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Carsington Water, a Severn Trent Water reservoir in Derbyshire, England

The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. There are numerous interesting towns such as Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Leek, Matlock and Wirksworth, plus many enchanting villages

Carsington Water

good for childrenopportunities for exercisespectacular scenery

View of Carsington Water
View of Carsington Water
Carsington Dam
Carsington Dam
Carsington Water has been a very popular visitor attraction since the reservoir was opened by the Queen in May 1992.

The reservoir is owned and operated by Severn Trent Water and is part of a 'water compensation' scheme. This means that water is pumped here from the River Derwent at times of high rainfall, stored in the reservoir and returned to the Derwent when the river level would otherwise be too low to allow water extraction for treatment (and drinking) further downstream. No water is actually extracted from Carsington Water itself.

There is a Visitor Centre (with wheelchair access) which has within it a permanent exhibition explaining the role of water in our daily lives, and a wide range of facilities including shops selling souvenirs, craft items, embroidery materials, ceramics, books etc and a cafe and restaurant. It gets very busy on summer weekends.

Carsington is a favourite place for sailing
Carsington is a favourite place for sailing
The Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre
A remarkable centrepiece of the courtyard is the Kugel Stone, a ball of granite weighing over 1 tonne and which revolves on a thin film of water under pressure. It can be moved with the touch of your hand! There is a classroom within the courtyard offering pre-booked schools a full day of activities to complement school based work on a variety of themes relating to water and the environment.

Carsington Water is a local centre for outdoor activities - there is a sailing club active next door to the Visitor Centre, and there are many opportunities for walking and cycling around the reservoir and the surrounding villages.

A hundred yards from the visitor centre is the watersports centre, where you can hire canoes, paddleboards, rowing boats and dinghys. Cycle hire is also available from here. See

There is plentiful car parking (with charges). For young children there is a children's playground near the visitor centre.

Events & Activities Hotline: 0870 179 1111

Carsington Water
0 - Carsington Water
Carsington Water and boats
1 - Carsington Water and boats
Carsington Water Visitor Centre
2 - Carsington Water Visitor Centre
Carsington Water Dam
3 - Carsington Water Dam
Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK241516 Click here for Google Maps

See location on

How to get there

By Road:
the reservoir lies just off the B5035 Ashbourne - Cromford road. Turn off the road by the Knockerdown Inn, between the Hognaston and Brassington turns. From Derby, take the A6 to Duffield, then the B5023 Wirksworth road, turning left onto the A517 at the traffic lights at Cowers Lane. In Hulland Ward turn right by the church towards Hognaston and 1km later, right again.

By Bus: the 411 service from Ashbourne to Matlock goes to Carsington Water. Coming from Derby, take the Trans-Peak bus to Cromford and there pick up the 411 bus.
When is it open?

The Visitor Centre is open every day except Christmas Day from 10.00am. For further information please contact the Visitor Centre by telephoning 01629 540696.
What does it cost?

No charge for the Visitor Centre but the main car park is £2.50 up to 2 hours and £4.70 for all day.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.


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