Carsington Water is a popular Water Sports centre/ visitor attraction really close to Wirksworth. There are buses, it’s a short drive, or if you’re feeling energetic, you can walk as there are public footpaths to the close end of the reservoir, but the Visitors’ Centre is the far side of the Water.
Carsington Water has been a very popular visitor attraction since the reservoir was opened by the Queen in May 1992.
The reservoir is owned and operated by Severn Trent Water and is part of a ‘water compensation’ scheme. This means that water is pumped here from the River Derwent at times of high rainfall, stored in the reservoir and returned to the Derwent when the river level would otherwise be too low to allow water extraction for treatment (and drinking) further downstream. No water is actually extracted from Carsington Water itself.
There is a Visitor Centre which has within it a permanent exhibition explaining the role of water in our daily lives, and a wide range of facilities including shops selling souvenirs, craft items, embroidery materials, ceramics, books etc and a cafe and restaurant. There is wheelchair access.
Carsington is a favourite place for sailing, water sports, or simply enjoying the wonders of nature while walking.
A remarkable centrepiece of the courtyard is the Kugel Stone, a ball of granite weighing over 1 tonne and which revolves on a thin film of water under pressure. It can be moved with the touch of your hand! There is a classroom within the courtyard offering pre-booked schools a full day of activities to complement school based work on a variety of themes relating to water and the environment.
Carsington Water is a local centre for outdoor activities – there is a sailing club active next door to the Visitor Centre, and there are many opportunities for walking and cycling around the reservoir and the surrounding villages. Cycle hire is available and there is plentiful car parking (with charges). For young children there is a children’s playground near the visitor centre.
There is also a wide range of water sport activities at Carsington Water – more detail on their Website here.