Scammonden Reservoir

Don’t be put off by how close this reservoir is to the M62 reservoir, it's a haven of peace and tranquility.

Ripples in water

Enjoy the tranquility of Scammonden Reservoir

Don’t be put off by how close this reservoir is to the M62 reservoir, it is a still a haven of peace and tranquility. Start the walk round the reservoir at any of our 3 free car parks (please note closing times detailed on site prior to setting off on your walk). The path follows some steep slopes but has no stiles.

Enjoy wonderful views from the picnic area and rest stops around the reservoir, observing the sailing club bobbing around. If you don’t fancy a picnic, continue into Ripponden (8 miles) or Sowerby Bridge (11 miles) for cafes and restaurants.

Those feeling more adventurous may choose to walk up to Deanhead Reservoir. The walk uphill is hugely rewarding as panoramic views can be observed from the Dam wall.

During construction of Scammonden Reservoir, the village of Deanhead was submerged and many buildings were demolished to make way for the essential Scammonden Reservoir. Scammonden now holds a massive 7.8 billion litres of water, that’s enough to last one person 78 million days.


ParkingDisabled parking Picnic area




Walk Distance Difficulty Facilities
Scammonden walk 3 miles 2 out of 4

ParkingDisabled parking Picnic area

Visitor information

To keep everyone happy and safe, please:

  • follow government guidance
  • don’t swim
  • take your litter home
  • stick to the path
  • keep your dog on a lead
  • clean up after your dog
  • don’t light fires or BBQs.

Make a day of it

While you're here, why not visit a nearby reservoir?

Baitings Reservoir

Visit Baitings Reservoir for a wonderful ramble through woodlands and across two dam walls with panoramic views.

Ryburn Reservoir

Visit Ryburn Reservoir for a walk which follows the water’s edge and rambles through stunning woodlands - a wonderful day out!

How to get there

By car

You can use our free car park (HX6 4LD), which is near the reservoir dam wall. To get to here, turn off the A58 just over a mile south west of Ripponden, onto Swift Lane. After about 300m you will reach the bottom of the lane, where the car park is on your left.


There are only 91 parking spaces at Scammonden Low Platt Lane/Wood Edge car park, 14 parking spaces at New Lane car park and 18 parking spaces at Sledge Gate car park which fill up quickly most days.

By public transport

Rochdale Road Swift Place bus stop is just at the top of Swift Lane, which leads down to the starting point of this walk. Rochdale road Nursery Lane bus stop is on the opposite side of the road if you are travelling in the other direction. Please take care as you walk down Swift lane, as it is not pavemented.

Can you swim in Scammonden Reservoir?

No, you can't swim in Scammonden Reservoir. Reservoirs are really dangerous places and have lots of dangers hidden under the surface. We don't allow anyone to swim in our reservoirs, even if you’re a great swimmer!

Why can’t you swim in Scammonden Reservoir?

Scammonden Reservoir has lots of hidden dangers. The water is very cold (even in summer) and cold water shock can kill. Scammonden Reservoir supplies water to be treated, so there's machinery and strong currents under the water. There may also be blue-green algae, which causes rashes and severe illnesses.

Can dogs swim in Scammonden Reservoir?

No, it’s not safe for dogs to swim in Scammonden Reservoir and they shouldn’t drink the water. Blue-green algae can form on the surface, which is poisonous and can kill them. There’s also dangerous machinery and strong currents under the water.

Is wild swimming allowed in Scammonden Reservoir?

No, Scammonden Reservoir is dangerous. Reservoirs aren't the same as natural lakes, they’re man-made and have large machinery that’s working 24/7 just below the surface. They’re also very cold, have strong currents and might have blue-green algae which causes rashes and severe illness.