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Carsington Water short pushchair loop


We’re really lucky to have Carsington Reservoir on our doorstep, but I’ve still never had the energy to do a full eight-mile loop around the outside with baby in tow! This is a short loop using the quiet path beneath the dam wall. If you’re after lunch, the restaurant upstairs at the visitor’s centre is extremely baby friendly, and there’s a fantastic play area for older kids. The reservoir is renowned for bird watching, cycling and sailing – the wind often blows here! NB this walk can also be done in reverse, parking at the main visitor’s centre car park, following the signs out to the dam wall past the sailing club.

  • AREA: Ashbourne
  • DISTANCE: About 2 miles
  • FACILITIES: Toilets, cafe, play areas, dogs welcome on leads
  • PARKING: Millfields car park (pay and display)
  • GRADIENT: Fairly flat
  • TERRAIN: Gravel paths suitable for all-terrain pushchairs
  • OS MAP: White Peak

Ducks aplenty on Carsington Water near Millfields car park - in winter, it's great for watching visiting wildfowl

Ducks aplenty on Carsington Water near Millfields car park – in winter, it’s great for watching visiting wildfowl

The track is a little bumpy but generally good

The track is a little bumpy but generally good

Cyclists on the dam wall viewed from the path below

Cyclists on the dam wall viewed from the path below

  1. From Millfields car park, follow the path along the dam wall towards the visitor’s centre. At the gate, either go straight on for an ice cream at the visitor’s centre (about 300m), or continue the walk by turning left (signposted ‘horse route to Millfields) and carefully crossing the fast, busy road.
  2. Take the right-hand gate and follow the gravel track as it turns back leftwards and heads downhill. Follow it all the way to the base of the dam wall, where it heads right for a while to come to a gate.
  3. Go through the gate and cross the stream. Stay on the main track as it winds back uphill, eventually turning into tarmac just before you reach the main road again. Cross the main road and turn right to return to Millfields car park.

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