Generally dog owners are busy people who like to walk their dog close to home during the week. When we do have more time, perhaps at weekends, some of us like to explore further afield for some fresh air with our pooch. One popular location to visit that’s outside the centre of Manchester is Dovestone Reservoir, often written as Dove Stone Reservoir. It’s popular with bird watchers and is an RSPB Nature Reserve.
Dovestone Reservoir Location
Dovestone Reservoir is location to the north east of Manchester, about a 50 minute drive away. It’s a 20 minute drive from Oldham. It’s actually just within the boundary of the Peak District National Park. Too far to be your daily walk if you live in Manchester but certainly somewhere you could consider once in a while for a change of scenery.
Dovestone Reservoir Parking
The official postcode given for Dovestone Reservoir is OL3 7NE. The main car park is at the southern end of the reservoir. From Manchester you will be travelling on the A635 towards Holmfirth. The car park is signposted and will be on your right hand side.
According to online comments I’ve seen the car park can be full as early as 10am during weekends in the summer. When I last visited in low season there were no issues parking. There is another car park further up the A635 called Binn Green but it’s my understanding that Binn Green does not have toilet facilities. There is also the option of parking in some laybys or side roads.
It should also be noted that there is a charge for parking, and at the time of writing the fees were as follows:
Between 0-2 hours £1.00
Between 2-4 hours £2.00
4 hours + £4.00
You can pay by cash or contactless card. It should be noted that other contactless payment types like your phone or smartwatch don’t seem to work. The alternative car park at Binn Green is free.
Dovestone Reservoir For Dogs
The RSPB site for Dove Stone Nature Reserve gives some specific information for dog owners. Dogs are welcome on the footpaths but owners are reminded not to let their dog chase wildlife, especially nesting birds. Some websites seem to indicate that dogs should be on a lead between 1st March and 31st July. Dogs are also not allowed to swim in the reservoir. Some breeds can’t resist water so you may have to consider using a lead or crossing this location off your list of dog walking locations. Owners are also reminded to clean up after their dogs and there are 4 dog waste bins provided around the reservoir.
In terms of walking options at Dovestone Reservoir there are a number of possible routes to suit differing abilities. A simple circuit of the reservoir is 2.5 miles long which most should be able to complete within an hour. The path is level and firm which makes this an ideal route if you are trying to avoid the worst of winter mud! For the more adventurous owner and dog there are a number of longer routes which involve a fair amount of ascent should you want to make a longer day of it. A simple search in Google will reveal some of these options.
I’d be interested to hear from other Manchester based dog owners on whether they have visited Dovestone Reservoir with their dog. Alternatively feel free to suggest a couple of your favourite dog walking locations that our readers might like to know about.