Rivers in the Peak District

Peak District River Derwent

Rivers in the Peak District, an area of great diversity split between the northern moors and wilderness areas of the Dark Peak, with dark grit stone tors and crags shaped by the weather forming wonderful Tolkien-esque shapes around the landscape to the southern White Peak where most of the population lives and where the geology is limestone based, providing lush green pastures crisscrossed with white dry stone walls and littered with livestock.

The high ridges of the White Peak, and the high moorland plateau of the Dark Peak are the sources of a great many rivers, with water and springs of the purist quality. The western side of the Peak District is drained by the rivers Goyt, Tame and Etherow , which flow eventually into the River Mersey. The north-east is drained by the River Don, which is a tributary of the Yorkshire Ouse and the South and East is drained by tributaries of the River Trent, the crystal clear waters of the River Derwent being the most prominent, slicing through valleys and meandering gently through Peak District villages. With limestone providing the nutrients, the rivers of the Peak District are home to an abundance of wildlife, with huge brown trout visible in most areas.

The River Derwent of the Peak District flows into reservoirs in the upper Derwent Valley, on Bleaklow just East of Glossop, flowing into the Howden reservoir, Derwent Reservoir and Ladybower reservoir. Flowing away from the Derwent are the tributaries River Noe and River Wye, each providing their own character to the villages and pastures they run through.

The River Manifold and River Dove to the South West begin their life on Axe Edge Moor. These flow into the Trent, while the River Dane flows into the River Weaver.

There aren’t many actual lakes in the Peak District, most being reservoirs, but those that are here are spectacular. Rudyard Lake is stunningly beautiful, and is near Leek in Staffordshire and is one of the most attractive places in all of England, or so the saying goes. It is the namesake of Rudyard Kipling and is a real treat to wander round, fish or boat upon. Bowden Hall Lake in Chapel en le Frith is a one and a half acre lake surrounded by trees and is full to bursting with roach, perch, tench and carp as well as bream and skimmers for the anglers out there.

The wonderful reservoirs and dams of Holymoorside, Ogston reservoir, Errwod reservoir and of course the wonderful Carsington Water provide wonderful walks with woodland and upland pastures with crystal clear water stocked with rainbow and brown trout to delight any angler or fishermen alike, but they are also places for sailing, messing about in boats and the wandering around at your leisure. They provide homes for wildlife, birdlife and conservation and are a great day out for all the family with gentle walks, bike trails or for the more energetic, paths provided for joggers and mountain bikers.

Peak District rivers and lakes wander through or reside in most of wonderful Derbyshire and add to its beauty, swathing through countryside, moors and mountains, providing drinking water, areas to paddle, places to fish and swim. They are clean and they are un-spoilt and visitors to the Peak District are urged to keep them that way, never littering but simply enjoying and then leaving them as they were found for others.