Carsington Water

Carsington Water is an easy 8-mile loop of the Severn Trent reservoir. With expansive views across the reservoir and picturesque woodland. Carsington Water offers a great cycling experience for all the family.

Located one the edge of the Peak District National Park, Carsington Water is a popular centre for cycling, walking, sailing and fishing, and near High Peak Trail.


Carsington Water can be found off the B5035 between Ashbourne and Wirksworth. Use postcode DE6 1ST for the visitors’ centre.

Let’s Pedal

An ideal circular route for families, Carsington Water is mostly flat with several short uphill and downhill sections on the far side of the lake from the visitor centre. It is a route suited to wider bike tyres found on mountain bikes, hybrids and cyclocross bikes due to the gravel surface.

Please take care with young children as some descents have a loose gravel surface which can be slippery.

If you take the extended circular route, you will cross the B5035 road on two occasions, and ride approximately 1 mile on a minor road. This road has little traffic, if any, as it runs parallel to the main road. Otherwise, there is no traffic except when crossing the entrance to the sailing club.

Route Distance

Circular route of approximately 8 miles on mostly off-road tracks.


You will find a refreshment stop available along the route at:

Carsington Waters Visitor Centre.

Off-trail Public houses can be found in:

The Miner’s Arms (between Carsington and Hopton villages, a short detour); The Red Lion Inn at Hognaston village.


Toilets are located at:

Carsington Water Visitor Centre, Watersports Centre, and Millfields car park.

Cycle Hire available at:

Carsington Water Watersports Centre

Tourist information available at:

Carsington Water Visitor Centre

How to get here

By Car

Carsington Water can be found off the B5035 between Ashbourne and Wirksworth.

Car Parking

Pay and Display parking available next to the trail is available for £3.00 for two hours or £5.00 all day. Located at DE6 1ST.

There are other car parks along the route, such as the Millfields car park (DE6 3JL) which are £2.50 for the day.

By Cycle

National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 547 from Tissington, or NCN 54 from Bolehill joining NCN 547 at Linston.

Reach NCN 547 from NCN 68 from Buxton or Derby.

By Train

Belper or Cromford.


  • Distance (miles): 8
  • Distance (km): 12.9
  • Start: Carsington Water Visitors Centre
  • Finish: Carsington Water Visitors Centre
  • Type: Path, trail
  • Surface: Tarmac, gravel, earth
  • Sat Nav: DE6 1ST


  • Car Park
  • Cycle Hire
  • Free Entry
  • Picnic Site
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Tourist Information

Cycle Hire

Carsington Water Visitor Centre & Cycle Hire


Opening Times

Open all year round except for any temporary closures due to works.


Cyclist Reviews

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Loop around the reservoir

Rated 4 out of 5
27th September 2018

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The information provided on this page is believed to be correct and is given in good faith. Please be aware that it may have changed since our research. Use of the information on this page is at your risk, we cannot accept any liability for any problems or incidents arising. The maps are based on the postcodes of the centres. The postcode provided for Sat Nav is the nearest postcode to the start of the trail or car park and is therefore not 100% accurate to the entrance of the location. Postcodes are provided as a guide only. We recommend that you confirm the location and other details before travelling.

Cycling With The Kids is not responsible for the content of third party websites, and travel times, prices, routes and providers are correct at the time of writing, but may alter at short notice.

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