Embark on an enchanting journey around Ladybower Reservoir, a walk that promises a diverse range of highlights for an exhilarating adventure. As you set out, take a moment to truly soak in the breathtaking views of neatly-lined trees, rolling hills and of course, the glistening Ladybower Reservoir itself.
Here’s a glimpse of the captivating features that await you on the Ladybower Reservoir walk:
- Spectacular Scenery Without the Effort: Marvel at stunning views with minimal effort along well-made paths around Ladybower Reservoir.
- Historic Wonders Along the Way: Encounter the awe-inspiring Derwent Dam, a WWII practice site for the Dambusters, and spot the picturesque Ashopton Viaduct.
- Versatile and Accessible for All: Enjoy a family-friendly walk suitable for cyclists, wheelchairs, and dog walkers, with free parking options or the convenience of Fairholmes Visitor Information Centre.
- Traverse Time and History: Explore the remnants of the villages of Derwent and Ashopton, submerged under the reservoir, and appreciate the historical significance of Derwent Dam, a cinematic landmark and wartime site.
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1. Parking and Starting Point: Follow signs from the A57 to ‘Derwent Valley Dams.’ Park at Fairholmes Visitor Information Centre (postcode S33 0AQ) or nearby parking areas.
2. Initial Path: From the Visitor Information Centre, turn left and walk on the wide pavement toward A57. Enjoy quiet roads, a well-made path, and stunning views.
3. Scenic Views: Look left to see Derwent Edge and right for wooded heights of Hagg Side. Spot Win Hill ahead for a challenging hike with panoramic views.
4. Passing Through the Gate: After 1.5 miles, pass through a gate by a cattle grid. Ashopton Viaduct becomes visible ahead.
5. Bridge: Reach the A57, turn left, cross the bridge, and spot a left track after crossing. It’s a public footpath despite being labeled “Private Road.”
6. Following the Track: Pass through a gate, follow the track along the reservoir with scenic views. Stick to the main track, ignore side paths.
7. Village Remnants: After 1.5 miles, reach a hill with a few houses, remnants of the flooded village of Derwent. Villages had houses, a shop, church, and inn, now submerged.
8. Left Track: Continue on the left track, slightly downhill. Ahead, Derwent Dam comes into view.
9. Historical Insights: Derwent Dam, built in 1902, stands 35m high. It played a role in the Dambusters’ practice missions in WWII. Look for exposed foundations in dry summers.
10. Fork in the Track: Soon after passing through the village, the track forks. Take the left track heading downhill.
11. Final Approach to Derwent Dam: Derwent Dam looms ahead. In winter, water often cascades down its face. It was a filming location for ‘The Dambusters’ and hosts flypasts from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
12. Completing the Circuit: Continue for about 500 meters, arriving back at Fairholmes Visitor Information Centre on your left. Enjoy the completed walk!