CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Derbyshire Life today CLICK HERE

5 great waterside walks in Derbyshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 25 July 2018

River Wye, Bakewell

River Wye, Bakewell

sally mosley

These circular walks by rivers and reservoirs are perfect for warmer weather



Surrounded by 200 acres of woodland, parkland and beautifully-kept formal gardens, Elvaston Castle Country Park is a paradise for the public to enjoy. This interesting walk combines a wander round Elvaston’s maze of paths – where you can detour to the pretty lake – with a section of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way through riverside meadows.

DISTANCE: 6 miles

TERRAIN: Four stiles, three gates and several sets of steps.

MAP: OS Explorer 259 – Derby


Derwent DamDerwent Dam


Escape to the hills in the Upper Derwent Valley, often thought of as: ‘Derbyshire’s Lake District’. Start with a flying visit to the famous Derwent Dam and an amble along the reservoir road, before ascending through a woodland plantation to Lockerbrook Heights, where you are rewarded with amazing views. After a wander over elevated pasture, the route descends Hagg Side to finish with a stroll along the shoreline path of Ladybower.

DISTANCE: 5.5 miles

TERRAIN: Five gates, woodland paths and stony tracks with trip hazards. Steep slopes and paths close to deep water in reservoirs.

MAP: OS Explorer OL1 – Dark Peak 


Chesterfield CanalChesterfield Canal


This is a relatively long but fairly easy-going walk, enlivened by pools, ponds and a canal. Although never far from urban areas of Chesterfield and its suburbs, the route is surprisingly rural and scenic, passing nature reserves, lakes and parkland, and through a long stretch of old established woodland.

DISTANCE: 8 miles

TERRAIN: Two gates, six stiles, numerous steps and close promixity to deep water.

MAP: OS Explorer 269 – Chesterfield and Alfreton




Offering a chance to admire part of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, this walk near Belper wanders through riverside meadows, meanders along quiet lanes and ascends an old path where you are rewarded with views across the valley. Along the way see how the River Derwent has been shaped and is swollen by a succession of weirs and sluices, and marvel at the old mills, early industrial factories and housing, often sympathetically preserved alongside modern counterparts.

DISTANCE: 6.25 miles

TERRAIN: Seven stiles, three gates, several sets of steps and uneven terrain. Some sections without pavements.

MAP: OS Explorer 259 – Derby


Coalpit Bridge, BakewellCoalpit Bridge, Bakewell


This scenic walk from Bakewell includes riverside stetches, historic buildings and elevated footpaths. Part way round, a highlight is the aerial view down onto the River Wye and the weirs of Lathkill Dale. Stop for refreshments on route at the Lathkil Hotel – famed for its far-reaching views – and end your walk with a wander round the shops and a well-deserved slice of Bakewell Pudding.

DISTANCE: 6.5 miles

TERRAIN: 10 stiles and 10+ gates as well as uneven terrain.

MAP: OS Explorer OL24



Related articles

More from Out & About

A ten-minute drive from the western edge of Sheffield brings thrill-seekers to a Derbyshire valley where outdoor activities are thriving.

Read more

Andrew Griffiths meets Jim Dixon, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Peak District National Park.

Read more

This walk offers a dance with the Dove and a meander by the Manifold, whilst along the way passing a church, castle remains, country houses and a hollow way

Read more

With winter on the horizon, trees glow with colour, migratory birds arrive and house spiders set off in search of a mate

Read more

Ann Hodgkin investigates a case of the sincerest form of flattery… or industrial espionage!

Read more

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s vision is of landscapes rich in wildlife, valued by everyone. They will achieve this 
by pursuing their mission of creating Living Landscapes. Here Julia Gow, the White Peak Reserve Officer at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust tells us about the reserve above the River Wye

Read more

Nigel Powlson visits Sudbury where a shopping courtyard is attracting even more visitors to this quintessential English village

Read more

If you’re walking in the Peak District, the chances are that you could encounter a reservoir at some point during your ramble. There are dozens of resevoirs dotted around all corners of the national park, we pick some of our favourite walks from our archive.

Read more
Peak District

A five-year Heritage Lottery-funded scheme, launched in 2010, was designed to encourage the restoration and conservation of the distinctive landscape character of a large area of north-east Derbyshire.

Read more

Enjoy the wonder of woodland in our glorious Derwent Valley on this park and ride special.

Read more

Paul Hobson reveals some of the fascinating wildlife there is to be found in this month of transition

Read more

From far away constellations to gas clouds, our night skies are bursting with natural wonders – if you know where to look... Viv Micklefield goes stargazing in Derbyshire

Read more

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust works across six Living Landscapes with 46 nature reserves to ensure there is wildlife and wild places for everyone. Reserve officer Sam Willis tells us about one of his favourite places – Ladybower Wood Nature Reserve

Read more

A multi-million pound makeover attracts more leading brands to one of the UK’s biggest shopping destinations

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Topics of Interest

Local Business Directory

Property Search