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A blue and purple sky reflected in a large expanse of water with a small silhouetted jetty jutting into the water on the bottom left and a silhouetted twiggy tree branch in the top left. In the distance are snow-capped hills, bathing in morning sunlight.
Ladybower Reservoir in the Derwent Valley in snow, at dawn | © National Trust Images/Tom Harman
The Peak District & Derbyshire

Derwent Valley and reservoir walk

Discover many key Peak District habitats as you walk alongside the Ladybower Reservoir, through farmland and up steep wooded cloughs. You'll emerge high on top of the moors to panoramic views of the Derwent Valley and much of the High Peak area. Look out for golden plover, mountain hares and many other species on the way.

Plan ahead

There are no bins in the countryside, so please take all litter home with you. Barbecues, campfires and outdoor cooking equipment is not allowed due to fire risk. If you wish to stay overnight, please book in at a campsite, as wild camping is not allowed in this area.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

Fairholmes car park, grid ref: SK173893

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Continue uphill until you reach a cottage. Just past the cottage, where the path divides, keep left and climb uphill through open fields and then over a stile onto moorland. After about ½ mile (800m) and a right turn by a wall corner, as the track levels, you will pass Pike Low 100 yards (90m) on your left.

Step 5

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

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

End point

Fairholmes car park, grid ref: SK173893

Trail map

Derwent Valley Peak District walk map
Derwent Valley and reservoir walk route map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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