Thursday 30 June 2011

Kayaking on Carsington Water

My personal challenge for this round of Miss Jenny Matlock's alphabe-Thursday is to post about a location within the borders of my own county of Derbyshire, UK, for each letter of the alphabet.
Look for the letter, to see where I am.

K is for kayaking at Carsington Water.
There are lots of  places I could have chosen for K (Kirk Ireton, Kirk Langley, Kniveton, Kedleston, Kings Newton...) but it was just too much of a co-incidence that the letter K rolled round four days after Ben and I spent the weekend at Carsington Water doing a kayak course.

It is beginning to feel like Carsington Water has been here forever, but it is actually only the same age as my eldest son; 19. Before construction was begun, some of the land which is now flooded belonged to my aunt and uncle's dairy farm. It's funny to think that I have walked around on what is now the bottom of the reservoir.

The reservoir draws water from the River Derwent when levels are high and returns water to that river when levels are low. It holds 7,800 million gallons, is the ninth largest reservoir in Britain and, by regulating the Derwent, supplies water to 3 million people across the East Midlands. At its deepest, it is 31m deep and the perimeter is around 8 miles.

As well as supplying drinking water, the reservoir is a centre for watersports, with a purpose built Watersport Centre on the shores of the bay...

...close by the main Visitor Centre.

All of the kayaks are Pyranhas; short manoeuvrable boats like the ones used on rivers, rather than the longer tourers or sea kayaks.

I spent the two days in a blue Acro-bat kayak. Ben switched from an orange and yellow G:3 on Saturday to the blue on Sunday; just for a change.

Just to confuse you, the paddle by the kayak is actually a canoe paddle, not the one for the kayak, but we did finish off our weekend with about 2 hours in the Canadian canoes, applying the kayak strokes to the open top craft.

Oh look! THERE'S a kayak paddle! (and the drums stacked up behind are used for raft building)

 All of the instruction happened in the relatively calm water of the bay close to the centre, but Sunday began with a journey round the shores of the reservoir, heading out through the gap between the shore and the island. Crossing the entrance to the sailing club was interesting; a bit like waiting to cross a dual carriageway on a bike! Sunday was HOT and the Water was busy with sailing boats of all shapes and sizes.

The final length of the journey was across the end of the lake following the orange buoys, just beyond the windsurfers in the photo above.

The buoys mark the end of the area accessible by boats (except fishermen) because the whole northern end of the Water is a nature reserve and that is definitely the best end to walk round!



  1. I spent a week at kniveton when the boys were young, and had a day trip to carsington water. it had been a wet day and somehow or other I slipped over backwards and had a muddy backside for the whole day I was there. do I remember a floating marble globe in the main buildings area?

  2. It does seem as if it has always been there doesn't it? You are all very energetic - the Kayaking looks like great fun!

  3. I've walked around the water and been there on a a school trip and taken school groups too but the water sports side of things does not appeal to me at all! Some lovely photos!

  4. Aha! So that's where they were. Been wondering.

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend, H. AND good weather is such a blessing.

  5. What a great K post. All those places and Kayak too.

  6. Xcellent idea ! Kayak ! would never have thought of this word ! A pity that Carsington Water is not written with a K, lol !

  7. We spent a fantastic weekend camping by Carsington Water. We had a fantastic view from the tent :-)

  8. You must be very fit! Thank you for the lesson in recognising the correct paddles.

  9. You have actually kayaked?! I'm filled with admiration and Carsington Water looks wonderful. It's a while since we visited Derbyshire. I blogged about our home town, Leicester, for the AtoZ Blog Challenge in April. It's good to have a focus.

  10. Xcllnt blg H. Wht re ll ths flwrs n th fr bnk H? Dss? Srry my vwll kys r brkn H.

  11. I love kayaks! A friend of mine has a couple and I love paddling about looking at the sights and enjoying the water.

    Great "K" post..

  12. adventurous one.

    love the thoughts of it. keep sailing.

  13. What a beautiful place, and what a great way to spend four lovely days. I have never kayaked, despite having lived near great kayaking water. Many friends here go sea-kayaking, but I stick to fresh water canoeing.

  14. This is a terrific K post! Kayaking looks like so much fun. Was the water cold? Just curious!

  15. It must have been beautiful going down the water. I'm a better sailor than kayaker, but it is fun, (until I get wet!) isn't it?


  16. What a lovely place to learn to kayak. Did you like it? Was it hard? Did you get sore?

    I keep telling my husband I want to learn how to do seems s neat to glide silently through the water.

    Although I doubt the lakes we would find to try it would be anywhere as scenic as yours!

    You live in such a lovely place.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!


  17. This looks like fun, learning to kayak... It must not have been fun for your aunt and uncle to lose some of their dairy farm, though... were they compensated?