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    Derwent Reservoir Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    17.1 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    651 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Derwent Reservoir Circular

    Walking the Derwent Reservoir Circular is a fun experience in Derbyshire that will take you through the Upper Derwent Valley for views across the water and surrounding hillscape. While out on the trail, you will walk the edge of both the Derwent and Howden reservoirs and be flanked by the tall moorland hills of the Peak District on either side. Elevation gain along this walk is spread throughout the trail, making for an easy-going adventure through the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.

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    Route Description for Derwent Reservoir Circular Walk

    The Derwent Reservoir Circular Walk in Peak District National Park features a mix of terrain that includes a stretch of road on one side of the reservoir and a stoney path on the opposite side. While the route has an elevation gain of 651m, this is spread largely throughout the walk, making for a pleasant journey along the edge of the water. Due to the overall length of the walk, you will still want to wear decent walking footwear to stay comfortable on the trail. Additionally, this is a busy area due to a wide range of activities on offer. Be sure to arrive early to secure parking.

    Setting out from the car park next to the visitor centre, follow the road north as it heads through the forest and passes the Derwent Dam on your right. Continue along the road as it hugs tightly to the edge of the reservoir, providing some scenic views across the water. After a quick detour around the Ouzelden Brook, continue north until you pass by the Marebottom Cottage and arrive at the dam wall for the Howden Reservoir.

    Continue along the road as it follows the water’s edge to the west, crossing over the River Westend before keeping on towards the north. Eventually, you will cross over the River Derwent at the Slippery Stones and make your way south along the track.

    As you walk along the east side of the reservoirs, you will have the opposite perspective across the water and will enjoy some nice views of the hills that make up the surrounding moorland terrain. After once again passing by the dam wall for the Howden Reservoir, continue south along the track and cross over Abby Brook. From here, you will need to traverse two stretches of forest terrain known as Shireowlers Wood and Hancock Wood before arriving at the East Tower along the Derwent Dam. After passing by the dam, make your way to the southwest to cut through the tree cover and arrive back at the car park where you began your walk.

    Other amazing walks in Peak District National Park

    Check out our guides to Kinder Scout, Mam Tor, Stanage Edge, Dovedale, and Padley Gorge. Or see all of our Peak District walks on 10Adventures.

    Getting to the Derwent Reservoir Circular Walk Trailhead

    To reach the trailhead for the Derwent Reservoir Circular from Bamford, drive north along Ashopton Road/A6013 for 3.1 km and turn left onto the A57. After 1.1 km, turn right and follow the road for 3.7 km to arrive at the car park for the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre.

    Route Information

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    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

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    Derwent Reservoir Circular Walk Elevation Graph

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