Uppermill: A Guide To This Picturesque Village

Uppermill is a picturesque village located in the heart of Saddleworth, Greater Manchester. With its serene countryside setting, charming architecture, and rich history, Uppermill is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Despite its rural location, Uppermill is well-connected to the surrounding areas. The village is served by regular bus services and is just a short drive from the M62 motorway. With its stunning natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and excellent transport links, Uppermill is a truly unique place to visit. And, although it’s a little further for us than some of our other favourite villages for a day out, such as Marple Bridge or Great Budworth, it’s definitely one of the regular places we keep heading back to!

Key Takeaways

  • The village is known for its bustling high street, independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as its historic landmarks such as the Uppermill Methodist Church and the Saddleworth Museum.
  • Despite its rural location, Uppermill is well-connected to the surrounding areas, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

History of Uppermill

Like many places, during the Industrial Revolution, Uppermill became a centre for textile production, with many mills and factories being built in the area. The village was also an important stop on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, which was used to transport goods between Manchester and Huddersfield.

In the early 19th century, Uppermill was a popular destination for tourists, who came to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air. Many of the village’s historic buildings, such as the Grade II listed St Chad’s Church, were built during this time. Today, Uppermill is a thriving village with a strong community spirit. Many of its historic buildings have been preserved, and the village is a popular destination for tourists who come to enjoy its picturesque setting and charming atmosphere.

Geography and Climate

The River Tame flows through the village, and the Huddersfield Narrow Canal also passes through Uppermill. The canal, which was originally built in the early 19th century, has undergone significant restoration work in recent years and is now navigable.

The surrounding hills and moors provide excellent opportunities for hiking and outdoor activities, and the village is a popular destination for tourists and day-trippers. The Saddleworth Moor, which is located to the east of Uppermill, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its unique ecology and geology.

Tourist Attractions in Uppermill

Uppermill is a charming village located in the Saddleworth region of Greater Manchester. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Uppermill that are worth exploring. In this section, we will highlight some of the most popular tourist attractions in Uppermill.

Saddleworth Museum

Saddleworth Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history of the region. The museum is located in a beautiful Grade II listed building and has a vast collection of artefacts and exhibits that showcase the rich history of Saddleworth. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and admission is free.

Uppermill Canal

The Uppermill Canal is a picturesque waterway that runs through the heart of the village. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the canal towpath and enjoy the stunning scenery. The canal is also home to a variety of wildlife, including ducks, swans, and herons.

The River Tame in Uppermill

As you head up past the canal, you are able to get to the River Tame which is a relatively shallow river and great for little (and big) kids to paddle and splash about in. We spent one particularly wet July day, mainly in the river on one of our visits to the village. There are also a series of stepping stones that make for a great bit of adventure for your kids to explore wandering across.

Dovestone Reservoir

Dovestone Reservoir is located just a short drive from Uppermill and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The reservoir is surrounded by stunning countryside and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and birdwatching. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic by the water’s edge or take a boat ride on the reservoir.

In conclusion, Uppermill has plenty of tourist attractions that are worth exploring. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or outdoor activities, there is something for everyone in this charming village.

Uppermill is well-connected to major cities and towns in the region and easily accessible by car or public transport. Here are some of the transport links available in the area:

  • Road – the M62 motorway is just a short drive away from Uppermill, providing easy access to Manchester, Leeds, and other nearby towns. The A62 road also runs through the village, connecting it to Oldham and Huddersfield.
  • Bus – there are several bus routes that serve Uppermill, providing easy access to nearby towns and cities. The local bus service is operated by First Manchester, and there are also services provided by other private operators.
  • Rail – the nearest railway station to Uppermill is Greenfield Station, which is just a short drive away. From here, you can catch trains to Manchester, Leeds, and other major cities in the region. There are regular services throughout the day, and the journey time to Manchester is around 25 minutes.

Our only word of warning is that parking spaces are limited, especially if you want to park smack bang in the centre of the village. Last time we visited, we miraculously got a space in the car park adjacent to Saddleworth Museum. However, on other occasions, we have used the car park at Saddleworth Pool and Leisure Centre which is a little walk out of the village.

What Are the Options for Food?

If you plan on staying for the whole day, then you won’t go wrong with the food choices in the village. Whether you’re looking for a pub meal, an indie cafe or a little something from the local bakery, Uppermill definitely has your back for food options!

We have now tried many of these. If you’re after a great pub meal then you cannot go wrong with the Waggon Inn. We first visited in the peak of Covid and ate out in a marquee that they had set up to support social distancing and had a great meal with me eating their selection of mini-sliders and Mila – you guessed it, fish and chips.

More recently we visited for the Easter bank holiday weekend and ate in Fika which is a lovely independent cafe. We went with my sister in law who had a Full English, whilst we had a range of delicious sandwiches and ciabattas. For the Hungarians reading this blog, you may already have had a little chuckle as the kids did when they saw the name of the cafe! For those of you who don’t speak Hungarian, Fika translates into ‘bogey’.

Fun Fairs and Morris Men

We most recently visited at Easter and there was a fun fair for children taking place which took place in St Chad’s Play Area. Following that we encountered the Saddleworth Morris Men who gave a performance in the car park where we had parked adjacent to the Saddleworth Museum. Their performance was directly behind our car, blocking us in and lasted for about an hour. We were joking that the Morris Men were working with the council because it meant that our parking overran by approximately 45 minutes and that the council would be sending parking officers to ticket everybody who was equally as effected.

So Come Down to This Quaint Village Gem Nestled in the Hills

With its postcard-worthy scenery, characterful heritage, and wealth of things to do, Uppermill encapsulates the very best of England’s rural villages. Yet it manages to retain a cozy, welcoming feel where time seems to move just a little slower. Meandering along its canal paths and moorland trails lets you leave the hustle of everyday life behind for a while. And whether you spend the day absorbing some living history, browsing the indie shops, or refueling at a local pub, Uppermill offers a vibrant slice of village life. Its unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and community spirit make Uppermill a rural gem worth discovering.


  • Richard

    Hi! I’m Rich, co-founder and writer behind Lets Go Manchester. I grew up in Bournemouth but have been living up here for almost 10 years. I now find myself exploring Manchester and the surrounding counties with my amazing wife and two gorgeous kids.

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