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Tittesworth Reservoir Walk (Circular): Visiting Guide

Tittesworth Reservoir Walk (Circular): Visiting Guide

Take a majestic walk around the iconic Tittesworth Reservoir just outside Leek on this circular trail. 

Offering serene waterside paths and woodland trails, this route promises a fun adventure through the Staffordshire countryside.

It’s perfect for those seeking a longer but relaxing walk. So, lace up your boots as we go over what you need to know before you visit!

Getting to Tittesworth Reservoir

The reservoir is best accessed by car, as public transport options nearby are limited.

However, it is possible to walk from Leek to access the circular path. This is one of the best walks in the Peak District for parking, offering plenty of spaces on-site, unlike some other popular spots.

Parking at Tittesworth Reservoir

Tittesworth Water Car Park @ Visitor Centre (Paid)

Tittesworth Water Main Car Park

*Yearly membership pricing is also available for £37 (See details here).

For this walk, the 2-4 hour option should be more than enough time, unless you plan to spend a considerable amount of time not walking.

The area opens at 7 am daily, with closing times varying throughout the year.

Meerbrook Rd, Roadside Parking (Free)

The road is just a short distance from the circular walk, accessible either via the village of Meerbrook or the road leading to Tittesworth Water Sports and Activity Centre.

For public transport: It’s about a 30-minute walk from Leek. Alternatively, you can take Bus 108, operated by D&G Bus, running from Leek to Buxton. It stops at The Three Horseshoes Country Inn & Spa, which is the closest bus stop.

Tittesworth Reservoir Walking Map & Routes

🟢 Easy | 🚶‍♂️ 7.5 km (4.7 mi) | ⛰️ Ascent: 134 m (442 ft) | ⏱️ ~2 Hrs

Download file for GPS

The walk circles the reservoir, passing through the surrounding woodland and occasionally touching the water’s edge. It eventually crosses the main dam wall and returns to the starting point.

View OS Maps Route

View AllTrails Route

There is a range of routes available if you’re looking for something a little shorter or more accessible than the full route. Most paths are clearly signposted and colour-coordinated, as detailed below:

map of Tittesworth Reservoir walks

  • Churnet Trail (Purple): 1km – most accessible route
  • Crabapple Trail (Orange): 4.5km
  • Fosters Trail (Yellow): 2.8km
  • Full Reservoir Trail (Red): 7.5km

Tittesworth Reservoir Circular Trail Step by Step – 7.5km (4.7mi) ~ 2hr

1. The route begins on the right side of the car park, just beyond the children’s playground.

exiting the main car park

2. The path is easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams at this point, as it moves away from the reservoir. You can see Hen Cloud Hill emerging in the background.

start of tittesworth reservoir path with hen cloud in background

3. Follow the path as it curves and leads towards a bridge. Cross this bridge over the brook.

path with bridge in background

4. As you continue along the path, you’ll catch glimpses of the water as you emerge from the wooded areas.

view of water as you emerge from the wooded area

5. Ensure you follow the path marked as the circular trail. From this point, the footpath is straightforward and easy to navigate, with just a few steeper inclines.

wooded and field area next to Tittesworth Reservoir

6. Eventually, you’ll reach the dam wall. Simply follow it across. This is the halfway point and an ideal spot to enjoy your snacks or soak up the sun for a few minutes.

Tittesworth Reservoir dam wall footpath

7. On the far side, you’ll find a long staircase. Continue up this staircase, take a right at the top, and keep following the footpath.

staircase after dam wall

8. After a while, you’ll reach the activity centre where watersports for the reservoir are based. Pass through the car park to the far side.

Tittesworth Water Sports Centre

9. From here, the path leads back to the main road. You’ll have a clear view of The Roaches from this spot. If you’re an enthusiastic hiker, you can walk all the way up to The Roaches and the surrounding moors, even off towards Lud’s church.

path back to main road with the roaches hill in background

8. At the main road, cross the bridge and take the footpath on the other side.

crossing road bridge over tittesworth reservoir

9. Now, re-enter through the main entrance and into the visitors’ centre, which marks the completion of the walk.

entrance back into Tittesworth Reservoir

Want to get a sneak peek of what the route looks like from Dave’s Walks, who filmed most of the walk mentioned in this article: 

Tittesworth Reservoir Amenities & Facilities

Tittesworth Water’s family-friendly playground, visitor centre, and the Watermark Restaurant offer great facilities compared to many other spots in the Peak District National Park.

Nearby, there are also charming pubs that offer local cuisine, with the town of Leek providing additional amenities a short drive away.

Onsite

Playground:  Located by the main car park, this large outdoor play area caters to children aged 2 to 15 years. It features a sand pit for additional fun. Nearby, the River Churnet offers a wild play area where children can enjoy building dens. This area, along with other attractions, keeps the kids entertained.

kids playground at tittesworth reservoir

Visitor Centre: The visitor centre boasts excellent views of the reservoir and is equipped with toilets, baby changing facilities, the Watermark Restaurant and Cafe, and outdoor picnic benches.

titesworth reservoir visitor centre

Watermark Restaurant and Cafe: Located within the Visitor Centre at Tittesworth Water, this eatery offers a fantastic menu complemented by breathtaking views from every table. Either dine in or opt for a lighter bite to eat from the cafe.

Nearby Pubs

The Lazy Trout (⭐️ 4.7/5): Originally two 16th-century cottages, this pub became a coaching house in 1900, known then as The Three Horseshoes. Renamed to avoid confusion with a nearby pub, it features historic Victorian bar windows etched with horseshoes. Managed by owner Will Howard since 2010, The Lazy Trout is praised for its friendly atmosphere and quality, reasonably priced food. The dedicated team contributes to its reputation as a local favourite, making an advance booking advisable.

The Three Horseshoes Country Inn & Spa (⭐️ 4.4/5): Known for its cosy ambience with oak beams and open fires, this inn boasts stunning views over the Staffordshire moorlands. It has earned 1 AA Rosette for culinary excellence, reflecting its commitment to high-quality, fresh, and locally sourced ingredients. Seasonal dishes range from modern British cuisines to traditional favourites like pies, steaks, and gourmet burgers.

The beef and lamb are sourced from nearby Staffordshire farms, emphasizing support for local agriculture. The inn has consistently won “The Best Casual Dining” at the Staffordshire Tourism & Good Food Awards from 2017 to 2022.

On the outside of the local area, Leek is the closest major town, which has all the other major amenities you could ever need. 

History & Significance of the Area

view of titesworth reservoir

Tittesworth Reservoir, located near Leek in Staffordshire, England, was originally constructed in 1858 by the Staffordshire Potteries Waterworks Company. It was designed as a compensation reservoir to manage the water flow in the River Churnet for the benefit of mills downstream. This setup was mandated by the Staffordshire Potteries Waterworks Consolidation and Extension Act of 1853. The reservoir itself is fed by the River Churnet and relies on natural underground sources for water supply, rather than direct extraction from the river or reservoir itself.

Ownership transitioned to the public Staffordshire Potteries Water Board on 1 January 1925. Significant expansion occurred between 1959 and 1963, under the authority of the Staffordshire Potteries Water Board Act 1949, which led to the flooding of several properties in Meerbrook, including the notable Fountain Inn.

Today, Tittesworth is not only a crucial component in regional water management but also a focal point for recreational activities within the area. It is the second largest reservoir in Staffordshire and is integral to both the community and the natural environment surrounding it.

If you’re interested in viewing more Peak District reservoirs, check out the article.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What time does Tittesworth open?

Tittesworth opens its gates to visitors daily at 7:00 am, allowing early access for those looking to enjoy the fresh morning air and tranquil surroundings. See full details below:

Visitor Centre Hours:

April to September: Open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
February, March, October: Open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
November to January: Open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Car Park Opening Hours:

February 1 to March 31: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
April 1 to April 30: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
May 1 to August 31: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
September 1 to September 30: 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
October 1 to October 31: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
November 1 to January 31: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

How long is the walk around Tittesworth?

The scenic circular walk around Tittesworth stretches approximately 4.5 miles (7.5km) and, depending on your walking speed and rest periods, usually takes around two hours.

Can you swim in Tittesworth water?

Although it might be tempting on a warm summer day, swimming is strictly prohibited in Tittesworth water to ensure safety and maintain the quality of the reservoir’s environment.

View our Peak District Wild swimming spots for some options.

Can you paddleboard on Tittesworth Reservoir?

Paddleboarding enthusiasts are welcome at the Tittesworth Water Sports Centre, which contains changing rooms and other new facilities for watersports.

How deep is Tittesworth Reservoir?

Tittesworth Reservoir reaches a maximum depth of about 28 meters (95ft), making it a significant body of water within the region.

Can you cycle around Tittesworth Reservoir?

While Tittesworth offers many recreational opportunities, cycling directly around the reservoir path is not permitted due to the circular path with is not suitable for bikes.

What is the postcode for Tittesworth Reservoir?

The postcode for Tittesworth Reservoir is ST13 8SW.

Is Tittesworth Reservoir pram friendly?

Tittesworth Reservoir is very accommodating for families with young children, featuring pram-friendly paths that are wide, well-maintained, and mostly flat, making it easy for prams and strollers to navigate. However, this path won’t go all the way round.