Derwent Reservoir

Derwent Reservoir

Walk Summary

A simple part circuit of Derwent Reservoir from Pow Hill Country Park to the far side of Derwent Reservoir's dam and then back again. Great views and good paths throughout.

Distance: 4 miles
Total ascent: 240ft
Walk Rating: ****
Parking: Pow Hill Country Park
Route: Download Route [GPX]

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Walk Report

After enjoying a few solo outings on the hills during the first half of our family holiday in Stanhope I wanted somewhere we could take Barry, our nine month old cavapoo, for a reasonable length walk. We had been taking him on walks above Ashes Quarry and down along the riverside in Stanhope but I wanted something that was more of an outing.

So it was that on the Thursday morning we drove the 15 minutes over the moors to the Pow Hill Country Park above Derwent Reservoir. We parked at the pay and display car park by the cafe. As we soon discovered there is actually free parking further down the hill which is something to keep in mind.

"We stopped for a little snack, the local ducks looked like they would come and scrounge but kept their distance from Barry who it must be said was very well behaved having never seen a duck before."

The walk itself doesn't need a huge amount of description. Before heading for the main path along the reservoir we had a little bimble around the woods of Pow Hill. I'd been told there was a red squirrel population but we didn't see any. Having Barry with us probably didn't help!

Once we'd accessed the main path at the foot of the bottom car park we simply followed it anti-clockwise towards the dam. It was an absolutely beautiful morning, by far the best that we'd had on the holiday so far. Not long after crossing a stream at a footbridge we came to a small picnic area at the southern end of the dam. We stopped for a little snack, the local ducks looked like they would come and scrounge but kept their distance from Barry who it must be said was very well behaved having never seen a duck before.

Crossing over the dam the views now included Edmundbyers Common and Muggleswick Park, there was also a brief glimpse of the River Derwent in the trees down to our right. After passing the valve tower we reached another picnic area at the northern end of the dam. Here we decided to turn around and retrace our steps. The reservoir path does continue to another couple of parking areas but that would have just meant a longer return.

This was a lovely family walk and it is clearly a popular local beauty spot without being too busy. At the same time it is a shame that there is not a path around the whole reservoir for those who would like to do the full circuit.

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