Leisurely, Moderate

Dove Stone Reservoir Let’s Go for a Walk


2.7 - 5 miles long

Dove Stone Reservoir #Oldham

The Dove Stone circular walk cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Bill Boaden - geograph.org.uk/p/4810569 – cropped from original

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This downloadable leaflet is one of a series that describes some easy walks around some of Oldham’s fantastic parks and countryside areas. They are designed to show you routes that can be followed until you get to know the areas and can explore some of the other routes and places within the parks.


Dove Stone Reservoir was constructed in 1967 and is part of the Peak District National Park. There are also three other reservoirs in the area and these were all constructed earlier than Dove Stones.

Dove Stone is an established tourist attraction offering a variety of outdoor experiences including walking, sailing, cycling, climbing and bouldering. Despite its popularity, the area offers seclusion, especially to those who go off the beaten track. Woodland planting has added character and points of interest to the area.

The reservoir is surrounded by many gritstone crags with enigmatic names such as Wilderness, Robbs Rocks and Indians Head. The area is predominantly agricultural so sheep frequently share the footpaths and add to the rural experience.

Walks and accessibility

The leaflet outlines two walk options, both of which are on good surfaces but also include some steep sections. According to the detailed RSPB website about the reserve, the main circular trail consists of a “part tarmac, part gravel-surfaced 2.5 mile (4 km) circular route around Dove Stone Reservoir. Fairly level but steep in two places. Radar keys are required to access stock gates. Starts about 50m from the Blue Badge bays in main car park.”

The Walks with Wheelchairs website offers the following advice: “Due to the gradients, it is best to tackle the route in an anti-clockwise direction, i.e. setting off from the car park and up the road past the sailing club, returning via the path across the dam.”

You can read more about the site’s accessibility features here and watch an excellent video by the RSPB of a wheelchair-user’s circuit of the reservoir.

The longer of the two routes described (up the access road to Greenfield Reservoir) is also very well-surfaced but steep. Families frequently push buggies up and down the road. However, even with assistance many wheelchair-users would find that route challenging because of its steepness.

Toilets and refreshments

Toilets are found at both car parks. An ice-cream van is often sited in the main car park.

How to get there

Public transport users from further afield can most easily access the reservoir by using the train to Greenfield. From here, fairly frequent buses or a 1.7-mile / 2.7-km walk will bring you to the main reservoir car park. We also list the second car park, off Holmfirth Road, as an alternative start point.

To work out exactly how to get to and from the walk start point, simply click the Google Maps link shown on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click the train icon.

Alternatively, input the postcode shown into the TFGM journey planner at https://my.tfgm.com/#/planner/

RSPB video - a wheelchair walk around Dove Stone Reservoir

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