Le lac de Carsington a velo.
Derbyshire's largest man made lake, Carsington Water was constructed over 20 years ago and has become a very popular destination for a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, anglers, birdwatchers,
The path around the reservoir is about 9 miles long, so within the scope of most cyclists, but it is not a flat ride as you might imagine.
It has multiple undulations on the East side and has many sharp turns, so care is needed, especially since much of the surface is stones and gravel. Around the Visitor Centre and across the top of the dam the surface is level, but more exposed to the wind as there is little shelter from trees unlike the East side.
There are several Pay & Display car parks, the one at the Visitor Centre being the largest and the most expensive. The nicest and cheapest car parking is at Millfields, on the South corner of the lake.
The cost here is £2.50 per day.
The entrance to Millfields Car Park where there are toilets in the building (top right).
Good views from this car park especially on the top terrace towards the exit.
This is the cycle track from the car park. A good surface initially.
Typical undulations and bends through the woods.
With occasional views of the water. Behind the tower is the top of the dam and our return route.
On through more wooded sections.
Having turned back Southwards we head towards the Visitor Centre.
Part of this route is the National Cycle Network Route 547.
Some man made islands in the lake.
Here the Visitor Centre, not to be missed.
Outside a model of the lake.
And inside cafes, shops and toilets.
Best place to eat with a view, The Gallery marked X.
This being the view, and access by these steps.
Ahead is Stones Island, which is not actually an island, but a peninsular, and you can cycle round it.
Again not to be missed.
View looking Northwards from whence we came. Looks like some exotic location abroad.
This is Stones "Island", an interesting diversion from the basic ride.
Although it isn't actually an island, there are plenty of stones.
Following the shoreline from the Visitor Centre, we come onto the path across the top of the dam.
View below the dam looking in the direction of Ashbourne.
Looking back from the end of the dam.
And forward towards Millfields Car Park, completing the 8.7 mile ride.