Our Visitor Sites

Carsington Water

Located between Wirksworth and Kniveton, Carsington Water takes water through the tunnels and aqueduct straight from the River Derwent. Carsington Water has everything you need for a great day out, with plenty of activities and things to do.

How to find us

Big Lane
DE6 1ST.

This is the address for the Visitor Centre and the main car park.

The visitor centre is open every day (except for Christmas day).

Visitor centre opening times

April to September

October to March

Car park opening times

April to September

October to March

Pay for your parking when you're ready to leave the car park. Thanks to our Automatic Number Plate Recognition system which will capture vehicle registration numbers on entry to the Carsington Visitor Centre Car Park, Sheepwash Car Park and Millfields Car Park, you can leave paying until after your visit.

Car park opening times and charges are as follows:

Card and cash payments accepted

To make a payment at the end of your stay either use one of the terminals, pay online or via the Trust app available on iOS and Android. If paying online you’ll have 24 hours from your exit time to do so.

Please do ensure that you pay for your parking. If you don’t, you will face a fine that will be issued via Group Nexus, our new car park managers.

You have 15 minutes free parking from when you arrive on site but be sure to check your arrival time, as once the 15 minutes are up, you'll need to pay.

Parking charges apply for blue badge holders.


Most of the tracks around Carsington Water are surfaced and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

2 trampers are available for free to use on a first come, first served basis.

Wheelchairs are available from reception, refundable deposit needed. You can view our accessibility guide for more information.

Our team have also created a sensory guide for visitors with cognitive disabilities.

We have a changing place toilet which is located in the visitor centre courtyard and can be reached from the rear of the centre from 07:30 to 18:30 every day. The door requires a RADAR key and but one can be borrowed from the reception, which is open from 10:00 until 17:00 every day

At this site you're welcome to walk your furry friend. Due to the nature and wildlife on site you will need to keep your dog on a lead at all times.


General information

Some fun facts about Carsington Water

  • Carsington Water is the ninth largest reservoir in England.
  • At its highest level the reservoir can hold 7,800 million gallons of water.
  • When full, the reservoir is 31 metres deep – the height of seven double decker buses.
  • The site was officially opened by the Queen in May 1992.
  • The Kugel stone - this granite stone weighs one tonne and revolves on a thin film of water which is pumped into the granite socket it sits in.

Educational visits

School groups: In partnership with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, Carsington Water provides facilities for school groups to visit the site and learn more about the water and its wildlife. School visits can be organised by contacting the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust or by calling them on 01773 881188.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust also host regular events including nature tots and family forest school.

If you are bringing a class to exhibition then please make sure you contact the reception team to book.

Carsington Water is a Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction