The Dovestone Reservoir walk is a popular and easy Peak District walk for those living in and around Manchester because although it’s in the Peak District National Park, Dovestone Reservoir is on the edge of Oldham.
At the weekend I picked Dovestone for a walk because of its easy location from me in Manchester and I was blown away by the beauty of this area and how nice the 2-hour walk was for us. There’s nothing like some good peak district air and a good walk on the weekend!
There are a few Dovestone Reservoir walks in the area, one of which includes hiking up to the Trinnicle and another to Dovestone Edge. These walks take a bit longer and are a bit more intense with more inclines than just walking around Dovestone Reservoir. I’ll definitely be back to do these in the future but on this day.
I did the Dovestone Reservoir circular walk which is what I am going to tell you about in this post because I enjoyed it so much and I love how accessible it is to so many people. In this post I’ll also include information like Dovestone Reservoir parking and Dovestone Reservoir directions to help you.
Dovestone Reservoir Walk
Quick Info for Dovestone Reservoir Walk:
Difficulty Level: Relatively Easy
Length: 4.7 KM
Average Time Needed: 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours
Suitable for Children: Yes
Parking Location: Dovestone Car Park or Binn Green Car Park – both on Google Maps
Accessible by Public Transport: Not easily
Dovestone Reservoir Parking
There are 2 car parks you can start the Dovestone Reservoir walk from.
Dovestone Car Park
We started at Dovestone Car Park which is between Dovestone Holiday Park and Dovestone Sailing Club.
The Dovestone Reservoir postcode is OL3 7NE for this car park.
There are quite a few spaces but it is a small and tight car park as you can see in the photos below. On an Autumn Saturday Afternoon when we visited the car park was completely full and we had to drive around a number of times for a space.
The car park is a paid car park which takes card payment. There are toilets at the car park and we saw an ice cream van in the car park.
Binn Green Car Park
The other place for Dovestone parking is Binn Green Car Park, this is just off the A635 which is the main road running through the area and villages nearby like Greenfield.
The Dovestone Reservoir postcode is OL3 7NN for this car park.
This car park is perfectly fine for the Dovestone Reservoir Circular Walk as you can walk in a loop around the reservoir from the car park.
However, it is also ideal if you are looking to do other Dovestone Reservoir walking routes such as The Trinnicle and Dovestone Edge walk as it is closer to these points.
Dovestone Reservoir Walk Map
Here is a map of Dovestone Reservoir and all of the places near Dovestone Reservoir I have mentioned in this post.
Dovestone Reservoir Circular Walk
According to AllTrails, the Dovestone Reservoir circular route is 4.7km which sounds about right.
What I loved most about the Dovestone Reservoir circular walk is that most of the walk is flat with just a few slight inclines and declines.
I also loved that much of the track is gravel making it possible to do in trainers and also ok for pushchairs.
(Although, when I visited in Autumn 2021 the track alongside the reservoir towards Yeoman Hay Reservoir was being worked on and was therefore closed. This meant everyone had to take a footpath through a field that was quite wet and muddy and then up into the forest which was quite hard for people who were pushing pushchairs.)
There is one main track to follow but at points, there are other tracks you can take, this keeps the walk less busy for everyone on busy days and you can also extend your walk if you feel like to it to also walk around Yeoman Hay Reservoir and even Greenfield Reservoir as all 3 reservoirs run in a row.
The Dovestone Reservoir walks are great for children because of their ease and we found looking at all of the dam’s and the sinkhole in Dovestone Reservoir really interesting to tell the kids about.
On the Dovestone Reservoir walk, there are places to stop for a break and have a picnic if the weather is good, a great place for this is the far side of Dovestone Reservoir near Yeoman Hey Reservoir as there are picnic tables.
Another relatively easy walk in the Peak District I love is to Thor’s Cave! Read my post for more info: How To Do Thor’s Cave Walk! An Easy Walk In The Peak District.
Dovestone Reservoir Walking Route
From Dovestone Reservoir car park we walked along the straight gravel path along the reservoir walking away from Dovestone Sailing Club, however, you can walk in either direction.
Walking along here was a really good way to see a beautiful view of the Peak District countryside and see the following dam in the distance.
At the end, we reached the sinkhole and dam which was cool to see, especially for the kids.
From here, there is a path that continues along Dovestone Reservoir edge up towards Yeoman Hay Reservoir, this is the least muddy path from my experience.
There’s also a track parallel to this path through the fields which is a nice track to take although it does get a bit muddy.
Then comes a forest walk which I think really adds something different to this Dovestone Reservoir circular walk because you’re not just walking around the Reservoir edge which could get a bit boring.
The path does incline here a bit (or decline depending on which way you walk) but it is not too steep and if you happen to go on a rainy day, this area part of the path will give you some protection from the rain.
This is where the path meets Binn Green Car Park and opens up into a small lane and leads you all the way down to the very end of Dovestone Reservoir and the start of Yeoman Hay Reservoir.
From here, cross the bridge which separates the two reservoirs and take in the views from either side!
As mentioned, one of the reasons I love this walk is if you are feeling good and want to extend the walk you can walk around Yeoman Hay Reservoir in a circular direction too and even go onto walk around Greenfield Reservoir to really extend the walk.
Or, if you’re not feeling up for it, you could try The Trinnicle hike!
As you cross the bridge and follow the reservoir back around to the right you are on the long stretch home with some really impressive views, especially of the water running down the hills from the dam!
There is another small forest area with some picnic tables and the forest then separates the path from the reservoir for a bit, the forest has a footpath through it too which is a good alternative walk from the main path.
If you are coming here with a pushchair, this is the best part of the path for a pushchair in my opinion so even if you walked from Dovestone car park, past the Sailing Club and all the way down to the bridge and then turned back instead of going through the forest with the pushchair, it would still be a really good walk to do.
After this you’ll meet back up with the Reservoir and should continue the circular walk around Dovestone Reservoir to the right until you reach the sailing club and return back to Dovestone car park.
I hope you enjoy the Dovestone Reservoir Walk!
- For more of my UK walking and hiking posts see:
- How To Do Thor’s Cave Walk! An Easy Walk In The Peak District.
- How To Do The Brecon Beacons Waterfalls Walk to 4 Waterfalls!
- How To Do Dale Head Walk. Dale Head Walk from Honister & Little Town!
- How To Climb Snowdon From The Pen Y Pass Snowdon Route!
- How To Do Orrest Head Walk from Lake Windermere Easily!