A bracing walk at Derwent Valley, in the Peak District

Walking trail

Wonderful for taking in the many Peak District habitats, this walk will lead you alongside the Ladybower Reservoir, through farmland and up steep wooded cloughs, before emerging high on top of the moors, with panoramic views of the Derwent Valley and much of the High Peak area.

Spot local wildlife and enjoy beautiful vistas

Look out for mountain hares and golden plovers on your walk across the farmland and moorland.

gollden plover centre in heather and grass


Map route for a bracing walk at Derwent Valley


Fairholmes car park, grid ref: SK173893


Start your walk at Fairholmes car park, turning right out of the car park and following the road towards Derwent Dam.

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water cascading over Derwent Dam


Walk past the Dam and follow the road uphill, walking alongside Ladybower Reservoir on the right and Old House Farm on the left, towards the site of the old Derwent Village.


The village was flooded when the Dam was built in the Second World War. Only two buildings remain; the Lodge and the schoolroom, which you pass as you walk along the lane. To view the site of the village and an information panel, continue down the slope and across a bridge. Retrace your route back up the short slope and at the top, turn sharp right at the end of a high wall onto a track, over a stile and past the ruins of a farm.


Continue uphill until just after a cottage where the path divides. Keep left and climb uphill through open fields and then over a stile onto moorland. After about 0.5 mile (0.8km) and a right turn by a wall corner, as the track levels, you will pass Pike Low 100yd (90m) on your left.

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brown and white mountain hare leveret in heather


Continue along this track above Mill Brook, below on your right. Follow the track to the Scots pine shelter belt ahead, running towards Green Sitches (a sitch being a ditch or wet area). Keep left at a fork just before the pines.

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Follow the track until it turns right at a fence. Cross the fence by the stile and continue to the derelict farmstead of Bamford House along the edge of the moor, with Derwent Reservoir below on your left.


On reaching Bamford House, turn left and take the steep path downhill towards the reservoir. Turn left again once you reach Derwent Reservoir and follow this track alongside the reservoir and back towards Derwent Dam and Fairholmes car park.

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oak leaves in sunlight


Fairholmes car park, grid ref: SK173893

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A bracing walk at Derwent Valley, in the Peak District


Rough walking through fields, woodland paths, roads and open moorland. Ensure you follow the Countryside Code and leave no trace of your visit. Walk includes gates and stiles so please be prepared for this, especially if walking with a dog. 

Dogs must be on a lead at all times to prevent disturbance to grazing farm animals, wildlife and other people. 


A bracing walk at Derwent Valley, in the Peak District

Contact us

A bracing walk at Derwent Valley, in the Peak District

How to get here

near Derwent Dam, Peak District, Derbyshire, S33 0AQ
By train

Bamford, 4 miles (6.4km); Sheffield, 12 miles (19.3km).

By road

M67 junction 3, M1 junction 31. Take A57 then turn off at Ladybower Reservoir.

By foot

Derwent Valley Heritage Way runs from Ladybower Reservoir to the confluence of the River Derwent and the River Trent.

By bus

273, Sheffield to Ladybower and Castleton. Alight Fairholmes information point.

By bicycle

Upper Derwent Valley Cycle Path (National Cycle Route 54) follows valley bottom, on-road and off-road routes.

A bracing walk at Derwent Valley, in the Peak District

Facilities and access

  • Dogs must be on a lead at all times to prevent disturbance to farm animals, wildlife and other people.
  • No bins in the countryside, so take all litter home with you.
  • BBQs/campfires/outdoor cooking equipment not allowed due to fire risk that they cause
  • Book in at a campsite as wild camping is not allowed
  • Park safely and responsibly and be respectful of local communities and farmers.