Rewind ten days and you will find the beginning of our latest blog post... Manchester's most beautiful walks. The PDM creative team hiked the ten most recommended walks, and selected the ultimate three! Rivington Pike was the first to feature. Missed the read, you can check it out here...
Fast forward and we're parking at the 2nd placed contender... Dovestone Reservoir.
This wonderful scenery is part of Saddleworth Moor, otherwise known as the Dark Peak. For our featured hike around Dovestone Reservoir we have to approach the edges of the Peak District and end up a few miles east of Oldham, Greater Manchester.
Sat-Nav Postcode: OL3 7NE
Driving along Holmfirth Road you are soon greeted by an entry point that leads to the reservoir. The site is managed by the RSPB, a reason why unfortunately no drone photography is allowed, but don't despair yet!... we climbed high to get you a couple of perspective shots. An important point to make is the parking and well the lack of it. During weekends and holiday periods we were told it's filled within a few hours, forcing tourists to park on nearby lay-bys and grass embankments. A top tip, arrive early, we did and avoided the hassle. Two pounds is the cost for a four-hour parking ticket, so it's fairly cheap.
Route Stats: A Circular Route - 2.5 miles / Approx. 1.5 - 2hrs
The walk begins from the car park, it's a circular route, some start left others right, you can choose. We followed the group in the distance which took us left. If your main aim is the bird sanctuary and picnic areas, start by turning right as these featured towards the very end of our journey. This guide is giving you the outline for the latter. A path is clearly marked around the reservoir, unless you're into rambling and want to explore a little more, the basic route around is good for most. It's not a difficult walk, nothing like the gradient of Rivington Pike, but what makes this a winner is the fabulous unobstructed views on route. I could see similarities to the Swiss Alps at times...
Hitting the halfway point of the walk and you do have options, if time is on your side and you feel a little adventurous, we were told climbing the Great Dovestone rocks east of the reservoir gives even better views of the surrounding moors. For those seeking a full day of extreme hiking Yeoman Hey and Greenfield Reservoir are located further on, and all easily accessible. Back to the circular walk of Dovestone and midway we have a hugely impressive dam with many differently designed overflow systems, a selected of our team found this very enlightening.
Returning down the opposite side of the reservoir and the path does become a little lost, for us it was most likely due to all the bad weather before our visit. It is however clear to see where fellow walkers have stepped, and with the reservoir always in view, direction is self-explanatory...
The path soon straightens out and a good surface is restored. Heading back along the straight, there is a good selection of stopping points. First is a couple of picnic areas, with a good number of well-maintained benches and tables in place, and secondly, a nice touch from the RSPB, a memorial forest, outlining wild bird species that can be seen on site. A great learning experience for children...
The PDM team has visited many locations over the Peak District for both leisure and work but this has become amongst our favorite. It ticks so many boxes, good access, parking available (but remember early birds only) and the ability to explore two other reservoirs. The dramatic landscape of Saddleworth Moors is worth the visit alone. An exceptional contender to win second place.
Important information you may want to check out:
Parking + Sat-Nav Postcode: OL3 7NE
Route Length: 2.5 Miles Circular
Toilets On-Site: Yes
Refreshments: Greenfield Village / King William Hotel
DRONE NOTE: Our winning location will feature drone photo and videography... making up for the limitations at previous sites :)
Showing part 2 of 3. 'The most beautiful walks around Manchester'.
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