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An easy walk through pleasant countryside with excellent views over Carsington Water one of Derbyshire’s newest and most popular tourist attractions. The walk along the dam wall affords good views over the reservoir, often busy with sailing craft, particularly at weekends and during the summer.

After visiting the attractive little village of Hognaston the route climbs steadily through a series of fields to Upper Town, before visiting the Knockerdown Inn which in 2000 won the prestigious Family Pub of the Year award.

The view over Carsington Water, where Severn Trent has planted half a million trees and shrubs in woodlands, copses and hedgerows is stunning. A wide range of wildlife has been attracted to the area and a visit to the Carsington Wildlife Centre should not be missed.


Length:  4 miles.

Start/finish:  Carsington Water Visitor Centre.

Location:  Off B5035 Ashbourne to Wirksworth road from the north and off the A517 Ashbourne to Belper road to the south.

Terrain:  Undulating ground but very wet in places.


1.    From the Visitor Centre Car Park follow the signed path to Millfields passing the sailing club on the way and walking along the dam wall.

2.    As Millfields is approached keep to the right going through a gap in the bushes to reach an opening in the fence, cross the road and walk down the service road opposite.

3.    Follow the winding road down the hillside to join a gravelled path leading past some Severn Trent settlement tanks on the right.

4.    Continue along the track until at the bottom of a dip turn left through a gate up a tree lined path with a stream on the left.

5.    Go right at the top into a lane and follow it round past a ford and several cottages to the main road through Hognaston.

6.    Turn right up the street past the Red Lion to take the second footpath sign on the right by a house named Longacre. The path bends back behind the houses before following the hedge down a field to cross a stile close to the right corner.

7.    Continue up the field going through a stile near the top corner on the right and through the gateway on the right in the next field.

8.    Now keeping quite close to the hedge on the left go up the field to cross a stile. Still keeping close to the hedge continue up the next field until it widens where you carry straight on to a stile.

9.    In the next field aim to the right of an electricity pylon to a stile by a gateway, turn right down a rough track to the ‘old road.’

10.  The path to the Knockerdown Inn continues straight ahead to the Hognaston By-pass, across two further fields before returning by the same route to the ‘old road’.

11.   Walk down the ‘old road’ and within about 100 yards of joining the by-pass turn left at a stile by the side of the road.

12.   Angle to the right across two fields and then keeping close to the fence on the right cross two more fields to go over a stile in the bottom right hand corner.

13.   Turn left along the gravelled track for a few yards and then fork right to the Carsington Water Wildlife Centre.

14.   Retrace your steps back along the track to the Visitor Centre.

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Middleton Top (Tel. 01629 823204) the Visitor Centre tells the story of the Cromford and High Peak Railway. Shop facilities and cycle hire available. The Engine House opens on a limited basis. Ring for details.

The High Peak Trail: formerly a railway track now resurfaced for the benefit of walkers and cyclists.

Harborough Rocks located just off the High Peak Trail half a mile to the east of Brassington, where the caves in the rocks have yielded remains from the Stone Age, and evidence of occupation during the Iron Age and Roman occupation.  


The Knockerdown Inn (Tel. 01629 540209) award winning 17th century inn overlooking Carsington Water. Restaurant and bar meals served. Large garden and children’s play area.

Interesting collection of rare animals. Open for lunch and evening meals every day of the week. Meals available all day in the summer season

Carsington Water Visitor Centre Restaurant (Tel. 01629 540363) occupies an enviable position with excellent views across Carsington Water from the Visitor Centre. Provides a wide range of hot and cold meals. Open every day.



Provides a wide range of features  with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.


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A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:

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The attractive old village of Hognaston stands on a hillside overlooked by Hognaston Wynn, which protects it from the north. It has been in existence for at least one thousand years.

The first settlers were attracted by a plentiful supply of spring water, marked by a series of wells along the road through the village.

It used to be a busy place in coaching days when the London to Manchester coaches passed through the village.

The village has been restored to its former rural peace and calm by the building of a by-pass with the construction of Carsington Reservoir.

Officially opened by HM the Queen in 1992, Carsington Water instantly became one of Derbyshire’s most important tourist attractions.

Hognaston Feature



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