KID-FRIENDLY WALK | Carsington Water – Derbyshire
Why I love it: Being somewhat incompetent with maps myself, what appeals to me most about this big, circular walk is that you don’t need to worry about directions – you just follow the path and signposts!
Distance: If you’re feeling energetic you can walk around the whole reservoir. This circular walk is about eight miles long and takes roughly two to three hours (not including time at the pub en route!) so might be a bit much for little legs nor is it entirely pram/pushchair friendly. However, there are plenty of other walks that can be done from the same starting point, which would be suitable for buggies and little legs.
Route: For either route, I would recommend starting at the main visitor centre (postcode DE6 1ST). There’s plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities. It’s dog-friendly and there’s a playground and often visiting attractions such as bouncy castles etc. With a pushchair/toddler on reins, I tend to just walk as far as the mood takes us and then double back to the car park.
Terrain: Either side of the visitor centre the paths are fairly flat and smooth. The bigger circular walk has some gentle inclines.
Pram-friendly? The short works are buggy-friendly, but I wouldn’t attempt the 8-mile route with a pram.
What to look out for: Lovely views of the reservoir and lots of nature.
Facilities along the way: The visitor centre has a good range of light refreshments. If you’d rather take your own picnic there’s loads of space, including areas to barbecue. For a slightly more formal option, the café upstairs has lovely views of the reservoir. If you’re not totally shattered after all that, head to nearby Ashbourne or Belper for a potter around. Both have lots of lovely independent shops, cafés, restaurants etc.
Car parking and cost: You can park at the main visitor centre where there is ample parking. It costs £3 for up to two hours or £5 for the day.
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