Stocks Reservoir lies on the Eastern side of the Forest of Bowland, just next to Gisburn Forest. A little further North-East is Settle in the Yorkshire Dales, which is near to where the River Ribble begins.
According to what I’ve read a village called Dalehead was flooded to create the reservoir and about 400 men and their families lived in a temporary village called Hollins, which amongst other things had its own Cinema. The reservoir was finished in 1932 and today it still supplies much of the Flyde. The land is currently owned by United Utilities and they’ve marked out this nice circular walk around Stocks Reservoir. The area is also popular with mountain bikers who enjoy the tracks around Gisburn Forest.
Difficulty, distance and time
Easy/moderate. About 6 miles (9.5 km), allow approximately 3 hours.
How to get there
Detailed Route Map
Download in Google Earth
Parking and amenities
Ample parking and a picnic spot at the beginning. There is also a cafe with toilets after half way.
Elevation and terrain
The highest point of this walk is about 240m (775 ft). Underfoot is the usual mix of paths, fields and roads. The recent rain had churned the fields up nicely and I fell on my backside twice – so watch your feet.
(On a dry day this walk should be reasonably easy).
We followed the United Utilities route which is well sign posted. There is a decent pdf here which describes the walk very well.