GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Dovestone Reservoir Circular Walk

4 miles (6 km)

Enjoy an easy circular walk around this lovely reservoir on Saddleworth Moor. The reservoir is located a few miles east of Oldham on the edge of the Peak District. There is a well maintained footpath running around the reservoir. There is also the option of continuing north along the water to Yeoman Hey Reservoir and Greenfield Reservoir where there are views of the Greenfield Brook. You can also follow the Oldham Way east to the nearby Chew Reservoir.
The area is very popular with walkers as the reservoir is surrounded by attractive countryside, woodland and gritstone crags. Also look out for pretty waterfalls at Dovestone Clough near the dam. There is some climbing on the Chew Hills at the southern end of the water but you are rewarded with great views across the reservoir.
This route starts from the car park at the south western end of the reservoir but you could also catch the train to nearby Mossley and follow the Oldham Way to the water.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could climb to Great Dovestone Rocks located on the eastern side of the reservoir. The rocks are a fascinating geological feature and give great views over the Peak District. Our Dovestone Rocks circular walk starts from the same car park and also visits Chew Reservoir.
To extend your walk you could climb across Saddleworth Moor for fantastic views over the reservoirs. Just a short distance to the west you can enjoy a climb to Pots and Pans. The noteworthy hill includes interesting rock formations, an obelisk war memorial and fine views to Manchester.


OL3 7NE - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Dovestone Reservoir OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Dovestone Reservoir Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


After your exercise head west into the village of Greenfield and enjoy refreshments at the King William IV Hotel on Chew Valley Rd, OL3 7DD. There's a great menu and a lovely beer garden to sit out and relax in when the weather is fine.
If you have time head to Mossley and visit the Roaches Lock Inn. The pub's main attraction is a lovely beer garden with fine views of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. It's an ideal spot for a rest on a fine day. You can find it at 387 Manchester Road with postcode OL5 9BB for your sat nav. There's also the option of walking into Mossley from the reservoir by following the waymarked Oldham Way west for about 3 miles.

Dog Walking

The reservoir is very popular with dog walkers and you will probably see several other people with their pet on the walk.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

  • The reservoir has a hugely impressive dam with an earth embankment i38 metres high and 550 metres in length. It is over 4 metres wide at the crest and is 183 metres at the widest point at its base.
  • Access to the reservoir is via the A635 road to thepay and displaycar parks. Facilities include toilets at Binn Green and at the main car park.

The circular walk from Uppermill takes you along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal before heading to the reservoir. It's a nice way to visit the area from an attractive and interesting canalside village.
A few miles to the west there's more nice waterside walking around the two reservoirs at Strinesdale Country Park.
The climb to Alphin Pike starts from the reservoir car park. From the hill top their are excellent views back down to the reservoir. You will also pass Wimbury Rocks and Indian Head where there are some photogenic rock formations.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Greater Manchester Walks, the South Pennines Walks and the Peak District Walks pages.


Dovestones Reservoir - - 489653

Dovestones Reservoir Located above the village of Greenfield Dovestones Reservoir was built in 1967 to supply drinking water for the Oldham area. Today the reservoir is quite a tourist attraction offering many walks amongst the picturesque surroundings of the Peak District National Park

Dovestones from Alphin Hill

Dovestones from Alphin Hill. The reservoir is located in a wonderful spot in the north west edge of the Peak District'sDark Peakarea where the valleys of the Greenfield and Chew Brooks converge.

Chew Piece Plantation and Dovestone Reservoir - - 1558237

Chew Piece Plantation and Dovestone Reservoir

Dovestone Reservoir Overflow - - 985833

Dovestone Reservoir Overflow. Modifications to the overflow at Dovestone reservoir have had to be made after people were repeatedly climbing into the overflow and sitting on the circular ledges above the sheer 150 foot drop inside. The modifications have included the stainless steel climb proof fencing bolted all around the perimeter of the overflow which still allows the flow of water to pass through.

Dovestone Reservoir - - 1538103

View from the northern end of the dam wall by the spillway.
Some statistics on the dams dimensions: its earth embankment is 38 metres high and 550 metres in length. It is 4.25 metres wide at the crest and 183 metres at the widest point at its base.

Dovestones Reservoir Dam Head - - 406443

Dovestones Reservoir Dam Head. A lone walker makes their way back to the car park.

The Outflow at Dovestones Reservoir - - 407074

The Outflow at the reservoir. Dean Rocks and Great Dove Stone Rocks can be seen left hand skyline.

Mills below Dovestones Reservoir - - 1594440

Mills below the reservoir. Nestling in the valley bottom, these are unfortunately now disused. Alderman's Hill is the other side of the valley.


GPS Files

GPX File

Dovestone Reservoir.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Dovestone Reservoir.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)