Ladybower Reservoir

posted in: Peak District, Walking | 1

This was the first day of a two-day visit to the Peak District. The primary purpose of the expedition was to try out a Youth Hostel, but I hoped to get in two good walks as well in an area I’d long wanted to visit. On the second day I walked to Stanage Edge. Both walks were excellent and thoroughly enjoyed.

For this walk I parked at the Fairholmes visit centre (avoiding all the ducks) and walked counter-clockwise round the northern arm of the reservoir, but taking a detour up to Bridge-end Pasture. I had hoped to get views from the ridge of the reservoir to the east but instead got views of the hills to the west and north. The unofficial footpath/bridleway signs near Crookhill Farm did not agree with the map and I ended up off the right of way coming down to the road to Snake Road viaduct. Why do diversion signs always start off OK but then stop as if you’ve had some mystical enlightenment about the rest of the route?

I perched on a concrete bunker by the side of reservoir to have lunch. My hands were so cold I had to eat my first sandwich with one ungloved hand, and then swop over for the second sandwich. I didn’t dawdle because of the cold but the view over the southern end of the reservoir, with Bamford Edge towering above was impressive.

The walk north along the east side was pleasant but uneventful except for stopping to watch sheep dogs being trained. It’s the first time I’ve seen this in real life (not on TV) and it was fascinating; a key part of the farmer’s working life became my recreation.

At the north end of Ladybower, before turning west to get back to the car park, I climbed up the side of Derwent Dam to see it from “above”. Derwent Reservoir was used for practice by the WW2 “Dambusters”.

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right (2019)
2019-04-12 11.29.36
The Fairholmes carpark was home to lots of Mallard ducks. They were so tame, they would take seed from people’s hands.
The path through woods on the west side of the reservoir.
The view across to the east bank.
Looking back at the climb up from the reservoir towards Bridge-end Pasture.
A charming sign for footpaths and bridleways. It seems the Peak & Northern Footpaths Society is still very much in action.
The view over to the west from Bridge-end Pasture.
A wider view of the distant hills.
The Snake Road viaduct and (just) the three arms of Ladybower Reservoir.
The lunchtime view of Bamford Edge.
Looking north.
Looking across to the ridge on the west side which I had walked along earlier.
One of the cloughs that feed in to the reservoir.
The easy track beside the reservoir.
Looking across to the west, with Crook Hill just visible on the skyline towards the left.
The site of Derwent village, lost when the reservoir was filled.
Looking back at the road just walked.
Looking at the woods on the west, with the start of the track I climbed visible at the top of the brighter green clearing.
The south side of Derwent dam.
Derwent dam from the top.

  1. GeoffC

    Nice photos that bring back plenty of memories, we haven’t backpacked there for years now.
    It’s not just the mallards that are tame in the Derwentdale car park, some squirrels have learnt to sit in a begging posture and swish their tails side to side, they know people can’t resist that.
    I’d quite forgotten about the Peak & Northern Footpaths Society, they take their signage seriously.