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Your Ultimate Adventure Guide to Hollingworth Lake

Your Ultimate Adventure Guide to Hollingworth Lake

Ah, Hollingworth Lake! Where nature dons her finest green and the water sparkles like a stash of pirate’s jewels. But this isn’t just another pretty landscape. Nope, this is the stage for your next grand adventure! 

Picture this: lazy lakeside picnics, adrenaline-pumping water sports, and food that’ll make you write love letters to your taste buds. Our Ultimate Adventure Guide to Hollingworth Lake is your passport to unlocking the magic of this Lancashire treasure. 

So grab your sense of wonder and come along for the ride—it’s going to be unforgettable!

Things to Know

Location: Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough, Rochdale OL15 0AQ

Operating Hours: The lake is always open. However, facilities at the lake, such as cafés or the Water Activity Centre, have their own individual opening times.

Contact: 0300 303 8875


Entry Fees: None


  • £2 – up to 4 hours
  • £3 – up to 6 hours
  • £5 – over 6 hours
  • Free – 6 PM to 8 AM and bank holidays

Traffic and Travel Time: Only about a 30-minute drive from central Manchester, getting to Hollingworth Lake is a breeze on weekdays. But come the weekend, and especially during sunny spells, the area can become quite busy.

So, if you don’t fancy wrestling for a parking spot, best to get there early, yeah?

Climate: British weather—gotta love its unpredictability. Even though Hollingworth Lake is at a lower elevation compared to mountainous areas, always pack a raincoat. You never know when a sudden shower might add a dramatic twist to your lake adventures. 

A leisurely walk around Hollingworth Lake usually takes between 45 minutes to one hour to complete. This is the average span of time to walk around the lake’s path which measures approximately 2.5 miles in length. 

Hollingworth Lake is interesting because of its versatile recreational hub known for water sports and hiking opportunities. The lake also attracts a variety of migratory birds, adding a unique biodiversity dimension. 

It serves as a destination that caters to outdoor enthusiasts, families, and nature lovers.

You can kayak on Hollingworth Lake, as the area is well-equipped with rental facilities for both beginners and experienced kayakers. It’s a popular destination for a variety of water sports and kayaking is no exception.

Hollingworth Lake is not a source of drinking water; it’s primarily used for recreational activities such as boating, kayaking, and fishing. Always ensure you’re consuming water from safe and approved sources.

How to Get There

By Car: Simply set your satnav for Rochdale and follow the signs pointing to Hollingworth Lake. Plenty of parking spaces are available at the onsite car park, though they do fill up fast during the weekends.

By Bus: Buses from Rochdale and surrounding areas make regular pit stops near Hollingworth Lake. Get off, and you’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the lake’s edge.

By Tram/Train: If you’re coming in by train, you’ll find that Littleborough Station is your closest stop, situated about a mile away from the lake. From there, you can either take a leisurely walk or hop on a local bus to complete your journey. 

If you prefer trams, Rochdale is the nearest tram stop. From Rochdale, you can either take a local bus or a short taxi ride to reach Hollingworth Lake. Convenient, right?

On Foot or Bike: For the green-thumbed among you, cycling or walking paths from Littleborough and Rochdale offer scenic routes leading to the lake. But remember, those paths can get muddy, so wear some proper boots, will you?

Best Time to Go

The ideal time to visit Hollingworth Lake is between late spring and summer, typically from May to August. These months offer the most favorable weather for outdoor activities like boating, hiking, and picnics. 

The lake and surrounding areas are at their most vibrant, and you’re more likely to encounter clear, sunny days. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect more crowds and consider booking any rentals or activities in advance. 

If you prefer a quieter experience but still want good weather, late spring and early fall are also good options.

Where to Stay in Hollingworth Lake

Hollingworth Lake Guest House

Image from Booking

Address: Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0DD, UK

Phone: +44 1706 378456

Pricing: ££

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Ready for a view that’ll make you think you’re waking up in a nature documentary? Hollingworth Lake Guest House doesn’t just offer a room; it’s practically a lakeside theatre with dawn as the opening act. 

Seriously, get a room overlooking the lake, and you’ll be greeted by a spectacle of morning mist and golden sun rays. Magic. Now, let’s talk about food—specifically, the scones at their café. It’s like someone took the essence of a British afternoon and baked it into these fluffy bites of perfection. 

One bite and you’re hooked. So, when you’re not lounging in your cosy room or devouring scones, step out for a walk. The lake is right there, begging you to take a million photos.

Address: Newhey Rd, Milnrow, Rochdale OL16 4JF, UK

Phone: +44 871 527 8952

Pricing: £

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Alright, who says you need to splurge for a comfy stay? Premier Inn Rochdale is that dependable mate who might not be the life of the party but sure knows how to make a mean breakfast. 

You’ve got a long day of lake adventures ahead, and their in-house restaurant is your starting line. They’ve got an all-you-can-eat buffet, and let’s face it, “all-you-can-eat” are the three most beautiful words in the English language.

Rooms are cosy and functional. No, you won’t find any gold faucets here, but you’ll find a super-comfy bed and a decent shower, which, let’s be honest, are the real VIPs of any trip.

Address: Manchester Rd, Castleton, Rochdale OL11 3HF, UK

Phone: +44 1706 861861

Pricing: £££

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If you’re in the mood for a dash of luxury, The Royal Toby Hotel is your go-to. Imagine a place where the charm of a Jane Austen novel meets 21st-century comfort. Yep, that’s the vibe. 

From the lush carpets that greet your feet to the king-size beds that’ll have you snoozing in no time, this place has “treat yourself” written all over it. 

But the real showstopper? Their Sunday roast. I’m talking Yorkshire puddings as fluffy as clouds and gravy that’ll make you want to lick the plate (though maybe not, it’s a classy joint). Seriously, make a reservation. This isn’t just a meal; it’s an event. And a can’t-miss one at that!

Address: Ripponden Rd, Oldham OL1 4SX, UK

Phone: +44 161 624 0303

Pricing: ££

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Grains Bar Hotel is your countryside oasis. Tucked away in the rural parts, it has that farmhouse charm with all your modern necessities. It’s like your gran’s home but with Wi-Fi and way better plumbing. 

The rooms are cosy with a capital “C,” and some even have freestanding baths. Imagine soaking in one of those after a day by the lake.

Now for the good stuff—their pub is a local legend. It’s the kind of place where you half expect to hear tales of folklore over a pint of ale. They even host regular quiz nights. 

Address: Dean Ln, Rossendale BB4 9RA, UK

Phone: +44 7889 853771

Pricing: £££

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If you want to wake up and feel like you’ve slipped into an episode of ‘Countryfile,’ Rossendale Holiday Cottages & Glamping is your jam. We’re talking chic cottages with wood-burning stoves and plush glamping pods for those who love nature but also love comfort.

Get this—the glamping pods have underfloor heating. So, you can stare at the stars without your toes turning into ice blocks. The site also has communal fire pits. You bring the marshmallows; they bring the vibe. 

Ah, and the cottages? Let’s just say, they’re the closest you’ll get to living in a Pinterest board. Do it for the ‘Gram, do it for the experience, just do it!

What to Do in Hollingworth Lake

Address: Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough OL15 0AQ

Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a pirate or perhaps the star of your own rom-com boat scene? Well, here’s your chance! You can hire a rowboat at Hollingworth Lake and take to the waters like you’re in a Netflix special. 

And let me tell you, these aren’t any old dinghies. We’re talking classy wooden boats that make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Jane Austen novel, but with life jackets.

Once you’ve navigated your way through selfie-taking swans and families on paddleboards, you’ll find quiet corners perfect for some “me-time” or, you know, snogging. Go ahead, claim your maritime kingdom, if only for an hour or so!

Address: Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre, Rakewood Road, Littleborough OL15 0AQ

No, bird-watching isn’t just for your nan and her RSPB mates; it’s for adventurers like you who appreciate the thrill of spotting a rare sandpiper or a kingfisher in its natural habitat. Bring your binoculars or hire a pair from the Visitor Centre. Trust me, it’s like Pokémon GO, but with feathers.

The lake is a stop-off for a variety of migratory birds, so you’re in for a chirpy treat. Ever seen a diving cormorant in action? They’re the James Bonds of the bird world—suave, skilled, and deadly to fish. You can even jot down your finds in a birdwatching diary. 

Who knows, it could be the start of your very own Avian Autobiography.

Address: Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0DQ

Why let the birds have all the fun catching fish? Roll up your sleeves, grab a fishing rod, and join the ranks of Hollingworth’s seasoned anglers. But before you roll your eyes, hear me out—it’s not just about sitting and staring at a bobber all day. 

Fishing here is like speed-dating with fish. One moment you’re bantering with a carp, the next you’re wrestling with a pike that’s got more teeth than your Aunt Maureen.

Whether you’re a fishing novice or you’ve got tales of ‘the one that got away,’ this lake caters to all. Just remember to check out the local regulations and get your fishing permit in order.

Address: Hollingworth Lake Nature Reserve, Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0BJ

Phone: +44 (0)1706 373421

Alright, hiking aficionados and lovers of the great outdoors, this one’s for you. Hollingworth Lake has got trails that could make Frodo Baggins abandon his quest to Mordor and stick around here instead. 

I mean, forget Middle Earth; have you seen the dreamy woodlands and marshy meadows here? The trails are colour-coded according to difficulty, so whether you’re new to the hiking game or a weather-beaten veteran, there’s a path for you. 

And guess what? If you time it just right, you might even catch the golden hour transforming the lake into a Monet painting. Unmissable? Absolutely.

Address: Hollingworth Lake Riding School, Smithybridge Rd, Littleborough OL15 0DL

Phone: +44 (0)1706 373109

Ever dreamed of galloping around a lake, wind in your hair, pretending you’re in some epic fantasy movie? No, just me? Either way, Hollingworth Lake Riding School offers horseback riding experiences fit for both knightly quests and peaceful strolls.

Now, don’t worry if you’ve never sat on a horse before. They’ve got ponies and instructors more patient than a saint, ready to teach you the reins—literally. For the seasoned riders, there are advanced trail options that go through the nearby woods. 

Pro tip: ask for “Oliver.” He’s a bit of a show-off but oh-so-smooth on the trot.

Address: Hollingworth Lake Park, Rakewood Road, Littleborough OL15 0AQ

Okay, let’s dial it down a notch. Adventure doesn’t always have to get your adrenaline pumping. Sometimes, it’s in the little things like a jam sandwich and the quiet lapping of lake water against the shore. So why not pack your fave snacks, grab a blanket, and have yourself a lovely picnic?

Find your cosy spot—near the playground if you’re with kiddos, or closer to the water if you’re on a date or simply fancy a good ol’ natter with Mother Nature. Just remember, the ducks are on a diet, so no feeding them your cheese and onion crisps, alright?

Address: Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre, Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0DQ

Picture this: You, standing tall on a paddleboard, conquering the lake like Poseidon (or Ariel if you’re more of a Disney fan). If you’ve never tried paddleboarding before, Hollingworth Lake is your playground.

Don’t worry if you’re a beginner; there are instructors who are so good, they could probably teach a seal to do it. And if you’re experienced? Well, feel free to channel your inner surfer and paddle away into the sunset, my friend.

No joke, this is a killer core workout. You’ll feel it the next day, but hey, that’s what the local pub is for, right?

Address: Lake-Side Art, Nature Reserve, Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0BJ

Phone: +44 (0)1706 999111

Now, who said art classes were confined to stuffy studios? Unleash your inner Monet and join one of the lakeside painting workshops. Trust me, the scenery here provides inspiration on tap—or should I say on palette?

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or your art usually consists of stick figures and doodles (no judgment), this is your chance to capture nature’s grandeur on canvas.

Just remember to bring an old shirt because splattering paint is almost inevitable. But who knows? That splash might just be the masterpiece’s finishing touch.

Where to Eat in Hollingworth Lake

Address: 2 Lake Bank, Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough OL15 0DD, UK

Phone: +44 1706 378168

Pricing: ££


Alright, if your idea of a perfect day involves sipping wine with a lakeside view, The Wine Press is your jam. Imagine sitting on a sun-soaked terrace, wine glass in hand, with a plate full of posh nibbles. It’s the kind of place where the phrase “yes way, rosé” actually fits.

What to munch on? Try their baked camembert—it’s to die for, especially when paired with a crisp white. 

Food FOMO? Their sharing platters solve that dilemma. So grab your favourite peeps, head on down, and make it an afternoon to remember.

Address: 3-5 Hare Hill Rd, Littleborough OL15 9AD, UK

Phone: +44 1706 372277

Pricing: ££


Bella Italia in Littleborough! I mean, why jet-set to Florence when you can find authentic Italian goodness right by Hollingworth Lake? The place oozes charm; think wooden beams, ambient lighting, and the distant serenade of Andrea Bocelli.

Oh, and the carbonara? They don’t do that cream nonsense; it’s as Roman as the Colosseum. 

By the time you finish your meal with their life-altering panna cotta, you might just consider applying for Italian citizenship. Trust me, it’s that good.

Address: 14 Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0DQ, UK

Phone: +44 1706 376250

Pricing: £££


So, you’re a fan of dining in style? The Waterside Restaurant Garden & Cabin has your name written all over it. Now, don’t let the name fool you; we’re not talking camping cabins. This place is all class—a touch of elegance on the lake’s edge.

If you’re in the mood for some British classics with a gourmet twist, look no further. Their beef Wellington is the stuff of legends. And if seafood’s your thing, the mussels are as fresh as morning dew. 

Top it off with their signature cocktails, and boom—you’ve got yourself a top-tier date night.

Address: Lake Bank, Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough OL15 0DD, UK

Phone: +44 1706 370827

Pricing: ££


Like cocktails? Good. How about lake views? Even better. Lake Lounge Bar & Restaurant serves up both, with a side of delicious grub to boot. We’re talking modern interiors, a sleek bar, and a terrace that’s practically begging for sunset selfies.

Binge on their burgers—juicy, stacked, and hashtag-worthy. Vegetarian? Their plant-based options are far from the sad afterthoughts you might be used to. Pro tip: Try their Espresso Martini. It’ll give you the kick you need to, you know, take more sunset selfies.

Address: 1 Lake Bank, Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough OL15 0DD, UK

Phone: +44 1706 373142

Pricing: £

Ever been to a place that feels like a big ol’ hug? That’s Olive & Pickle for you. It’s casual, it’s cosy, and their menu? An eclectic mix that’s basically comfort food heaven. Picture a sunny afternoon with a lakeside view, and you’re munching on their homemade quiches or seasonal salads.

And let’s talk about scones, because their afternoon tea setup is nothing short of dreamy. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, prepare for nirvana. Do it all without breaking the bank; you can thank me later.

Address: Lake Bank, Littleborough OL15 0AQ, UK

Phone: +44 1706 378457

Pricing: ££


Ah, The Beach—a taste of the seaside without the sandy bum. Get your fix of British carvery, where you can load up your plate until it groans. Roast meats, Yorkshire puddings, and gravy that’ll have you writing love poems.

It’s a down-to-earth, come-as-you-are kind of place. The staff? Friendlier than a retriever that spotted a squirrel. Swing by on a Sunday, and you’ll get that family dinner vibe minus the awkward questions about your love life.

Address: 12 Lake Bank, Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough OL15 0DQ, UK

Phone: +44 1706 376250

Pricing: ££


So, you’re a fan of the classics, huh? Well, Mr Thomas’s is your spot—a place where you can get your fish ‘n’ chips fix with a side of nostalgia. Decked out like an old-world British tavern, it’s basically a time machine but with better beer options.

Cod so crispy it could pass as a percussion instrument, and chips so divine they make you question all previous life choices. Oh, and grab a pint of their local ale; it’s like a hug for your insides. You get the drift. Eat, drink, be merry.

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