Carsington Water Walk and Cycle
This route follows the circular cycling and walking trail around Carsington Water in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. The trail starts at the excellent visitor centre where cycle hire is available. It includes long shoreline sections and several woodland sections with great views of the surrounding countryside. The route runs for just over 7 miles on a fairly flat path so it's suitable for most abilities.
The lake is also a great place for birdwatching. Look out for little owl, little grebe, great northern diver, Eurasian oystercatcher, common tern and breeding common redshank.
If you enjoy this route then you could head to the nearby Ogston Reservoir where there are more fantastic bird watching opportunities.
The Pennine Bridleway and Midshires Way long distance trails run just to the north of the site. You can pick up these trails to extend your walking around Wirksworth. The town is a good base for walkers with the High Peak Trail and the Black Rocks near Cromford to visit.
Just to the north of the site you will find Middleton Top. There's an excellent visitor centre here and fine views back down to the reservoir from the hill top.
PostcodeDE6 1ST - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
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Carsington Water Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Carsington Water Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Carsington Water OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Carsington Water Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
There's lots of good refreshment options at the lake with a cafe, restaurant and ice cream parlour. The Mainsail Restaurant was crowned a Derbyshire Food & Drink Award Winner. There's a great menu and fine views over the water from here.
Head a couple of miles north and you could visit the noteworthy Olde Gate Inn in Brassington village. The historic inn dates back to the 17th century and is Grade II listed. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s soldiers were billeted at the inn on their march to London, and some of the oak beams came from ships of the Spanish Armada. It's been named Britain’s cosiest pub by The Times with its charming interior and roaring fires. Outside there's a lovely large garden area with fine views. They serve high quality gastro food and have a good selection of ales. You can find them on Well Street with a postcode of DE4 4HJ for your sat navs.
Dogs are welcome at the lake and you will probably see plenty of other owners on your outing. Please keep them on leads at all times though. The Olde Gate pub in Brassington is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The circular Brassington Walk starts from the nearby village and visits Middleton Top before heading to the reservoir. The historic village is well worth a visit, with several centuries old limestone cottages, a church dating from the Norman period and a notable Tudor house built in 1615.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Peak District Walks page.