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My Shortlist

Build your own itineraries by clicking the Add to Excursion button to add an item to your Itinerary basket.

Our Top Ten

Only here for a short time? We’ve compiled a handy list of our top ten must sees, so you can make the most of your visit.

Queen’s Park

Queen's Park This green flag park was voted the nation’s favourite in 2010 and it’s easy to see why. Grade II listed, it was awarded to the people of Heywood by Queen Victoria in 1879 and has lived up to its regal roots.

Piethorne Valley

Piethorne valley Two miles from Newhey, the six reservoirs in the Piethorne Valley are surrounded by open moorland. Fishing allowed in two lakes. 3-mile 'Moorland Waters' walk leaflet available from Rochdale Tourist Information Centre and the Manchester's Countryside website.

Alkrington Woods Nature Reserve

Piethorne valley

Once part of the Alkrington Hall estate, this area of mature woodland provides an ideal habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna. Informal paths take the visitor through woodland along the banks of the River Irk and around the fishing lodges at Rhodes.

East Lancashire Railway

Piethorne valley

The beautifully restored East Lancashire Railway takes you on a captivating journey to discover the region’s rich transport heritage, taking in viaducts, historic towns and picturesque villages and passing through tunnels en route.

There are great places to take the kids to, and visitors can hop on and off the train to explore the surroundings including the Chocolate Café in Ramsbottom and Fudge Village in Rawtenstall.

Rochdale Canal

Piethorne valley

First opened in 1804, the Rochdale Canal was the first trans-Pennine canal and one of the country's most spectacular waterways. An ambitious restoration programme resulted in the canal reopening along the entire 32 mile length in 2002.

The canal runs from Manchester city centre, along the whole length of the borough of Rochdale from Middleton, through Castleton and Rochdale, then climbs high into the Pennines to Summit, above Littleborough. From here it descends again into Yorkshire, through Todmorden and Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge. The canal is a valuable habitat for wildlife and flora, and provides quiet areas of countryside close to the urban areas of Rochdale.

Healey Dell Nature Reserve & Tea Rooms

Piethorne valley

Healey Dell is a beauty spot and wildlife sanctuary rich in industrial archaeology, two miles from Rochdale town centre on the way to Whitworth and Bacup.The River Spodden has carved its way through the woodlands down thousands of years, creating delightful scenery and spectacular waterfalls which once powered ancient corn, wool and cotton mills.

Ellenroad Engine House

Piethorne valley

Built in 1892 on the banks of the River Beal, the Ellenroad cotton mill produced fine cotton yarn using mule spinning. Nowadays, Ellenroad Engine House is home to the largest surviving, spinning-mill steam engine. See the restored 3,000 horsepower twin engines, Victoria and Alexandra, the 80 ton flywheel, Whitelees beam engine (1842) and 1921 steam generator in action.

Touchstones Rochdale

Piethorne valley

An award winning Arts & Heritage Centre with an Art Gallery, Museum, Visitor Information Centre & Local Studies Centre & Cafe. Just two minutes walk from the town centre shopping and is convenient for car parks and public transport. Nearby attractions include Rochdale Town Hall and the Pioneer Museum.

Hollingworth Lake Country Park

Piethorne valley

In Victorian times Hollingworth Lake was known as the "The Weighvers' Seaport". Now once again visitors can enjoy many outdoor attractions and an excellent Visitor Centre. Spanning 118 acres with the dramatic backdrop of Blackstone Edge, the lake is one of the most popular days out in the area.

With boating, a nature reserve, trails, events, guided walks, Visitor Centre, community arts, environmental exhibitions, play and picnic areas it is the perfect day out for all the family.

Watergrove Reservoir

Piethorne valley

High in the Pennines above Wardle village, the area around Watergrove Reservoir includes walking trails with spectacular views, bird watching, fishing and a link to the Pennine Bridleway. The open moorland above Watergrove makes for a more rugged landscape than the lower valleys.