5 Reservoirs Circular – A Great Tameside Moorland Walk
The 5 reservoirs circular is one of the best walks in Tameside at any time of the year. See map.
The beauty of retirement is that you can get out into the countryside when others are working, so the chance of meeting crowds of walkers is reduced considerably. Despite the sunny weather I only saw one person on the moors and she asked for help as she was unsure of the direction to take. After a few months of wet weather and muddy conditions it was good to have firm dry ground underfoot.
The 5 reservoirs circular walk starts at the junction of Hobson Moor Road and Dewsnap Lane in Mottram. It passes through the farmland in Mottram to the track near Thorncliffe Hall. From Thorncliffe Hall it goes over the fields and down to Green Lane.
It continues up around Meadowbank Farm into Swallows Wood, then on to Arnfield Reservoir. It then carries on through Arnfield Farm, over the fields to Devil’s Bridge. From Devil’s Bridge is a steep climb up to Middle Bank. Then the track goes to Higher Bank and around Lees Hill and onto the access road between Higher Swineshaw and Lower Swineshaw Reservoirs.
The 5 reservoir circular proceeds down the access road, passing Brushes Reservoir and by the angling club car park to the southern side of Walkerwood Reservoir. The path goes uphill through Cock Wood. A gradual climb through the wood and moorland finishes at the disused shooting range near Flaxfield. From here it’s a walk on the narrow path to Ashtonhill Cross. At Ashtonhill Cross it turns east through the fields and climbs up to the wide path on Shaw Moor, then south near Gallows Clough and finally back via the disused quarry to the starting point.
The distance of this 5 reservoirs circular walk is 8.4 miles and it takes around 3 hours 30 minutes. Although this particular walk is a mixture of many others, all the tracks are included in Walks In Tameside – Volume 2 Southern Tameside.