Explore the home of the Industrial Revolution and discover Derbyshire’s rich history on this 6 or 8 mile walk. Passing through Arkwright’s Mill, the village of Cromford and along the nearby canal, you’ll get a great taste for what Cromford has to offer.
From the car park, cross over the road and pay a visit to Arkwright's first mill at Cromford. The buildings are being restored, and it is not hard to imagine the harsh working conditions of the mill workers, including children. Then walk up the road to the 46 and cross the busy road into the village of Cromford, built by Arkwright for his workers.
Walk up the main road through the village, with the market square on your right, noting the particularly attractive cottages in North Street.
Turn left up Bedehouse Lane which turns into a narrow tarmac alley after rounding some almshouses. At the top of the lane by a street of 1970s housing, follow the signpost to Black Rocks to meet a lane. Turn left along the winding lane which soon divides. Take the right fork, on reaching a house with woods behind turn right through a gate, and follow the top field edge.
After climbing some steps, ascend left through the woods of Dimons Dale and up to the Black Rocks car park and picnic site. Detour up to Black Rocks for a good view of the town, Riber Castle and the Derwent Valley.
Returning to the car park, turn right onto the High Peak Trail, the former railway track of the Cromford and High Peak Railway, and follow this down to High Peak Junction, where it meets the canal. There is a small information centre here and the workshops which date from the earliest days of the railway, are virtually unchanged since then.
At High Peak Junction you have the choice of adding on an extra loop to the walk to create a slightly longer walk. The longer one involves a pleasant walk along the Cromford Canal and past the former home of Florence Nightingale.
Short route to Lea Bridge Turn right along the canal towpath and follow it until you come to a ruined cottage on the left. Then follow the sign to Lea Bridge
Longer route to Lea Bridge. Turn right along the canal towpath and follow this for about one mile. At the entrance to a short tunnel take the path leaving the towpath to the right. Follow the path straight ahead, then through a metal gate signed 'Holloway ½ mile' into a deer park. Continue up the grassy path, past a cottage on your right.
After passing through the next metal gate turn immediately left and follow the hedge on your left, crossing over the driveway t0Lea Hurst and onto some stone flags. Follow the wall on your left round to a stile in the wall ahead and then down this path, through a kissing gate, then diagonally across a field to a stile by a gate into Lea Wood. Keep to this pleasant wooded path, which bends sharply to the right (do not go straight ahead here). When you meet a track at the bottom, turn right down to the road, then left down the road.
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