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Valehouse Reservoir walk (circular, 3.7km)

Valehouse Reservoir walk (circular, 3.7km)

Situated on the Manchester edge of the Peak District National Park, this is an easy-going circular walk around Valehouse Reservoir that takes you over both Valehouse Reservoir Dam and Rhodeswood Reservoir Dam. There are interesting weirs and plug holes to spot enroute that help manage the flow of water along the reservoirs; Valehouse Reservoir is just one reservoir along a string of five in this region of the Peak District.

Much of the route is along paved lanes (some of which are accessed by very infrequent cars or tractors). This walk would be added to our list of Peak District pram-friendly walks, except the last section is along a very rocky path.

Please note that there is no direct access to the water along this Valehouse Reservoir walk, and swimming or paddling in the reservoir is strictly prohibited.

If you particularly like reservoir walks, check out our guide to the best reservoir walks in the Peak District.

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When planning your visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds if visiting over sunny weekends or school holidays. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs, and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.


PARKING INFORMATION: Please do not rely solely on the postcode for parking directions. In the National Park, a postcode can cover a large area. Postcodes are only provided as guidance. Please either use the Google Maps point or what3words, which are provided on every walk guide.

Do check out our top tips for hiking with young kids, as well as our essential items to take on a family hike in the Peak District.

Valehouse Reservoir walk Map

On all Peak District family walks it’s a good idea to have an Ordnance Survey paper map with you, even if you have your phone on you. For this walk you need the OS Explorer Map OL 01 (Dark Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.

This walk follows the below map in a clockwise direction.

Valehouse Reservoir walk OS map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

Get a printable download of this walk

Want to print off this walk guide rather than rely on your mobile? Then click here to download the PDF to print out at home. Perhaps print out a copy for the kids to follow the step-by-step directions and/or photos? It’s a great way to get them engaged with the walk and gives them a sense of responsibility.

All printable downloads are £1.50 each. Click here for the full list of Peak District Kids printable downloads.

Please note that your download link expires 72 hours from order, so make sure you save your PDF somewhere where you’ll remember it. If you are unsure where your download folder is on your mobile device, we recommend you download the PDF on your laptop or desktop.

Need to know

DISTANCE OF WALK: 3.7km / 2.3 miles

TYPE OF WALK: circular reservoir walk

PARKING: There is free parking at Valehouse Reservoir Dam. Click here for Google Maps location, what3words: ///decisions.torso.spurned. Parking is limited here, but you can also park along the roadside towards the dam (before your turn right across the dam).

WALK HIGHLIGHTS: views across Valehouse Reservoir, walking across Valehouse Reservoir Dam and Rhodeswood Reservoir Dam, seeing the weirs and plug holes that help manage the flow of water along five connected reservoirs.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Whilst this walk can be done in 1 hour, allow for almost 2 hours with young kids.

ACCESSIBILTY: The footpaths are mostly flat and even. In fact this would be a pram-friendly walk, except for the last section down a stony path, which would be tricky with a buggy or pushchair. There are no stiles on this walk.

TOTAL ASCENT: 60 metres

FACILITIES: There are no toilets or eateries along this walk. Tintwistle village is nearby where there’s a pub, bakery, and village shop.

parking for Valehouse Reservoir

The route

START: Valehouse Reservoir Dam
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 0324 9729
Postcode: there is no postcode for this walk
what3words: ///decisions.torso.spurned

Route follows a clockwise direction.

1. From the parking area, walk across Valehouse Reservoir Dam. Valehouse Reservoir is on your right and Bottoms Reservoir on your left.

2. When you reach the other side of the reservoir, follow the lane around to the left and then take an immediate sharp right. You will now be walking alongside the northwestern edge of Valehouse Reservoir (the reservoir is on your right).

3. Follow the tree-lined lane for 1.3km to the opposite end of Valehouse Reservoir.

4. Cross over the bridge (there’s an amazing stepped weir to your left) and then take the steps uphill on the left. If you want a more gradual incline and to avoid the steps, just follow the lane ahead after the bridge. At the top of the steps take the higher lane leading uphill to Rhodeswood Reservoir Dam. 

5. Take a right at the dam wall and walk to the other side of Valehouse Reservoir (cars can drive along here). Just before the end of the dam wall on the left, you can see the plug holes which managed the overflow from Rhodeswood Reservoir. 

6. Take a right at the end of the dam wall to then walk underneath the electricity pylons. 

7. 370 metres from Rhodeswood Reservoir Dam, you will reach a gate. Follow the yellow signposted arrow past the gate and walk through the farm. Continue walking along the lane. 

8. Where the Pennine Trail crosses the lane, take a right downhill and follow the footpath with Valehouse Reservoir soon on your right. Continue this footpath back to the parking area.

Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you have found this website useful for planning your family adventures, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much!

Also, feel free to share your walk photos in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group or on Instagram using by tagging @peakdistrictkids in your caption so we can share with our wider community.

Or perhaps purchase a Peak District Kids iron-on patch. £1 from every sale of the iron-on patches goes towards the Peak District National Park Foundation, a registered charity established to raise funds to care for the Peak District National Park.

Want more ideas for family walks?
Best Family Walks in the Peak District
Pram Friendly Peak District walks
Toddler walks in the Peak District

Or, use the search walks page to find your perfect family walk.

Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.

You may also like to read:
The BEST Peak District reservoir walks
Langsett Reservoir walk (5.8km, circular)
Ramsden Reservoir walk (4.2km, circular)