Carsington Water with Iona

Carsington Water, Hognaston:- Trip:10

June 19th-28th



We left home at about 10am and headed towards Derbyshire, I got the sat nav to give us an alternative route via Nottingham, the route took us through Derby city centre which I thought was a mistake but we kept to the inner ring road and it was quite painless.
However from Derby to Ashbourne it was a bit more stressful with a queue forming behind us at one point. It got worse from Ashbourne to Carsington Water as the roads got narrower and twisty, and the Peak District lived up to it’s name with some steep hills. We should not have worried the satnav took us to the right place.


The site was in a field over looking Carsington Water, and it gave us great views of the surrounding valley. Once the camp was setup we did not travel anywhere, it was so hot, with all the windows open the internal temperature was 30c. The fridge was struggling to get below 10c so I took the covers off in the hope the the slight breeze would dispel all the hot air around the  pipes. We have parked so the fridge does not get midday sun on the vents, but the ambient heat is the problem.
The bar-b-que came out and I cooked tea which we ate outside in the sunshine.


Day 2:
The weather has changed slightly. There is a wind from the north cooling everyone down. The fridge is down to 4.5c but it is still struggling a little. With the cooler temperature we have decided to go for a walk to see the visitor centre by Carsington Water.


We set off at about 10.30am to the visitor centre but before we quite got there we came across the marked circular route, there were also directions to the wildlife centre so we turned left and set off. The wildlife centre was basically a viewing area and on our visit a small party of school children were getting a talk from one of the Rangers. 

Ducks on a Bird table


We left them to it and for some unknown reason continued on our walk around the reservoir. We took Grace Bear,(from Spinney Motorhomes) and took a pic at the 5km marker for the website. We came to a point where a sign said 5 miles to the visitor centre, so we had walked 3.5 miles already, we decided to go for the full 8.5 mile walk. 

Grace Bear at the 5km marker


The walking was on very good paths that were also used by cycles, so you had to be aware of them approaching from behind.  The first few miles were fairly level but this changed as we rounded the far end of the reservoir. The paths climbed up the valley sides and it seemed there were more ups than downs. We passed the 9km post and diverted down the footpath which lead to an old barn that was full of wooden furniture carved or made from tree trunks. There was a table and chair, two armchairs, a piano, a TV, standard lamp, fireplace even a picture.



3.5 miles into our short walk.

 We continued our journey and came to a visitor centre that was really only spotlessly clean toilets and a tea bar that was not open. This lead to the dam across the valley which felt like a mile long on it’s own . 

Eventually we reached the other end and the visitor centre where we sat down and had an ice cream cone each. There are a few shops in the centre but we will come back another day to see them and walk over to the Stones Island. We arrived back at the van just after 3pm. Four and a half hours and nine miles of walking done.

The Dam

 The weather has changed again, there is thick cloud, a northerly wind and a mist rolling in. The wind turbines on the hill are now shrouded in mist. Not to be put off, out came the Cadac (bar-b-que) and I cooked lamb steaks in a foil parcels, sausages, mini corn, with a couple of  tapas portions and a salad. We sat outside and ate but we were soon back inside. 

Day 3:
Today is the Longest Day. There was Sunshine this morning , with a cloudy day ahead but hot with a possible thunderstorm this afternoon. The ice cream parlour at the visitor centre is calling already. We are planning to call in later when we go for a walk, but not 8.5 miles today. Well things changed we stayed by the van most of the day making the most of the sun. We met a couple, John and Angela, who had an Imala 620 that they also bought from Spinney Motorhomes and we had a good chat with them. They have got a gas-it system (refillable gas bottles) fitted so I was interested in hearing about how it worked for them.
A day chilling in the heat


We had a rain shower mid afternoon but no thunderstorm as forecast. Another bar-b-que tonight now that it has stopped raining and sunny intervals are back. The evening turned out very calm and warm, the bar-b-que went well with great burgers, chicken and large Bratwurst sausages. 
We sat outside until about 23.30 and it was still warm in T shirt and shorts. The longest day now over for another year.
Day 4:
We woke this morning to patchy sunshine and wind. So we decided that today we would walk to the reservoir visitors centre and have a look at the shops. Our first port of call was Stones Island which is joined to the mainland and it has a sculpture of stones that have viewing holes that face various features around the island.

The Stone Sculpture


The Centre Stone



Looking through one of the stones


We had a walk along the shoreline and then made our way to look at the shops and we sat in the plaza and Sue tried another flavour of ice cream, Butterscotch and Pecan. I was tempted to look at the Tilley hats but at £67 they were soon back on the display, again I was tempted by some Regatta jackets and trousers but now I know what the fabric is like I can search eBay for a better price.

We finished the visit with a walk through the main exhibition  explained the reservoir in detail from how many football pitches it covers, 700, to the maximum depth of 31m or 7 double deck buses. There were also interactive pieces for children and adults explaining how Severn Trent Water works to provide eco friendly water treatment and energy. 

We left for Iona as the sky had darkened and the wind had got stronger, by the time we got settled down and put the kettle on it started to rain although it was more like hail but it did not last long. 
The weather did brighten up enough for a final meal outside before we retired back inside in the warm.

Heading home today after a good break. We had put the windbreak away last night so it did not take too long to get loaded. We left Carsington at 11.30am and we were home in two hours. Our next outing is to Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds.
Trip 10: Distance 134 miles, 27.1 mpg, av speed 29mph

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