GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Watergrove Reservoir

2 miles (3 km)

Enjoy a circular walk around the pretty Wardle reservoir in Greater Manchester. There's a car park at the southern end of the water on Ramsden Road where you can pick up the footpath around the water. The reservoir is surrounded by attractive moorland with great views across Manchester to the Cheshire plain.
Watergrove is great for wildlife watching with birds such as Common Sandpiper and Curlewto look out for. There's also mammals such as Fox, Stoat and Weasel. In the summer there are lots of wildflowers such as Marsh Orchid, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Tormentil, Harebell and Sneezewort. These attract a wide variety of butterflies to the area.
The Weighver's Way and the Pennine Bridleway run past the reservoir so you could pick up these long distance paths to extend your walk. If you head west you can climb to Brown Wardle Hill for more great views over the Pennines. The hills stands at 400m (1,312ft) making it one of the highest points inRochdaleand Greater Manchester. Just beyond the hill is the town of Whitworth and Cowm Reservoir where there's another circular trail. Greenbooth Reservoir is also nearby and well worth a visit. If you head east from Watergrove Reservoir you can climb to Dobbin Hill and Stansfield Hill.


OL12 9NJ - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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

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


Head south into Wardle village and you could visit the Globe Inn for some post walk refreshment. The pretty village pub serves good home cooked food and has a nice beer garden for warmer days. You can find them at 218 Ramsden Road with a postcode of OL12 9NU for your sat navs.

Dog Walking

The reservoir is a popular place for dog walkers so expect to see other people with their pets on a fine day. The Globe Inn mentioned above is also dog friendly.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

A few miles to the north there's Gorpley Reservoir near Todmorden. The area includes the woodland and waterfalls of Gorpley Clough.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Greater Manchester Walks page.


Watergrove Reservoir, Lancashire - - 66972

Watergrove Reservoir. View of the reservoir, looking N from the top of the dam. The car park is behind the photographer. The water is very low and the line of the old road that used to give access up the valley can be seen in the temporary island in the reservoir.

Pennine Bridleway - - 369164

The Mary Townley Loop of the Pennine Bridleway, approaching the reservoir through the Life for a Life Memorial Forest.

Ruined buildings at Watergrove Reservoir, Wardle. - - 40026

Ruined buildings by the reservoir, Wardle. I had forgotten how recent this reservoir is until I saw that it is not on the 1940s OS map. These derelict buildings look older, but are not on the 1937 map so might be former waterworks offices and treatment plant.

Pennine Bridleway, Watergrove - - 785860

Pennine Bridleway cyclist. Here the National Trail climbs steeply out of the valley of Higher Slack Brook, the reservoir's main feeder stream. The cyclist is heading towards Broadley.

Watergrove Reservoir. Public Carpark - - 66952

A view over the good sized public car park at the site. Located on the south side of the reservoir, just below the dam. The car park is the end of the road after driving up through the village of Wardle.

Watergrove windsurfers - - 935616

Windsurfers on the lake. Taken from the reservoir dam, the subject is the windsurfers' clubhouse on the far side of the reservoir.

Remains of Roads Farm, Wardle - - 89434

Remains of Roads Farm, Wardle. One of the many farms in this valley that were demolished because in the catchment of the reservoir, but it might well have already been abandoned.

The Globe Inn - - 1703954

The Globe Inn, in Wardle Village Square. You could enjoy a stroll around the village after visiting the lake and visit this friendly local.


GPS Files

GPX File

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

Memory Map Route

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