similar routes on All Trails. As well as smaller routes around this area here.

Thanks for reading our blog, we hope you found it useful. If you are planning on doing this route, why not save this for reference along the way! …If you’ve already done this one, let us know what you thought of it in the comments?

Lu & Ad


Google Maps


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.