Walks Near Manchester: Torside Reservoir

Just 10 minutes from Glossop town centre and you're on top of a hill breathing in that country air.

By Alex Watson | Last updated 27 July 2022

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The Derbyshire hills have become one of my favourite places to walk. They’re easy to get to due to the Longdendale Trail whether you’re walking from Glossop Station or are parking up somewhere on the Snake’s Pass or Woodhead.

There’s also plenty of options of length and difficulty meaning you can go with your hiking poles or take your kid on your back.

About 10 minutes from Woodhead, driving out from Glossop town centre, you’ll find a collection of rather impressive reservoirs, but our go-to this weekend was Torside Reservoir.

The largest man-made reservoir in Longdendale, Torside, was constructed in 1849 by John Frederick Bateman as a part of the chain supplying water from the River Etherow to the urban areas of Greater Manchester.

Shortly after the sailing club on Woodhead Road, there’s a large car park, from here you head onto the Longdendale Trail taking you alongside the water and keeping you off the road.

If you choose to cycle there’s plenty of flat paths and you’ll definitely get some great views of the reservoir and Derbyshire hills.

The route was part of the first railway line between Manchester and Sheffield so it was once full of the smoke from steam trains. It’s now part of the Trans-Pennine Trail which travels the length of the country from Liverpool to Hull.

Image Credit: Bald Hiker

You can head up Bleaklow Head for some spectacular views of the hills and it is a perfect spot for a picnic – should the weather be suitable.

I imagine the views are perfect but we were seconds away from getting trapped in torrential rain that came down this weekend so the sky was pretty miserable.

There’s plenty of weird and interesting facts from the area, from hauntings to something I recently learnt about on QI – that you can find one of the world’s rarest plants right here!

The plant, Feather Moss, can be found on one boulder in the Derbyshire country hills but if you’re found disturbing it you can be fined incredibly heavily. I’m talking upwards of 2 grand. So – don’t touch it.

With a range of different types of walks and some seriously stunning scenery, Torside is perfect for a visit on a weekend. Just don’t do as we did and schedule it in when a storm is causing 97mph winds!

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MAD Walkers are a hiking group for 20s and 30s for people who live in and around the Greater Manchester area. With over 400 members, they offer a variety of group walks to suit you and many other like-minded people.

Head to their website to find an upcoming walk…

MAD Walkers