Peak District National Park, Derwent Dam

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OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Peak District National Park's Derwent Dam leaflet. Through text and audio descriptions of the map and icons, this version interprets the single-sided document that Derwent Dam visitors receive. The leaflet is part of the Miles without Stiles - Easy Access Routes program, and it primarily focuses on access, orientation, and mobility around the Derwent Reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley in the north of Derbyshire.

This audio version lasts about 10 minutes which we have divided into 9 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience.

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OVERVIEW: Derwent Dam

Welcome to the Peak District National Park, Derwent Reservoir audio described walks which is a companion to the paper and online versions of the Maps and Walking Guides which have been designed to enhance your visit, and can be downloaded as a podcast version, allowing you to pause or skip forward as you prefer. Both audio described walks are accessible either as a standard MP3, or with Apple or Android accessibility programmes. The features described are intended to facilitate the best inclusive engagement with your surroundings and allow you to plan your route based on any physical or sensory accessibility points that are important to you.

The Audio Walk for the Derwent Dam has two routes; a short and largely flat 500 metre route from the car park to the base of the lower dam which is accessible to all visitors, and a longer two mile route accessible to many visitors to the Abbey Wood viewpoint towards the upper dam. Both descriptions cover accessibility, features of interest and suggestions to get the best out of the walks for sensory or physically challenged visitors. Each audio tour is divided into sections structured around interesting features, directional markers and terrain considerations.

There is generally a poor mobile signal along each walk, for those visitors using assistance apps such as Be My Eyes, or Seeing AI. (a thought will the park add navilens markers to signposts stiles etc?) but obviously the park is not responsible for the quality or coverage of mobile bandwidth.

Please note Guide and Affiliated Assistance Dogs are allowed on this walk but must be kept on a lead in the areas where livestock are grazing and must stick to the paths between March and September to avoid disturbing ground-nesting birds. Please bag and bin your dog's poo.

If you want to know more about how to get to the start point for each walk go to page, or for any general queries about the park or how to find other audio described walks in the Peak District email us on or call us 01629 816200

Alternatively you might like to explore these links for wider information about the Peak District National Park. These links lead to accessible websites if you are using text to speech programmes.

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TEXT: Access Routes

Explore the drama of the Derwent Valley and the home of the Dambusters with the option of Tramper off-road powered wheelchairs and cycle hire. 

Local traffic on the road sections of the route.

Access For All Route:
1. Descend the tarmac paths by the visitor centre to meet the road.
2. Turn right down the road and cross the bridge to meet a turning area and path on the left.
3. Pass through the gap at the side of the gate and continue to the base of the dam tower and interpretation panels.

Access For Many Route:
1. Continue up the road to the top of the hill.
2. Turn left at the road junction and continue at a less steep gradient to the gate at the top of the dam where the tarmac finishes and the path levels out.
3. Continue along the side of the reservoir, stopping where the path begins to descend.

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TEXT: Facts about Derwent Dam

Each fact is listed next to a circular brown icon with an "i" in the middle.

  • The River Derwent is Derbyshire’s and the Peak District’s major river.
  • The RAF’s celebrated 617 squadron flew practice sorties here with their ‘bouncing bombs’ in preparation for their epic 1943 raid on the dams of the German Ruhr.
  • The twin-towered dam is at its most impressive when the water cascades over it.

Information not on the brochure:

  • The Derwent reservoirs store drinking water for East Midlands cities including Derby, Nottingham, and Leicester.

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IMAGES: Miles without Stiles icons

DESCRIBING: Two small and circular icons, indicating that this map's area has Access for All and an Access For Many routes

IMAGE 1 of 2: Access for All logo

DESCRIBING: Purple circular logo. 

SYNOPSIS: White circle with a purple circle inside. Within the top of the white circle are the words "Miles without Stiles", on the bottom of the circle in bold lettering are the words "Access For All", both in purple. In the center of the purple circle is a thimble shape with a circle above creating the image of a person. The person-like shape sits within a white triangle and wave-like lines that travel from one side of the circle to the other horizontally. 

IMAGE 2 of 2: Access for Many logo

DESCRIBING: Blue circular logo. 

SYNOPSIS: White circle with a blue circle inside. Within the top of the white circle are the words "Miles without Stiles", on the bottom of the circle in bold lettering are the words "Access For Many", both in blue. In the center of the blue circle is a thimble shape with a circle above creating the image of a person. The person-like shape sits within a white triangle and wave-like lines that travel from one side of the circle to the other horizontally. 

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MAP: Derwent Dam map

DESCRIBING: A Vertical A5-sized walking route map of Derwent Reservoir.

SYNOPSIS: A simple route map for two Miles Without Stiles accessible walks at Derwent reservoir in the Peak District National Par in central England.

The map background shows two reservoir lakes, aligned north-south, bisected by a dam. There is a large grassy area behind the dams with a bridged river linking them to allow water to flow from the upper reservoir, Derwent, to the lower reservoir, Ladybower.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The map is oriented north and has two long thin snaking bodies of water. The Derwent Reservoir is the main focus and takes up the central portion of the page, it has a Dam at each end with the main footpath running up the whole length of the east bank (this path is marked as ‘Access for Many’) the water is blue and the either sided of the reservoir is a green area showing woodland. At the south end of the Derwent Reservoir is Derwent Dam, south of that is another reservoir called ‘Ladybower’.

The footpaths on this map are described as ‘For All’ meaning the path is accessible to wheel chairs and ‘For Many’ which does not have stiles (a structure for getting over a wall or fence) but the footpath surface is too rough for wheelchairs. The route starts and finishes at ‘Fairholmes’ which has various facilities including; Parking, Information, Toilets, Refreshments, bicycle hire and a picnic area. It is situated at the north end of the ‘lady bower Reservoir’ and is off a roundabout junction.

MAP KEY: North arrow pointing to the top of the map. Distance scale depicting 800 Metres and 1/2 Mile. Below is a rectangle with different lines or pictograms describing the many forms of paths and other needed depictions on the map. 


  • For All- Purple dashed line
  • For Many- Blue dash then blue circle, continuing in a pattern
  • Other Paths- Thin grey dashed line


  • Road- Solid grey line
  • Gate- Two black dots connected by a think black line
  • Building- Brown rectangle with a thin black border
  • Wood- Light green area with small tree drawings
  • Reservoir- Light blue area surrounded by a dark blue border
  • River- Squiggly blue line

CAPTION: Map and route description 

CREDIT: Crown copyright and database rights 2019 Ordnance Survey 0100022750

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TEXT: Stats about Derwent Dam

Distance: 600 m to base of the dam tower, an additional 3 km along the reservoir

Start Point: Fairholmes Visitor Centre, north of the A57 Glossop to Sheffield road

OS Grid Ref: SK 1724 8942

Post Code: S33 0AQ

Nearest Facilities: Fairholmes Visitor Centre and Cycle Hire

Information not on the brochure:

Opening times: April to October 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (or dusk if earlier). November to March 10:00 am - 3:30 pm 

Toilet: Free. Radar key required. No hoist.

Car park operating times: 365 days a year. No overnight parking.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

No information is specifically listed. For more information on Accessibility please visit the website at

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OVERVIEW: More Information

For more information please visit the website at

Telephone: +44(0)1629 816200

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