Welcome to

Saddleworth Outdoor Pursuits Association

The Boarshurst Centre, Saddleworth - Registered
Charity No. 702185

The Boarshurst Centre is a single storey building located in the village of Greenfield, in the valley of the River Chew and on the edge of the Peak District National Park.  

The centre is entirely run and managed by an enthusiastic group of volunteers who wish to ensure that you enjoy your stay.

It is available to hire for overnight accommodation to all groups of people and families who wish to use it as a base from which to enjoy outdoor activities and events within the Saddleworth area. It can also be used as a base for families who wish to meet up for a family gathering.

The building provides warm, clean and well maintained facilities for the sole use of a visiting party of up to 32 people.

Greenfield has a local train station about 15 minutes walk away. We are 20 minutes from Manchester by train and 40 minutes from Leeds by train. There are also bus links to Oldham and Manchester. The village has a supermarket, local shops, pubs and eating establishments.

For booking enquiries please contact Mark Jones on 07979864472.

We are a member of the Independent Hostels. Please see our details here.




We are really pleased to announce that in February 2024 the centre has been awarded a grant by Action Together to replace all of its tables and chairs within the centre. Our project is to replace the tables and chairs with modern equivalents. We are in the process of purchasing stacking chairs that are comfortable and are easily cleaned, but are of good quality and of robust construction. Tables would be foldable. It will be possible to clear the main hall of furniture and used for other activities such as exercise classes, meetings and gatherings.

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Wildlife springs into action

Wildlife springs into action


Our wildlife garden looked good - we can't wait to see how it develops next year.

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Local developer supports the centre in its hour of need

Local developer supports the centre in its hour of need


During a routine inspection of the centre signs of damp had become noticeable in the kitchen and after closer inspection all of the floor joists had rotted and rainwater water was coming in, causing major structural problems. Jon Cousins, Director of Rivergate Developments Ltd, based in Mossley offered to get involved and came to SOPAs rescue. Jon’s family had stayed at the centre many years ago and shared happy memories. Over a period of weeks Jon and his team repaired the floor and solved the damp problem at a heavily discounted price. The team fitted in repairing the centre around their busy building business. SOPA is eternally grateful to Jon and his team as without his help and support the centre would not be open and its future uncertain.

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The Woodland Trust donates 105 saplings to the wildlife garden

The Woodland Trust donates 105 saplings to the wildlife garden


105 native trees and hedgerow plants have been planted within and wildlife garden. Our hard working gardening gang has managed to plant them all out and we now look forward to seeing them grow.

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Grant award from Saddleworth Community Hydro Ltd

Grant award from Saddleworth Community Hydro Ltd


Many thanks to Saddleworth Community Hydro Ltd for providing grants to install energy efficient lighting (November 2020) and loft insulation (September 2022). Many thanks must go to the society for supporting our centre. For more information about the Saddleworth Hydro project please follow the link: https://sites.google.com/site/saddleworthcommunityhydro/home

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What have we doing during lockdown?

What have we doing during lockdown?


Over the Summer when we have been forced to close we have been painting the external windows and doors in heritage colours to reflect our conservation area setting. We have been upgrading the bathrooms which have been painted throughout and new mirrors installed. New bedding has also been purchased.

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Generous donation of photographs from local photographer Craig Hannah

Generous donation of photographs from local photographer Craig Hannah


We are so grateful to Craig Hannah for donating ten of his fantastic photographs to the Centre as part of our ongoing upgrading process. Craig's photographs can be purchased via - https://www.facebook.com/CraigHannahPhotography

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Generous donation of cleaning products by Robert Scotts

Generous donation of cleaning products by Robert Scotts


Robert Scotts of Greenfield have kindly donated the centre much needed cleaning products to make our centre ready for the season ahead.

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Alphin Pans of Delph come to our aid

Alphin Pans of Delph come to our aid


Many thanks must go to Alphin Pans who have kindly provided much needed new kitchen equipment to help with our re-opening at the end of next month. It is fantastic that local businesses such as this go out of their way to support local charities.

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Preliminary Visits

If you haven't been to the centre before or if you would like to view the Centre then please contact Mark Jones (Bookings) (07979864472)

Details of Charges - Centre hire - sole use only - maximum number of guests 32 - 2 nights minimum


Adult                                                   £500 per night

Family Groups:                           £450 per night 

Child/Youth                                  £400 per night 

and University Groups

(including Leaders)


For groups based in Oldham we offer a 10% discount - please let us know when you book.


If you wish to make a booking, we suggest that you do the following:

1. Contact Mark Jones (07979864472).  He will check your required dates and confirm that they are still available.  Please email theboarshurstcentre@gmail.com 

2. Fill in a booking form and read the conditions of booking (below) - Please note that bookings cannot be accepted without completing one. 

3. Return the completed booking form, together with a deposit of £100.00.  The deposit is normally non-refundable, but due to the current pandemic this will be refunded if you are unable to stay due to the current situation or alternatively rearrange the booking.  The deposit will be refunded after your visit.

We prefer payment to be made by bank transfer to Co-operative Bank Sort Code - 08-92-99 Acc No. 67213584 - Account Saddleworth Outdoor Pursuits Association.  Please indicate the name of the group when paying.

4. We require payment 14 days in advance of the stay.  Deposits refunded after your stay.

BOOKING FORM - 2024.pdf

Booking Conditions.pdf


*All groups/families must have appropriate insurance to cover the group/family during their stay.*

We try and keep or calendar up to date.  To see if we have availability please click on the link below:

  • Saddleworth Outdoor Pursuits Association, Boarshurst Centre, Boarshurst Lane, Greenfield, Oldham, OL3 7EA

                  Our Communal Hall - Dining Area with optional table tennis table

                                                    One of our Dormitories - 12 beds

One of our Leaders' Rooms - 4 beds

                                                                   Our Large Kitchen

Our facilities include:

  • Two separate dormitories (bunkhouse Style) each sleeping 12 people.
  • Two attached leaders' dormitories or family rooms each for 4 people.
  • Each bed has a base sheet, pillow and pillow slip.  Please bring your own sleeping bag or duvet.
  • Two toilet blocks.
  • Washing machine and a condenser dryer.
  • The kitchen facilities include a large modern electric cooker, a fridge/freezer, two microwave ovens and a dishwasher.
  • The Centre is run on a self-catering basis.
  • The main hall provides a dining/recreation area for 32 people.
  • A drying room/cloak room/boot room.
  • Wheelchair access is provided at the front and rear entrances.
  • A 10 space car park.
  • a secluded garden to enjoy the views.
  • Optional table tennis.


 Independent Hostels

Who uses the Boarshurst Centre?

We welcome all affiliated child, youth and adult groups from registered organisations as well as families who wish to use the centre as a base to enjoy the Saddleworth countryside and to practice outdoor pursuits. Groups who have used the Centre include: - Scouting Association such as Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Scout and Cubs. - Walking Clubs. - Morris dance groups. - Overseas educational groups. - College groups. - Drama groups. - Students of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. - Running Clubs. - University groups. - Cycle Groups. - Families. - Post University meet-ups. - Church groups. - Operation Raleigh Reunion Groups. - Independent travel groups(Travel Squad).

Saddleworth is ideal for people who enjoy outdoor activities. 

It is a fantastic walking area with stunning scenery with footpath routes across the Moors as well as leisurely walks along the canal or river into one of the beautiful Saddleworth Villages.    It is also a great cycling area with many challenging hills to climb along the Isle of Skye Road to Holmfirth.  There are rock climbing and bouldering areas.  Sailing is also an option.  There are plenty of horse riding stables nearby and even a local clay pigeon club. 

Here are just a few links that might be of interest: 

Saddleworth Discovery Walks  - Each walk is led by Chris Maylor, an experienced guide and author of the locally acclaimed Saddleworth Discovery Walks and Oldham Discovery Walks guidebooks. http://saddleworthdiscoverywalks.co.uk/guided-walks/ 

Dovestone Sailing Club http://www.dovestonesc.org.uk/ 

Horse riding - Trans Pennine Trail - https://www.transpenninetrail.org.uk/horse-riders/

Saddleworth Runners - http://www.saddleworth-runners.co.uk/

Saddleworth and District Angling Society - https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/fishing/fishery-list/462-saddleworth-and-district-angling-society

We encourage all families and groups to stay at our centre.  In particular, the centre is perfect for University Groups who wish to explore the amazing Saddleworth Moor or just wanting to be close to Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and Sheffield.  Our centre can accommodate up to 32 guests at any one time in bunkhouse accommodation.  

Recently we have had students from Loughborough University, Sheffield University and the Central School of Speech and Drama staying at the centre with fantastic reviews. 

We do offer a discounted student rate of £400 per night and we are very flexible about arrival and departure times. These are some of the comments we have recently received: 

“It's a very nice bunkhouse, good large dormitories and kitchen, with a massive variety of cooking implements.” Loughborough Student Union Hiking Club

 “We have had a brilliant week, and the centre has been a perfect base for our group.  You have been welcoming, accommodating and friendly.  We hugely appreciate it, and hope to come back!”  Central School of Speech and Drama

The History of the Boarshurst Centre imageThe History of the Boarshurst Centre image
In 1810, under the Enclosure Acts two plots of land were granted to Mr C J Buckley and 25 others for building a public school at Boarshurst.  A condition was to build the school within 3 years.

There was no national system of education before the 19th century, and only a small section of the child population received any schooling.

The school was funded through public subscription and thirty-seven people promised amounts of subscriptions, equal to £291 7s. 6d. It was agreed that anybody who contributed more than £10 should be a trustee of the school.

It was resolved that the major part of the trustees for the time being should have the appointment of the schoolmaster, and also of discharging him for misconduct or misapplication and also of all other arrangements respecting the school.

It was also resolved that the said school shall be twelve yards in length and eight yards in breadth, with a boarded floor, and one storey high.

The school was opened in the year 1814 and named Boarshurst Academy and later Boarshurst School. Mr. James Platt, of Prospecton, was appointed the first master of the school.

The school was also used as a Sunday School from the very start, and was undenominational. Children of the working classes only attended on Sundays where they picked up a smattering of education.

In 1872 the school was registered for the solemnisation of marriages, but very few took place.

In 1874 the old school had become too small for its purpose and an extension was necessary. This was again funded through public subscription and the amount of £400 quickly raised.

The school had a high reputation for many years and with the dwindling hillside population and opening of other schools in the area caused a reduction in its numbers. At the end of March 1910, the school was closed as a day school.

The Boarshurst School Foundation was approved by the Board of Education on 1st June 1917 with representatives from the local community as well as representatives from Saddleworth Urban District Council, Springhead Urban District Council, Mossley Borough Council, West Ridings County Council, Boarshurst Sunday School becoming Co-operative Governors of the Foundation.

At the first meeting Mr George Booth of Tunstead, Greenfield was elected as Chairman. It was also moved to open a bank account with the Manchester and County Bank in Uppermill in the name of ‘Governors of Boarshurst Educational Foundation’.

The building was used by Boarshurst Sunday School. By 1925 the Boarshurst Brass Band was allowed to use the school for two nights per week for £8 per annum, but such a use was not to ‘interfere’ with the work as a Sunday School. By 1928 the building was also leased to the Greenfield Amateur Dramatic Society for painting scenery. Between 1948 and 1968 St Marys Boys Brigade used the school.

By 1969 the Saddleworth Outdoor Pursuits Committee started using the building and continues to run the centre to the present day.

Photographs courtesy of Peter Fox, Saddleworth Museum

Pots and Pans - War Memorial overlooking the Saddleworth Villages

Upcoming Events

Saddleworth Rushcart 202324 Aug 2024Uppermill, Oldham, UK
The Whit Friday Brass Band Contest13 Jun 2025Saddleworth, UK

Past Events

Saddleworth Show 202430 Jun 2024Well-i-Hole Road, Greenfield, Oldham, UK
Wellifest29 Jun 2024Well-i-Hole Road, Greenfield, Oldham, UK
Saddleworth Steam Fes09 Jun 2024Saddleworth Museum Car Park
Saddleworth Santa Dash02 Dec 2023Uppermill, Oldham, UK

View across to the centre

Boarshurst Conservation Area

Photographs taken in 1900 and 2021

We would like to thank the following organisations who support the work of our centre:

Tesco Community Grant - https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/

Saddleworth Hydro Sustainability Grants - https://www.saddleworthhydro.co.uk/

Saddleworth Historical Society - https://www.saddleworth-historical-society.org.uk/

Saddleworth Museum - https://www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk/

Craig Hannah Photography - https://www.facebook.com/CraigHannahPhotography

Robert Scotts - https://www.robert-scott.co.uk/

Alphin Pans - https://alphin.co.uk