A winter walk around Carsington Water (39054)
This is a moderate day walk of around 8 miles starting from Carsington Water, taking us through the picturesque villages of Hopton, Kirk Ireton and returning back to Carsington.
This is a moderate day walk starting from Carsington Water and going through the picturesque villages of Kirk Ireton, Hopton and Carsington.
History of Carsington
The earliest occupation of the Carsington area dates back to around 2000 BC. A Bronze Age barrow (burial mound) was discovered near to the site of the Visitor Centre and during excavations in 1986 the archaeologists found human remains and a scatter of flints, including knives and scrapers. Pollen from those times was also found, showing that during the Bronze Age the landscape was mostly covered with hazel, oak, lime and other trees that were tolerant of boggy conditions.
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 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.
What to bring
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: Walking socks are often overshadowed by those new to hiking, with many novices failing to invest in proper socks. Good walking socks are essential in regards to keeping the feet dry, and in turn stopping the development of blisters. Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking will often become waterlogged, or damaged which will in turn blister feet.
Gators: Gators attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping the feet dry.
Walking Trousers: Walking trousers should be of a windproof design and made of a rip stop material, that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth. They should also ideally be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet. Jeans are therefore to be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall. Walker’s should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable, in order to avoid being soaked with sweat.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton T-Shirt is sufficient.
Mid Layer: A Mid Layer goes on top of the base layer and should consist of a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby typed thick shirt. The layering system is important as it allows walkers to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature.
Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. This is the final layer and walkers should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. The best hats are those of a fleece design, with wool also being acceptable.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months as walkers will require the usage of their fingers for various activities such as map reading. Windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres with equipment being placed in water proof bags inside.
Emergency Equipment: A number of items should be taken in case problems occur whilst walking in the hills. Emergency equipment becomes of greater importance the further from civilisation walkers are. Equipment should include spare food stuffs of high energy, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire, either storm proof matches or a firelighter.
Food & Water: At least two litres of water should be brought for each day hiking, with more being taken if cooking is required. Enough food for the duration of a walk should also be taken. Food should be of the high energy variety, with hot food being able to be eaten raw if necessary.
Map & Compass: A map of the area being walked in is essential as well as a compass. The map should be in a waterproof bag or be of a waterproof design.
Mobile Phone: A mobile phone should also be brought and kept in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies.
Food & Drink
Please bring any food/snacks with you for the walk, and hot flask too.
We'll stop for lunch in the village of Kirk Ireton, or just beforehand. Those who fancy a mid walk drink we can visit the Barley Mow Inn.
The listed 17th-century Jacobean building has not changed for centuries, and has been an Inn since around 1800. This charming inn has lots of character with a small beamed bar, tiled floors and wall seats with tables made from reclaimed billiard tables. A small serving hatch reveals a stillage with upto 6 real ales dispensed straight from the cask. You won't find draught beer on tap here!
The Stables shop next to the pub serves sandwiches, fresh baked pies, pasties and cakes so if you do forget your butties the shop is ideal.
*Please note the pub doesn't serve food*
Meeting & Times
My First Day Walk
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