Knypersley Reservoir is one of our all-time favourite walks in Staffordshire, with lots of mental stimulation for the Scamps. There’s water, wildlife, and lots of things to see and sniff.
The reservoir sits in Greenway Bank Country Park, just south-east of Biddulph. Knypersley Reservoir was built in 1827 to supply Caldon Canal, but the woodland is ancient.
There is a small, free car park where you can usually get a space, but on a sunny Saturday, you may be better parking on the roadside which overlooks the water. There are lots of geese, ducks and the odd swan you can feed lakeside by the car park.
Heading anti-clockwise from the road, you’ll enter the park through a small metal gate with the pool on your left. The countryside walk is gorgeous in autumn with the crunchy fallen leaves beneath your feet. There is a short stretch of road to walk on if you do the full loop, but most of the route is contained in the park away from cars.
Knypersley Reservoir is popular with dog walkers, fishermen and the general public due to its stunning historical features. The circular waterside walk is around two miles long, but there are lots of paths to explore. The country park spans 114 acres, filled with woodland and secret waterfalls.
The main bridge is a great spot to paws for thought. Sprinkle nuts and seeds on the top and you could make friends with one of the resident squirrels or birds.
Just after the main bridge, past the field where your dog can say hello to the grazing cattle, you’ll spot the Warden’s Tower. The three-storey gothic tower looks like something out of a fairytale, but there are no damsels in distress waiting for Prince Charming there. The tower was built in 1828 by John Bateman as a gamekeepers house and watch tower, but has been disused for some time.
If facing the tower, find the path on the right which will take you on a waterfall walk. This is sign posted, so don’t fear getting lost. The gentle sound of water running over the rocks is very tranquil and peaceful. This trail is great for blackberry picking, too.
The top of the waterfall is on the level of the footpath, and your pooch can splash about in the calm water at the top. You can access the bottom of the waterfall if you (and your dog) are agile, but I’m waiting to get some decent wellies before wading into the shallow waters. Gawton’s Well and Gawton’s Stone are also along this path – the story behind these are that a diseased man was banished from the village and made to live in the woods, but was cured by the water of the natural spring at the well after living as a hermit.
There are several benches dotted around on the main trail around the pool, but be warned – the only dog waste bin is located on the car park, so be prepared to carry it for a while.
There are signs around the pool asking for dogs to be kept on leads, but I believe some areas are off lead. Phoebe and Frank are quite nervous rescues, so we do prefer quieter times to avoid encountering too many off lead dogs. Try cooler days, weekdays and early morning or dusk for quieter times. Peak times are weekend dinner time. The paths away from the main paved footpath tend to be quieter even during busy periods. We often see doggy doggies after having a swim in the reservoir, so the perfect spot for a splash about if you’ve got a water-loving dog.