Recreation sites

Our recreation sites are a breath of fresh air

The North West is home to some of the UK's most stunning landscapes, and here at United Utilities, we're lucky enough to have a number of sites right in the middle of them. Whether you're into running, cycling or just sitting and contemplating, these places are just waiting for you to enjoy them.

The table below lists 18 beautiful locations in the region. If you are planning on visiting an area with open water, please take the time to read about reservoir safety

We’re committed to keeping these spectacular sites open to the public, so go and explore the great outdoors - it's right on your doorstep! 

Location                

Direction

Description

Opening times

Activities/facilities

Cheshire (East)

Lamaload Reservoir

Tel: 01260 252 268

Lamaload Reservoir is situated north of the A54 Buxton to Macclesfield road within the Peak District National Park. To the east is the Goyt Valley with Macclesfield to the west.

The landscape around Lamaload is moorland with a few plantations of larch and pine. The broad-leaved woodlands surrounding these plantations provide a habitat for a variety of wildlife.

All day, every day.

Walking (dog-friendly area).

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

 

Cheshire (East)

Macclesfield Forest

Tel: 01260 252 268

Macclesfield Forest is situated east of Macclesfield and west of the Goyt Valley. The A537 is to the North and the A54 to the South.

The forest is a working area and as the timber is felled and   replanted the woodland scenery is always in a state of change. As a result, the paths may be closed temporarily, so please follow the forestry waymarked trail numbers at all times.

All day, every day.

 

 

 

Cycling, fishing, Hiking, view points, heritage site, and nature reserve.

Toilets available.

Cumbria

Haweswater Estate

Tel: 01768 772 334

 

Home to some of the UK’s rarest wildlife, including buzzards, peregrines, redstarts and dippers. A great day out for bird spotters and nature lovers.

All day, every day.

Walking, fishing allowed (but only with an EA rod licence).

 

Free parking.

Update 11 April 2018: Due to substantial storm damage around Thirlmere, the West Road and some of the public footpaths & car parks remain closed whilst we carry out repairs. We want you to stay safe on your day out so please check out the map of the areas that are open to the public and observe "pathway closed" signs.

Cumbria

Thirlmere Reservoir

Tel: 01768 772 334

Thirlmere Reservoir is between Keswick and Ambleside on the A591.

There’s lots to see here, whether you like local history, native wildlife, fantastic feats of engineering or just want somewhere nice to take the kids. Thirlmere is also a Red Squirrel Reserve.

All day, every day.

Watersports, climbing, cycling, bridleway, fishing, ghyll scrambling.

 

Toilets, picnic area and environmental trail also available on this site.

Greater Manchester

Ashworth Moor Reservoir

Tel: 01706 221 195

 

From Rochdale follow Edenfield Road (A680) through Norden. Ashworth Moor reservoir is about 1 mile past the village, and parking is available in a large layby on the left. From Edenfield, the reservoir is opposite Owd Betts pub on the A680.

Ashworth Moor Reservoir was made a Grade B Site of Biological Importance (SBI) in the 1980s to protect the habitats of wading birds.

All day, every day.

Heritage site, environmental trail, hiking, viewpoints.

 

Dog-friendly.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Greater Manchester Dove Stone Reservoir

Tel: 01925 463 065

Dove Stone is situated in the Peak District National Park, east of Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne on Saddleworth Moor. To the north is Diggle and Uppermill, and the A635 runs to the west of the reservoirs.

In Dove Stone Valley there are four reservoirs. Yeoman Hey is the oldest of them, constructed in 1880. The valley is surrounded by bleak moorland and high outcrops of rock, giving it a magnificent panoramic view of the southern Pennines.

All day, every day

 

 

Walking, orienteering - course information available from Greater Manchester Orienteering Activities (GMOA) website

 

Four disabled parking spaces and disabled toilets.

 

Picnic area, dog-friendly, wheelchair and buggy-friendly route around the 2 and a half mile walk around the reservoir.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

 

Greater Manchester Greenbooth and Naden Valley

Tel: 01706 221 195

From Rochdale follow Edenfield Road (A680) through Norden till you see The White Lion pub; turn sharp right just after the pub onto Over Town Lane. Parking is available at the end of the lane.

There are four reservoirs arranged in a line up the valley, from bottom to top is Greenbooth, Lower Naden, Middle Naden and Higher Naden. A figure of a lady is said to be seen in the mist around the ruins of Naden   Dean and Naden Head farms. The ghostly figure has been sighted by several people walking around the valley – so whether you’re into spectres or the simply spectacular,   you’ll find it here!

All day, every day.

Hiking, two self-guided walks (red or white banded posts), dog friendly and viewpoints.


National Trail – Mary Towneley Loop.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Greater Manchester

Hope Carr Nature Reserve

Tel: 01204 664 301

 

Bolton Road, Horwich, Bolton, Greater Manchester, BL6 7RN.

Until 1990, the site was a grassy desert alongside a wastewater   treatment works. Now transformed into a complex array of wetland habitats, wild flower meadows, and hedgerows, visitors can follow trails around the lakes and ponds, trying to spot some of the 130 different species of birds that now find a home at Hope Carr.

Call ahead for opening times.

Nature reserve, ideal for walking and bird watching.

 

Greater Manchester

Jumbles Country Park

Bradshaw Road, Bolton, Lancashire,
BL2 4JS

Tel: 01204 856 999

Jumbles Country Park lies within the Bradshaw Valley to the north of Bolton, good access is available on the east side of the reservoir from the A676 to Waterfold car park, where the information centre and café are located.

Jumbles opened in 1971 following the construction of Jumbles Reservoir, and has been a popular haunt with visitors ever since. 

The valley and surrounding area echo a long and interesting history of industrial activity based on textiles - a factor which has been important in the development of the area for water catchment and storage.

Call ahead for opening times.

Dog-friendly, picnic area, baby changing facilities, toilets, wheelchair  accessible, café on site.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Greater Manchester

Watergrove Reservoir

Tel: 01706 881 049

Watergrove Reservoir is north of the village of   Wardle, Rochdale. The site is signposted from the A58 Halifax Road. Wardle is   situated between Rochdale and Littleborough.

Want to feel like you’re getting away from it all? Watergrove Reservoir offers an escape for those who love getting out on the water and visitors who like to explore on land.

All day, every day.

Walking, watersports West Penning Sailing Club – wind surfing and canoeing, cycling, heritage site, bridleway, fishing, environmental trail, nature reserve.

The toilets are closed until further notice, but they will be reopened at some point.

Dog-friendly, disabled access Separate disabled car park - access requires applying for a key on the listed phone number.

National Trail – Mary Towneley Loop, Pennine Bridleway.


Bird hide – key access only.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Greater Manchester

Piethorne Valley

Waterworks Road, Newhey, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, OL16 3TQ

Tel: 01706 881 049

Piethorne Valley is situated on the A640 between Newhey and Denshaw.   Can be accessed from Junction 21 of the M62.

This beautiful valley is characterised by its 3 principal reservoirs,   which are surrounded by a tapestry of moorland, woodland and farmland   accessible by numerous footpaths and bridleways.

All day, every day.

Bridleway, fishing, fly fishing at Piethorne and Kitcliffe reservoirs, day tickets required from Oldham fly fishing club, and coarse fishing on Ogden Reservoir, day tickets from Saddleworth Angling Society.

National trail – Pennine Bridleway.

Hiking, cycling and self-guiding walks (leaflets available from Hollingworth Lake visitors centre).

Key access required for concessionary bridleways, please ring to enquire.


Limited disabled access, toilets, viewpoints, dog-friendly.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Greater Manchester

Strinesdale

Tel: 01706 881 049

 

Strinesdale is situated on the A62 between Oldham and Delph. Next to   the Waterhead Academy turn onto Culvert Street, then turn right onto Holgate Street.

The free car park is at the end of the road.

Strinesdale is an area of water and woodland covering approximately   40 acres. In 1991, the reservoirs were drained and replaced by two smaller lakes with the old reservoirs being planted with trees and grassland. It got its name from the Old English 'Strine', meaning boundary, as the old Lancashire/   Yorkshire boundary ran through the middle of the site.

All day, every day.

Walking, orienteering - course information available from Greater Manchester Orienteering Activities (GMOA) website
nature reserve, bridleways, cycling and coarse fishing (tickets available on the bank from Medlock Valley Angler’s Club).

Picnic area, dog-friendly.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Lancashire

Bowland Forest

Tel: 01200 454 400

 

Stocks Board House, Catlow Road, Slaidburn, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3AQ.

 

The Forest of Bowland, is an area of barren gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland. It has been a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1964, and is used for grouse shooting, walking and cycling. Go there and make a willow bird feeder, hike over the fells or learn   how to lay a hedge. And that's just for starters!

Call ahead for opening times.

Cycling, bridleway, fishing.

Lancashire

Clowbridge Reservoir & Dunnockshaw   Community Woodland

Tel: 01706 221 195

Clowbridge Reservoir is situated to the east of the A682 between Burnley and Rawtenstall, adjacent to an area of the Burnley Millennium Forest, known as Dunnockshaw Community Woodland.

 

A popular location for watersports, as well as a place of peace and calm - there’s a memorial tree site near the reservoir where trees can be planted and memorial benches sited.

 

8:00am-5:30pm.

Picnic area, disabled access, viewpoint, bridleways, cycling, hiking, heritage site and self-guided walks.
Watersports – Rossendale Valley Sailing Club – Sailing and Wind Surfing
Fishing – tickets from the Rossendale Valley Sailing Club.

National Trail – Mary Towneley Loop, Pennine Bridleway.


Dogs allowed, but not on the reservoir circular path.
Orienteering - course information available from South East Lancashire Orienteering club (SELOC) website.


The car park barrier is opened at 8am and closed at 5:30, but the site is still open.

 

Lancashire

Haslingden Grane

Tel: 01706 221 195

 

Both Clough Head and Calf Hey car parks are located off the B6232 Grane Road, Haslingden.

 

Clough Head grid reference SD 752 232.

 

The Grane Valley has an intriguing air of desolation which still   haunts the many ruined farmsteads, which were abandoned when the reservoirs   were built to supply drinking water to the growing industrial towns. 

Today, the picturesque reservoirs of Calf Hey, Ogden and Holden Wood   and the surrounding moorland offer visitors excellent walking routes.   The area also plays host to a varied array of wildlife and   unique habitat, with fascinating bird life present all year round.

Opening times: 

Clough Head car park: 8:00am-6:00pm (April-October), and 8:00am-5:00pm (November-March).

Calf Hey car park: 8:00am-6:30pm (April-October), and 8:00am-5:30pm (November-March).

Information centre/café: 10:00am-4:30pm, every day.

Excellent woodland and moorland walking routes, bird-spotting, heritage site.

Disabled access, toilets, café, dog-friendly.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Lancashire

Rivington

Tel: 01204 691 549

Rivington is between Bolton and Chorley, off the A673.

Rivington is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in the North West, and whether you like to have fun on wheels or water, this is a great place to come and do it.

Opening times:

The Great House Information Centre, 10:30am-4:30pm, Wednesday to   Sunday, and is also open on bank holidays from 10:30am until 4:30pm. Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Lever Park is open dawn to dusk, throughout the year.

 

 

Watersports, cycling, heritage site.

 

Toilets, dog-friendly, disabled access, café on site.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

 

Peak District

Goyt Valley

Tel: 01925 463 065

The Goyt Valley is situated within the Peak District National Park   east of the A5004 Whaley Bridge to Buxton Road. To the south lies Goyt's Moss and to the north the village of Fernilee. The western side of the valley is   flanked by Shining Tor (1,833') and Cats Tor (1,703').

The Goyt was once the separation between the Royle Forest of the Peak to the east and Macclesfield Forest to the west where, following the Norman   Conquest, extensive strips of countryside were reserved for hunting game.

From the Errwood Reservoir Dam the view of the valley, in either   direction, is magnificent.

All day, every day.

Dog-friendly, walking routes, picnic area, heritage site and bird watching.


Fly fishing on Errwood, tickets from Errwood Fly Fishing Club.


Watersports – Errwood Sailing Club – mainly sailing but wind surfing, kayaks and rowing boats also available.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

Peak District

Longdendale Valley and Trail

Tel: 01925 463 065

Crowden car park is off the A628 Woodhead Road in the Longdendale   Valley, Parking charges apply.

Please note: parking charges apply at Torside car park.

The Longdendale Trail takes you along the route of the old Great   Central Manchester Sheffield Railway. With its five reservoirs surrounded by high moorland, the Trail is very picturesque.

Look out for wildlife like foxes and hares up on the moors.   Woodpeckers and flycatchers can be seen in the woodland, as well as Canadian Geese and other species of wildfowl.

 

 

Cycling, bridleway, walking, bird watching, heritage site.

Dog-friendly route, toilets, disabled access, viewpoint.

Dog owners to keep dogs on a lead and under close control around livestock.

International trail – Trans Pennine Trail part of the European walking route E8 and is part of the National Cycle Network as Route 62.


Watersports – Torside reservoir – Glossop Sailing Club – Sailing and wind surfing.

 

Need inspiration?

Grab some fresh air, stretch your legs & wind down on a day trip to Stocks Reservoir in the Forest of Bowland. Here’s our Catchment Controller Dave to tell you all about the facilities you can enjoy.

Enjoy your visit!