When most people think about a set of three Derbyshire reservoirs supplying the water needs for the local population they think of the Upper Derwent. However Chesterfield has it’s own at Linacre reservoir.
The reservoir’s were built between 1853 and 1905 to provide drinking water and sanitation for the town. These were not the town’s first reservoirs – the first one still exists in Brockwell.
Before the reservoirs the steep sided valley was mined for hundreds of years. Hidden the woods below the first reservoir is a 15th century lead smelter.
The site is now managed by Severn Trent Water and makes a good starting place to explore the western edges of Chesterfield.
The easiest route is round the bottom two reservoirs starting above the ranger station and doing an anti-clockwise route and returning around the lower dam. This route is relitively easy, however there are a couple of steep descents (and climbs) on the far side of the lower dam.
The short MTB route below is ideal if you are a big time crunched or fancy an evening ride.
The route is a healthy mix of old roads and farm tracks. There’s a muddy bit is the short and sharp climb after the descent from Wigley. The only really technical bit is the descent from Old Brampton down Nutrack Lane.
The gravel route below also makes a half decent Winter MTB route as it tends to hold up to bad weather quite well.
From Linacre the route follows old byways over to Holymoorside. From there it’s up Harewood Lane and then a sharp climb up to Walton Lees and the easterly most point in the Peak District. Just off the route is Highfield House Farm which has a rather fine cafe.
Then there’s a nice singletrack section and up the road to the top of Beeley Moor. From there it’s back over the tops and down into the Cordwell Valley.
From here it’s a series of three descents (and climbs) traversing the valley side towards Barlow.
Hackney House in Barlow is worth a stop for a brew. Although it can be busy as it’s a popular spot. Then it’s on through Cutthorpe and down into Homebrook Valley park for a final steady climb back up to Linacre.