Friday, 6 April 2012

Carsington Water

A few weeks back we had dinner booked at Kniveton, nr Ashbourne so looking nearby we decided to go for an afternoon walk around Carsington Water.

We were lucky enough to get great weather for our first proper walk of the year and arriving I took the decision that we were going to walk the complete Carsington Water circuit which is about 8 miles.

Carsington Water is a reservoir owned by Severn Trent and is part of a water compensation scheme. Water is pumped in from the River Derwent, stored in Carsington reservoir and returned to the Derwent when the river level would otherwise be too low to allow water extraction to provide our water during the dry summer months.

The reservoir is a great place for anyone to visit and especially has great family facilities. There's a childrens play area, visitor centre, cafe and shop. You can walk, hire bikes, learn to sail or go fishing. It is also a conservation area and as you walk round areas are fenced off to allow the wildlife to thrive, from mammals to birds to plants.

Spring was clearly visible as we began our walk and one of the first things we saw was a small pond, with frogs jumping, swimming and mating everywhere and a huge clump of frogspawn. The trees and bushes were alive with birds, tweeting and chirping their warnings as we passed. I have no clue which birds are which despite my mum and gran knowing them all so if birds are your thing check out Carsington Water on the RSPB site to see what you could see.

It's a fairly easy, waymarked route walking anti-clockwise round the reservoir. For a while you leave the edge of the reservoir climbing a small hill, past some lovely houses. At this point our sausage sandwiches were calling but we were beaten to each bench by other walkers and cyclists meaning it was another hour or so before we got to eat! About halfway round is a really unusual feature – make sure you stop for a quick rest in the small wooden house you come across.

The end of the walk is along the wide, low dam wall. Its pretty exposed to the elements so the jumpers and coats went back on as it was still March and quite windy here. Once back at the visitor centre we enjoyed a well earned cuppa surrounded by sparrows.

Carsington Water was a real unexpected surprise of a walk that I'd definitely recommend. The main car park was around a fiver I think and is a great place to park for the facilities. But if you prefer cheaper park at Sheepwash or Millfields car parks or of course go green and get the bus from Ashbourne, Wirksworth, Matlock or Chesterfield.


  1. I agree it is a really good a safe cycling route brilliant for kids young and old. A good day out.

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