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Ladybower Reservoir Cycle Route

This scenic family-friendly cycling route takes you around part of Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District's Upper Derwent Valley.


This scenic waterside cycle route, which follows the shores of Ladybower Reservoir, is a great introduction to the Peak District's beautiful Upper Derwent Valley.

The circular route covers half of the reservoir and starts at Fairholmes car park at the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre, where there is pay and display parking and cycle hire facilities (Post code: S33 0AQ).

This relatively flat route has a few hilly sections but is ideal for families, and has plenty of spots for resting or enjoying a picnic.

Ladybower Reservoir was built between 1935 and 1943, and was officially opened by King George VI on 24th September 1945. The villages of Derwent and Ashopton were flooded to create the reservoir and the inhabitants were relocated to Yorkshire Bridge estate, just downstream.

The reservoir is surrounded by stunning countryside with views of water, woodland and dramatic moorland.

Trail directions

Step 1

Exit Fairholmes car park with Ladybower Reservoir on your right. When you reach the roundabout, take a right and head through the set of gates, continuing down the road to Derwent Dam.

Step 2

Follow the road round to the right. This will bring you to the other side of Ladybower Reservoir. Follow this road for roughly 1.5 miles to the end.

Step 3

At the end of the road, follow the gravel path which runs along the eastern edge of Ladybower Reservoir. Go through the gate and continue straight ahead. There are a few hills in this section.

Step 4

After roughly 1.5 miles, this path brings you out onto the A57 Snake Pass road. Take great care as this is a very busy road, but there is a designated cycle path on the pavement that takes you across Ashopton Viaduct on the right. This brings you to the western edge of the Reservoir.

Step 5

Bikes are not permitted on the footpath immediately on the right, so stay on the pavement and pedal up the hill.

Step 6

After passing the layby on your right, where there is a bus stop, ignore the grassy footpath to your right and instead continue along the pavement for the steady uphill and then steady downhill section, which will bring you back to Fairholmes car park.

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