The valley and its surrounding moorland contains a wealth of places to explore and enjoy. From majestic reservoirs, quiet forests to the wild open moorland there is something for everyone.
The reservoirs of Derwent and Howden were built nearly 100 years ago to supply nearby cities. Ladybower was completed in 1945 to supply an ever increasing demand. This resulted in the flooding of the villages of Derwent and Ashopton, when water levels are low you may get a glimpse of the village remains! Trout fishing can also be enjoyed on the reservoir.
With the combination of water, woodlands and high moorland, the Upper Derwent has become a unique place for wildlife. Spot uncommon species such as the sandpiper, goshawk or mountain hare! The woodlands are managed for timber, recreation and conservation resulting in a mixture of pure conifer trees and a large amount of valued wildlife. Further up the land becomes more wild where grouse are abound and blanket bogs and breeding birds such as golden plover and merlins can be found.
You can explore all this in a variety of ways. There is a wide range of easy and more challenging routes for cyclists and horse riders (cycle hire is available). On foot you can enjoy waterside walks or strenuous hill walks. Follow the waymarked paths and explore the high moorland which is all Open Access offering a chance for a real adventure!