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My favourite Peak District spot - Ladybower Reservoir

PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 February 2018

Ladybower's dramatic plughole

Ladybower's dramatic plughole

Haider Chishty

16-year-old Shumile Chishty from Sheffield shares with us his favourite spot in the Peak District

Photographs by Haider Chishty

Shumile Chishty Shumile Chishty

From the running of taps to the spray of a garden hose, the majority of our water supply flows from the Ladybower Reservoir.

Derwent Valley Water Board began building Ladybower in 1935 and it wasn’t until ten years later – after construction was delayed, but not halted, by the outbreak of the Second World War – that it was officially opened by King George VI.

Ladybower is one of the finest tourist attractions on the outskirts of Sheffield, a popular destination for cyclists and walkers, it offers anyone keen to observe nature a great spectacle with a vast amount of wildlife, ranging from the trout swimming in the water to birds flying above. In late November, an opaque mist falls upon the lake each morning, creating what some say is an almost mystical blanket. As the sun begins to rise and breaks through the crack in the sky, the fog gradually dissipates revealing the uttermost beauty. In summer, the best time of day is sunset, when the lake reflects a multitude of harlequin colours and slowly the heat hitting your back disappears. These are moments when you can be set free from emotional tensions – the only contact is between you and the sun. Those who visit Ladybower regularly will know that each time they go the experience is different, but it is always uplifting.

It is also an ideal place for photographers as there is always something new to capture. One of the most commonly photographed sights are the ‘plugholes’ – 24m-diameter stone overflows with outlets 4.6m wide. When the running water is being swallowed by them, the scene becomes very dramatic and picturesque.

A place to relax A place to relax

Nearby Ladybower Inn provides a welcoming stop-off point but travel further into the Derwent Valley and you come across the immense Howden dam. When the water is running, its splashing trembles through your chest – a remarkable experience.

Ladybower is one of the most stupendous tourist attractions in the Peak District. For me, the most beautiful time of year is autumn when the trees are covered with citrine leaves, the sight becoming ever more lovely when they blanket the smaller lakes. However, all the seasons show it in a different light and just sitting by the reservoir can be really uplifting. The next time you make a plan to go out with your family or you want to be free from stress, one of the best places to go is Ladybower Reservoir.

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