Exploring Derwent Dam At Ladybower Reservoir

8 April 2019

Ladybower Reservoir is one of my favourite places to visit in the Peak District. It's a Y-shaped reservoir located in the Upper Derwent Valley of the Peak District that was built between 1935 and 1943, and opened on 24th September 1945 by King George VI. In the 1900's the Ladybower Dam was raised in order to reduce the risk of overtopping in a flood. The scenery around the reservoir is not to be missed, with beautiful views from the top of Bamford edge, across the heather strewn moorlands and woodland areas.

I visited Ladybower Reservoir for the first time last year around late summer, when there was a sea of purple heather growing wild upon the rolling hills. It was a slightly drizzly day, which was much needed after all the hot weather, and there was a mist sweeping in through the trees creating a mystical and magical atmosphere around the woodland area surrounding Derwent Dam.

Our second visit to Ladybower was throughout autumn, back in last November after our walk around Snake Woodland. We were driving along the road beside the reservoir, which was surrounded by the last of the golden autumn trees, and saw the low water levels due to the long heatwave we had throughout summer. We were just amazed by it and by the looks of it so was everyone else who had parked their cars beside the reservoir to walk across the mud where the water was once flowing along. And so just a month back, when I heard that the water levels had risen again and that the dam was in full flow, I just couldn't resist going back again.

We parked the car at Fairholmes Visitor Centre, which is a great place for car parking and finding out more about the walks around the reservoir, and headed off into the woods towards the dam. We could hear the sound of rushing water as we wandered along the path amongst the trees and when we walked around the corner, the sight of the dam in full flow was just incredible. It was starting to rain again and the winds were getting stronger as we went to see the dam up close. I've seen waterfalls before but nothing like this, it was just incredible! After taking photos and filming the waterfall, we walked up to the west tower along the wooded path and stopped to take in the views from the top of the dam which were even more beautiful. But the rain was pouring down and my poor camera was starting to fog up and so we headed back to the car and dove back through the Peak District to dry off and grab a coffee. Ladybower Reservoir is certainly one of my top places to visit in the Peak District and I'll be sure to visit again soon.

About Ladybower Reservoir 
Fairholmes Visitor Centre

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