Alport Castles from Fairholmes and Derwent Valley

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You can start this walk either at Fairholmes car park (where there are facilities but it is pay and display), or at either of the two free car parks to the south on the Derwent Valley road.

Either way, the walk soon starts climbing away from Ladybower Reservoir, through woodland to Rowlee Pasture and the high ridge above the Derwent Valley. Needless to say, the views in all directions are stunning. Soon the ridge swings right into Birchinlee Pasture - good moorland walking - before reaching Alport Castles.

The northern end of Alport Castles is a good place to stop for a rest, but when you're done, a Land-Rover track takes us back down to the Derwent Valley and Howden Reservoir. Here, you could wait for one of the regular shuttle buses to take you back to the start, but even though it's on tarmac, the walking back to Fairholmes is splendid and the road is usually closed to all but buses. After we pass the first dam, we are now walking beside Derwent Reservoir. Soon we reach the impressive Derwent Dam, once used by the Dambusters as a practice run and now home to the Dambusters Museum (in the west tower).

Dog owners, please note the presence of sheep, a couple of dog-unfriendly stiles and a stretch of cliff-edge walking. Also, whilst on the road by the reservoirs, there will be cyclists aplenty, along with the occasional shuttle bus.

October 2008. PLEASE NOTE Mark's comment about the path at waymark 5 and the car park being closed. Sam has confirmed with the Rights of Way Officer that the bridleway in question will be closed until 3rd January. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy way round. Sam will check the situation again in the new year.

England - Central England - Derbyshire - Peak District


Ancient Monument, Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Moor, Museum, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
8/14/2017 - Paul Cuffling

A nice walk apart from the last four km which is all tarmac around the reservoir. Some simply stunning views once you get up onto the moors. Top tip would be to get to the Fairholme car park early as by the time we returned (1330hrs) the place was absolutely rammed.

3/1/2015 - Janet Pickard

Did this walk on 28th February on a blustery day. The view from the top walking up to Alport Castles was stunning but hard going with the wind against us and extra layers had to go on. I can only remember having to clim 1 stile at WM7. The rest had gates in addition so if you're not a fan of stiles this is a good one for you. Another note. The shuttle bus doesn't run in the winter. We didn't arrive back at Fairholmes until 5 p.m. and the facilities and refreshments were still open so that was a bonus. All instructions were absolutely spot on still. Thank you once again for another wonderful walk.

9/4/2012 - Di Farrell

Did this hike August with my 2 dogs and 2 grandaughters (9 and 10). They loved it and we were all alone till we hit the reservoir at point 12. Actually that's not quite true, we met a huge grouse shoot at point 10 who asked if we'd wait whilst the beaters came thro' (they hadn't started yet). When I was told they'd take 45 mins I declined the offer as we'd be at point 11 and in the woods in 10 mins. They took it well and chatted to us as we passed - more than I can say for Lincolnshire shooters! Yes there are sheep but no probs with the stiles. Di Farrell

1/28/2009 - Walkingworld Administrator

Rights of Way Officer from Derbyshire has confirmed that this path is all open again now.

10/13/2008 - Mark Jerrom

Attempted the walk at the weekend (12/10/2008) but the way is closed at waypoint 5 (the Bridge End car park is also closed) due to some Forestry Commission work - I think the sign said that it would be closed until January 2009.

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