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! 




Opening times


Cheshire (East)

Lamaload Reservoir

Tel: 01260 252268

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)


Cheshire (East)

Macclesfield Forest

Tel: 01260 252268

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

Dog walking, cycling, fishing


Toilets available


Haweswater Estate

Tel: 01768 772 334


Home to some of the UK’s rarest wildlife, including England’s only   golden eagle; and 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)


Toilets available and free parking


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 881049


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, nature reserve


Dog-friendly, view points

Greater Manchester Dove Stone Reservoir

Tel: 01925 463065

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



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

Greater Manchester Greenbooth and Naden Valley

Tel: 01706 881049

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

Climbing, fishing, environmental trail

Greater Manchester

Hope Carr Nature Reserve

Tel: 01204 664301


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,

Tel: 01204 856999

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

Greater Manchester

Watergrove Reservoir

Tel: 01706 881049

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, climbing, cycling, heritage site, bridleway, fishing, ghyll scrambling, environmental trail, nature reserve

Toilets, baby changing facilities, dog-friendly, café, disabled access

Greater Manchester

Piethorne Valley

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

Tel: 01706 881049

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, environmental trail, nature reserve


Disabled access, toilets, view points, dog-friendly

Greater Manchester


Tel: 01706 881049


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


Picnic area, dog-friendly


Bowland Forest

Tel: 01200 454400


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


Clowbridge Reservoir & Dunnockshaw   Community Woodland

Tel: 01706 881049

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



Picnic area, disabled access, view point 

Due to some work taking place around the centres, the footpath was recently closed and expected to re-open in early 2017, so it’s best to call ahead before you visit to check it is currently accessible



Haslingden Grane


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: 8am-6pm (April-October), and 8am-5pm (November-March)

Calf Hey car park: 8am-6.30pm (April-October), and 8am-5.30pm (November-March)

Information centre/café: 10am-4.30pm, every day

Excellent woodland and moorland walking routes, bird-spotting 

Disabled access, toilets, café, dog-friendly



Tel: 01204 691549

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 10:30 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


Peak District

Goyt Valley

Tel: 01925 463065

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

Peak District

Longdendale Valley and Trail

Tel: 01260 252268

Crowden car park is off the A628 Woodhead Road in the Longdendale   Valley

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

Dog-friendly route, toilets, disabled access, view point

Please note: parking charges apply at Torside car park