A winter walk around Carsington Water


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8 miles approx

5 hours including lunch

This is a moderate day walk starting from Carsington Water and going through the picturesque villages of Kirk Ireton, Hopton and Carsington.

History of Carsington

The earliest occupation of the Carsington area dates back to around 2000 BC.  A Bronze Age barrow (burial mound) was discovered near to the site of the Visitor Centre and during excavations in 1986 the archaeologists found human remains and a scatter of flints, including knives and scrapers.  Pollen from those times was also found, showing that during the Bronze Age the landscape was mostly covered with hazel, oak, lime and other trees that were tolerant of boggy conditions.

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 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 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.


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