Ladybower 'Plugholes' Reservoir & Derwent 'Dambusters' Dam
Published on:
Travel destination: UK


Followers: 0

Inspired by Sneha’s blog A Day in Peak District – The Black & White Beauty and her visit to Ladybower Reservoir, I was intrigued by the giant plugholes and wanted to check them out for myself!

Located in the Upper Derwent Valley in the Northern part of the Peak District in Derbyshire, Ladybower Reservoir is one of three reservoirs in the valley along with Howden Reservoir and Derwent Reservoir.

Completed at the end of World War II and opened by King George VI in 1945, what makes Ladybower unusual is the two giant plugholes (bellmouth overflows to give them their proper name) used to drain water after heavy rain and flooding from the surrounding hills.

Seeing two huge holes in a reservoir is quite a sight and makes it a spectacular photography location! And just few minutes away is Derwent Dam on Derwent Reservoir… a location used as practice for the Dam Busters during the Second World War.

My first visit was in the summer of 2021, and although it was a spectacular location with some great walking routes, the water levels very low. So while I got some pretty good photos of the scenery and had a great day out, I was disappointed I didn’t get to see the dam or the plugholes in action.

Since that first visit I’ve been back a few times… mostly when travelling to other areas of the Peak District, but I always stop to have a look to see if the plugholes are overflowing. And as yet, nope, nothing.

That was until February 2022… after a few weeks of heavy rain, and having seen some photos on Facebook of the reservoir looking nearly full, I started to get my hopes up.

One helpful chap even posted a link to a website which shows the current water level in the reservoir (link at the end of the blog), and after a couple of days of refreshing the page, I finally saw it… a positive reading, meaning the reservoir was over full… surely that means the water needs to drain away somehow?!

I grabbed my camera, jumped in my car, and raced to the Peak District, excited at what I might see. And when I got there… yes… finally… the reservoir was full, the plugholes were overflowing, and I got to witness the amazing sight!!

And not only that, but heading up to Derwent Dam, the dam was also overflowing with water creating an amazing waterfall effect!

It’s a great location to visit any time of the year… in the summer there are some beautiful views of the lush forests and flowers. But I highly recommend going after some heavy rainfall in the winter, when the water is overflowing and you can see the dam and plugholes in action… they are quite a sight to see!

If you want to join me on my walk here’s a highlights reel of my day…

This is the website where you can track the current water levels… 0 means it’s full, a negative number means it’s below full, and so a positive number means it’s over full and likely to be overflowing. The rating was 0.07 when I was there and took the above photos –

Is Ladybower Reservoir Plughole Overflowing?

You can check current water levels on this website – A level above 0 means it is full and likely overflowing.

Ladybower Reservoir Postcode and Parking Info

Heatherdene car park is right next to the reservoir, postcode S33 0BY, and costs £3 for all day parking. There are also public toilets in the car park.

Is Derwent Dam overflowing?

If the water level of Ladybower reservoir is above 0 on the above link, then it is likely Derwent Dam will be overflowing.

Derwent Dam Postcode and Parking Info

Fairholmes car park is the closest to the dam, also there is Upper Derwent Visitor centre where you can hire bikes. Postcode is S33 0AQ, and costs £3 for up to 2 hours, or £5 for all day parking. There are also public toilets in the car park.

Share Your Thoughts

Related Posts you might also want to read

A Christmas World Cup in Barcelona


The disappointment of the football is a distant memory as we’re sipping cocktails, watching...
Blackpool… a Must Visit Seaside Delight or a Must Avoid Run-Down Relic?
Blackpool Pleasure Beach


My heart is beating a thousand times a minute. My knuckles are turning white...
The Settle Flowerpot Festival… a Fun, Free, Family  Day Out in the Yorkshire Dales
Settle Flowerpot Festival


The Settle Flowerpot Festival is a fun and free day out in the Yorkshire...
Grantley Hall… the Ultimate Indulgence in the Heart of the Yorkshire Dales
Grantley Hall


If you’re looking for a truly magical and unique hotel to stay at in...
Randomly Roaming the Ribble Valley on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Ribble Valley


Closed roads and parking chaos scuppered my plans for a walk up Pendle Hill…...
When Travelling Meets Partying on the White Isle of Ibiza


This trip has been a long time coming… not because it was delayed by...
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Login with social accounts

Login or Signup

Don't have an account? Signup!!

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.


Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.


Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.


Unclassified cookies are cookies that we are in the process of classifying, together with the providers of individual cookies.


Please login to Create Posts.

Please login to Create Posts.

Please login to Create Posts.

Please login to Create Posts.

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

We use cookies to ensure users get best experience on our website. By clicking “Accept Cookies,” you consent to store cookies as described in our Cookie Policy

Feedback submitted
We will take a look into it.

Give feedback to TrovenTrip


Do you love writing? Then share your story in the well-known and much-loved blog style… write about your travels, add some photos
Create blog


Are you a blogger with your own website already, and just want to share and socialize with the TrovenTrip community? Then link to your blog with the quick and simple
Create Elog


Do you love taking pictures and want to share them to tell your story? Then use our photo magazine style… add all of your photos, add some captions
Create plog


Are you a Vlogger and want to share your videos with the TrovenTrip community? Then embed your video
Create Vlog