The ‘secret beach’ near Manchester is absolutely packed… with cows

Gaddings Dam is proving popular again.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 9th August 2022

Every year when the weather starts to warm up a bit, some of the north’s best beauty spots become overrun.

One local gem that is often plagued by crowds of people parking their cars irresponsibly and leaving litter behind is Gaddings Dam.

Tucked high on the moors above Todmorden, a stone’s throw from Manchester, it’s usually dubbed the ‘secret beach’.

The small patch of sand leading to the water has turned it into a bit of a tourist hotspot in recent years, and locals haven’t always been thrilled about it.

Gaddings Dam. Credit: Flickr

And today is no exception, with one person spotting that the area has become packed again, with barely a patch of beach left to sit on in the sunny weather.


The difference today is that Gaddings Dam is overrun with… cows.

Chris Barker spotted the unusual sight up between Todmorden and Walsden, saying it’s ‘not something you see every day’, which is an understatement.


He shared a photo of the bovines lounging about by the water’s edge, looking every bit like a bunch of four-legged British holidaymakers.

Of course, this shouldn’t be a great surprise to anyone, given the rural location of Gaddings Dam and the fields that wrap around it.

Read more: Where to find safe open water swimming sessions around Manchester


As cows can be dangerous to humans, you should always try to find an alternative route rather than walking past them – especially if they have calves.

Those visiting Gaddings Dam should also keep dogs on a lead at all times.

And if you are planning on heading up there during this week’s heatwave, be prepared to give up your sunbathing spot to Buttercup.

Featured image: Twitter, Chris Barke @Gummo31