VPDD Main Cromford Mills
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VPDD Main Milford River 12
VPDD Main Darley Abbey paddleboarding
VPDD Main Cromford
VPDD Main Belper North Mill
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    Welcome to Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

    The World Heritage Site is the birthplace of the modern factory. Each mill has its own story to tell; stories of pioneering engineers and entrepreneurs who set off a chain of events that changed how we live and work forever.

    Today the Derwent Valley is awake again, alive with creators and makers. A great place to explore, and discover all its heritage and busting community, along the river & canals that flow through it. Find out more about the sites below.

    The World Heritage Site is set in the beautiful Derwent Valley, where the lowlands meet the rugged grandeur of the Peak District, the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is a partnership between many land and building owners, organisations and visitor attractions.

    It was here in the Derwent Valley that the essential ingredients of factory production were combined. Water power was applied and successfully used for the first time on a relatively large scale.

    The site begins at top of the valley in Matlock, down to Belper and Darley Abbey ending in the heart of Derby with arguably the world’s first factory - Derby’s Silk Mill which is home to the brand new Museum of Making.

    To find out more visit derwentvalleymills.org

    In The Area


    White Peak010 1622908224



    White Peak Distillery

    Established in 2016, White Peak Distillery is the first full-scale, craft distillery in the Peak District region.

    Cromford Mills General 006 2 1017892977


    Cromford Mills

    Explore the history of Cromford Mills and discover the captivating story of how the Derwent Valley changed the world in the 18th Century with the…

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    Leawood Pumphouse

    Leawood Pumphouse was built in 1849 to pump water from the River Derwent into Cromford Canal.

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    Museum of Making

    Celebrating the area’s rich history of innovation, the Museum of Making in the Derby Silk Mill.

    Cromford Canal 1836687604


    Cromford Wharf

    The wharf is a haven for wildlife and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Little grebes and water voles can be seen throughout the year. In summer…

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    Heage Windmill

    Built in 1797 and restored in 2002, Heage Windmill, a Grade II* listed building, is the only working six-sailed stone tower windmill in England.

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    High Peak Junction Visitor Centre – Cromford Canal

    Discover some of the oldest surviving railway workshops in the world, from the former Cromford and High Peak Railway and step back in time with the…

    Cromford Canal 1 747034836


    Cromford Canal

    Now a picturesque and relaxing place to go for a countryside walk, Cromford Canal was once a buzzing hub of Derbyshire’s industry.

    Belper River Gardens Boats 001 234353250


    Belper River Gardens

    Located within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site adjacent to Strutt's historic North Mill the riverside promenade allows flat easy access…

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    Cromford Village Heritage Walk

    A great walk around the historic village of Cromford.

    Our Great Itineraries

    Belper North Mill

    Car-free guide: 48 hours in the Derwent Valley

    Connecting charming towns and villages with an amazing industrial past, the Derwent Valley Line runs from Derby to Matlock.

    VPDD - Main - Darley Abbey Cottonworks

    City Heritage, Culture and Cocktails!

    Visit Derby, the UK’s most central city, with a rich history of creativity and making, a busy cultural calendar, a varied shopping offer and the…

    Events in Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

    Trails nearby

    Cromford Wharf 102933263

    A Stroll along Cromford Canal

    A walk along the old canal tow path on the five mile stretch through the Derwent Valley between Ambergate and Cromford passing through the village of…

    Cromford Church

    Cromford Mill & Village Walk

    Explore the home of the Industrial Revolution and discover Derbyshire’s rich history on this 6 or 8 mile walk.

    Market Town Belper 2 1082293688

    Belper Heritage Walk

    Learn more about this industrial community and how it has changed in the past 200 years.

    Derby 2 1723095954

    Derby Heritage Walk

    Discover the southern gateway to the Derwent Valley Milld World Heritage Site.

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