Fed by the River Derwent, the vast waters of Carsington Water provide a major leisure area in Derbyshire, with sailing, kayaking and boating of all kinds bringing family fun to the water. On the water’s edge, there’s plenty to do too. The surrounding parkland is popular for picnics and family bike rides and it’s just a short drive to the Peak District National Park. Carsington Water provides everything from aquatic fun to outdoor holidays that may also involve hiking, biking, rock-climbing and, of course, camping. There are plenty of good campsites in the local area, with only the best making the Hipcamp shortlist.
Situated between two southern gateways in to the Peak District National Park, Carsington Water offers a handy location – and a charm of its own. This huge reservoir in Derbyshire not only provides water to the county but also watersports. If you’re looking for water’s edge camping in or near the Peak District, take some time to browse campsites in Carsington Water and its surroundings. Whether you want to launch a kayak, try your balance on a paddleboard, spot wildlife on the banks or simply like the views, Carsington Water is a great place to pitch your tent.
Located between the market town of Ashbourne and the former spa town of Matlock, Carsington Water is close to amenities, facilities and attractions. It’s also just a couple of miles from the national park boundary so you can dip in and out of the park almost as easily as dipping in and out of the water. The Peak District has long been a favourite destination for outdoor lovers and has some utterly charming camping and glamping sites from basic stone-walled meadows to places with yurts and shepherds' huts.
It’s not all about the water in Carsington Water – but it makes a sensible place to start. If you’ve chosen this location as your Peak District camping base, you’re probably bringing a kayak, paddleboard, boat or Hope to hiring one. You won’t be disappointed as there are plenty of opportunities on the water. Head for Severn Trent Water’s visitor centre or the neighbouring activity centre to find out what’s on offer when you visit. Activities on the water include paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing but there’s lots to do on land too. The reservoir is surrounded by wildflower meadows and woodland which makes a great habitat for birds. The RSPB have a shop and visitor centre here with information on the latest sightings.
The tracks and trails around Carsington Water would be reason enough to camp in this area but add in the Peak District and it's a hiking, biking and horseriding heaven. The national park includes hundreds of miles of footpaths and bridleways in its 500 square miles of protected landscape so there's plenty to choose from. A popular spot within the easily-reached southern half of the national park, known as the White Peak area, is Dovedale with its famous stepping stones. Further north you’ll find other famous Peak District landmarks including Kinder Scout, Mam Tor and Stanage Edge where climbing and peak-bagging and upland walking among the heather are the order of the day. Carsington Water’s location between Ashbourne and Matlock means there are plenty of Peak District and Derbyshire attractions nearby from the Heights of Abraham country park, cable car rides and caverns to the Crich Tramway Village.
Fed by the River Derwent, the vast waters of Carsington Reservoir provide a major leisure area in Derbyshire, with sailing, kayaking and boating of all kinds bringing family fun to the water. A short drive from the Peak District National Park, Carsington Water provides some aquatic fun to outdoors holidays that may also involve hiking, biking and rock-climbing, as well as, of course, camping.