Skip to content

Things to see and do at Foremark

Image shows a family holding hands enjoying an autumnal walk in the woodland
Visitors walking along the bridleway | © National Trust/Rod Kirkpatrick

Discover a countryside gem at Foremark, a 230-acre nature reserve with woodland walks, grass heathland, and views over the reservoir. From walking and wildlife spotting to water sports and family activities, find out what there is to see and do on your visit to Foremark here.

May half term

Have fun outside and connect with nature on a '50 things to do before you're 11 3/4' adventure at Foremark.

From creating your own wild art to cloud watching and finding fungi, there's something for every keen explorer to try this half term.

Set off on your own adventure or look out for the purple activity boards around Foremark and see how many you can complete on your visit.

Top things to see at Foremark

Top things to see include Carvers Rocks, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its valuable geology and plant life, and one of the last patches of lowland heath in Derbyshire.

In addition to the nature reserve, you’ll also discover the large reservoir with its impressive dam wall, owned and cared for by Severn Trent. Don’t miss spectacular views across the water and enjoy walks along the water’s edge to take in the peaceful scenery.

Walking at Foremark

Situated in the heart of the National Forest, Foremark is home to lots of waymarked routes through woodland and habitat, with links to the wider National Forest network – perfect for walkers and cyclists of all abilities.

Please keep dogs on lead along the Bridleway

Please bear in mind that the Bridleway is a multi-use route, which is often used by horse riders. Because of this, we ask that you keep your pooch on a lead along this route to ensure everyone has an enjoyable visit. This includes the nearby woodland, where dogs might then run onto the Bridleway.

Green walk

This 2.5km (1½-mile) walk takes you through along the bridleway through Scaddows Oaks Woodland and joins the reservoir walk, where you might spot Great Crested Grebe fishing in the water. Follow the green waymarkers.

Orange walk

For a longer walk at Foremark, follow the orange waymarkers to enjoy a 5.25km (3¼-mile) circular walk with some steps, gates and steep slopes. You’ll visit Carvers Rocks Nature Reserve, woodland walks and views across the reservoir.

Orienteering trail

Get active in the outdoors on Foremark’s orienteering trail, suitable for adults and families. Pick up a trail from the café and enjoy an outdoor adventure across woodland and along the water’s edge.

Please keep dogs out of the water

Please keep dogs on leads to protect nature and wildlife, and keep them out of the water for their safety, where blue-green algae is present.

Wildlife spotting at Foremark

Foremark is home to a variety of wildlife habitats, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, ancient woodland habitat and heath grassland, making it a great place for wildlife spotting.

Carvers Rocks Nature Reserve is a designated SSSI, where you’ll find a carpet of purple heather on one of Derbyshire’s last patches of lowland heath, as well as veteran trees which provide valuable habitat for plants, birds, and insects.

At the water's edge

The water’s edge is a great place to spot birds, including waterfowl and gulls on the water, and wagtails and waders along the shoreline. The open skies are a great place for spotting raptors, with buzzards and peregrine falcon regularly seen at Foremark. In summer look out for damselflies and dragonflies skimming over the surface.

If you’re exploring the woodland, keep an eye out for wild fallow and muntjac deer and listen for birdsong in the trees – you’ll find lots of winged visitors all year round.

Bring a picnic

While there’s a café at Foremark offering a range of hot and cold refreshments, including ice creams for those sunny days and hot chocolates for warming chilly fingers, you’re welcome to bring along a picnic to enjoy anywhere in the nature reserve.

Barbecues not permitted

Barbecues and open fires are not permitted anywhere at Foremark, and we ask you to take care of the nature reserve by taking all litter home with you.

Things to do for families

With lots of open space, there are lots of ways to enjoy family days out at Foremark – from picnics and playgrounds to family walks and orienteering trails.

The new playground is an essential stop-off for adventurous children who love to climb, swing and spin, located near the visitor facilities.

Why not complete some of your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ at Foremark? Find a spot in the woods to build a den, eat a picnic in the wild, or make a home for wildlife as you explore the countryside. If you’re new to ‘50 things’, pick up a wallchart and stickers from the café to get started on your nature adventures.

Activities on the water

If you’re feeling adventurous, Foremark is home to Burton Sailing Club, which offers a range of family-friendly water sports, including windsurfing and offshore sailing, suitable for beginners through to the more experienced.

A view across a grassy area towards the reservoir with the headland visible in the distance. There are two picnic benches on the grass overlooking the water.

Discover more at Foremark

Find out how to get to Foremark, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

A young girl in a sailing boat with a white and lime green sail wearing a red life jacket, with an instructor sailing behind

Water sports at Foremark 

Burton Sailing Club offers a range of family-friendly water sports at Foremark, including windsurfing and offshore sailing, suitable for beginners through to the more experienced. All launching of watercraft must be through the sailing club.

Visitors walking in the parkland with their dog at Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Visiting Foremark with your dog 

Dogs are welcome to explore Foremark, where you’ll discover woodland walks, open countryside and reservoir views. Find out more about walking your dog here.

A close-up image of two people's hands holding National Trust takeaway drinks

Eating at Foremark

The kiosk is open every day serving a range of hot and cold drinks, light bites, sandwiches and sweet treats. There is outdoor seating available only, where dogs are welcome to join you.

A view of the water tower, positioned on a slight grassy hill with a large tree to the left at Staunton Harold

Staunton Harold 

Countryside space with wildflower meadows, woodland walks and open water

Melbourne, Derbyshire

Fully open today
View of the west side of the house behind trees with blue skies above.

Calke Abbey 

The un-stately home and country estate

Derby, Derbyshire

Partially open today
Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

View from the top of Kinder Downfall in the Peak District, Derbyshire

Countryside and woodland in the Peak District and Derbyshire 

Find out about the extensive countryside and woodland places to explore in the Peak District and Derbyshire, from rugged peaks to wide expanses of moorland.

A group of hikers exploring a hilly landscape on a sunny winters day.


This National Walking Month, explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.