Saddleworth Walks – The Three Reservoirs Circular
Saddleworth walks are mainly on high moorland ground but there are some Saddleworth walks that are low level. This is a five and a half mile stroll around the Dovestone, Yeoman Hey and Greenfield Reservoirs. The walk starts at the Binn Green car park and goes down the steps in the opening to the wooded area. At the bottom turn left downhill on the tarmac lane.
Just before the track between the reservoirs go through a metal kissing gate on the right. Then head downhill on the wide track with Dovestone Reservoir intake on the left. Dovestone Reservoir was constructed in 1967. There are great views to Indian’s Head and the Chew Hills. Soon the sailing club is reached, then Dovestone is rounded at the far corner. The walk back is on the eastern side of the reservoir.
Before the end of the reservoir there is an area with picnic tables down to the left. This was once the site of Ashway Gap House, a castle like structure which was demolished in the late 1970’s. It was a shooting lodge, built by the Oldham MP James Platt, who died on the moors above the house in a shooting accident in 1857.
This Saddleworth walks route continues between Dovestone and Yeoman Hey Reservoirs. At the end of the track between the reservoirs, look for a stone on the right, inscribed ‘This Stone Was Laid By HM The King Of Tonga 1981’. The king visited Dovestone Reservoir to pick up tips on reservoir construction and design during his visit to attend the wedding of Charles and Diana.
At the end of the track turn right along Yeoman Hey Reservoir, which was built in 1880. The track continues along the length of the reservoir and at the end climbs up to Greenfield Reservoir.
Greenfield Reservoir was built in 1903 and is the smallest of the three reservoirs. The head of the reservoir is reached at Greenfield Brook. From here return the same way to the dam wall. Then turn left following the wall to the far end. An alternative path from Greenfield Brook crosses the brook and follows the path just below the wall on the far side of the reservoir.
From the end of the dam wall climb up a short path on the right to a gate. The narrow path continues above the land separating Greenfield and Yeoman Hey Reservoirs. It then goes down to a stile. Cross the stile and continue on the rocky path to the end of Yeoman Hey Reservoir. Next turn right along the track with Dovestone Reservoir down to the left. At the end of the track turn left up the tarmac lane back to the car park and starting point to finish one of the easiest Saddleworth walks.