Carsington Water is one of the loveliest, most family-friendly places to hang out in Derbyshire. It’s a fairly new reservoir and Severn Trent Water had the foresight to build a traffic-free cycle and walking path the whole way around, with bird hides to visit, an amazing playground at the visitor’s centre, and a top-notch family restaurant there, too. There are also lots of organised sports activities. It’s not just popular with migrating birds, though – summer holidays here are busy so my tip is go early when the water is still, the sun is breaking through the mist, and the fishermen are reeling in their slippery catches. Then have breakfast in the cafe and play on the swings. As far as directions go, just start at the visitor centre and follow the signs and you can’t really go wrong.
- AREA: Ashbourne
- DISTANCE: 8 miles
- FACILITIES: Toilets, cafe, restaurant, baby change, playground at the visitor’s centre/li>
- BIKE HIRE: Yes. Trailers and bike seats also available. Call 01629 540478.
- PARKING: Pay and display at the visitor’s centre
- TERRAIN: Entirely traffic-free, moderately hilly
- WHAT BIKE: Hybrids, mountain bikes or touring bikes