Gaddings Dam Walk

The Route

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Start Point: Walsden, near Todmorden, OL14 6JJ

Finish Point: Same as start point (circular walk)

Distance: Approximately 4.5 miles (7.3 kilometres)

Walk Description

Starting Point: Walsden, near Todmorden, OL14 6JJ

Key Highlights:

  • Gaddings Dam: Known as England's highest beach, this disused reservoir offers a unique wild swimming spot with fantastic views of the surrounding moorlands.
  • Scenic Views: Panoramic vistas of the Calder Valley and the nearby Stoodley Pike Monument.
  • Historic Trails: Paths through picturesque moorland, including some steep and rocky sections.

End Point: Walsden, near Todmorden

Practical Information

Distance: Approximately 4.5 miles (7.3 kilometres)

Difficulty: Easy to medium – includes some steep and rocky sections, with potentially boggy terrain in wet conditions.

Terrain: Mixed terrain with country roads, public footpaths, and steep footpaths. Can be boggy and slippery, especially after rain.


  • By Car: Parking is available on side streets in Walsden near Gordon Rigg’s Garden Centre.
  • Public Transport: Walsden is accessible by train, making it easy to reach the start point without a car.

Tips for Walkers

Footwear: Sturdy walking boots with good grip are essential due to uneven and potentially boggy terrain.

Supplies: Bring water, snacks, and sun protection. There are no facilities at the dam, so be prepared for a remote experience.

Navigation: The route is straightforward but having a map or GPS can be helpful. Follow the yellow top posts to reach Gaddings Dam.

The Gaddings Dam walk offers a unique experience with a hike to England’s highest beach.

Starting from Walsden, this 4.5-mile circular route takes you through scenic moorlands to the disused reservoir, now a popular wild swimming spot.

Enjoy the stunning views and the tranquil atmosphere of this hidden gem in the Yorkshire moors.

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