I’m a bit behind with uploading photos to Flickr, and so it’s taken me until now to write about a day out to Hollingworth Lake. Christine, Lizzie and I went right at the beginning of May, on a scorchingly-hot Sunday afternoon.
Despite its name, Hollingworth Lake is actually a reservoir, and is completely man-made. Built at the end of the 18th century, it served as the main water source for the Rochdale Canal – the canal that runs from Manchester, across the Pennines to our home town of Sowerby Bridge. By the 1860s it had developed into an inland tourist resort, and nowadays, it’s part of a country park. It still has the feeling of an inland seaside resort, as it retains some its hotels, pubs and amusement arcades. There’s also a sailing club based there.
Christine had been a few times before but this was my first time. I’d passed it a few times; the bridge in the background of the photo carries the M62, and I’ve had driving lessons nearby. Most people drive to get there and there are several car parks by the lake. On busy days, it may take you quite a while to find a parking space. If you don’t want to drive, Smithy Bridge is the nearest railway station (with signs saying ‘Alight here for Hollingworth Lake’) and is a short walk away. There are regular buses from Rochdale.
There’s a footpath all the way around the lake. It’s around four kilometres (2 ½ miles in old money) and makes for a nice gentle stroll. There are a couple of cafés at various points, and on hot days the ice cream vans make an appearance. It’s a nice, varied walk, with a section of the park set aside as a nature reserve.
You can view a few more photos in my Hollingworth Lake album on Flickr.