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The Derwent Valley Heritage Way is a scenic and heritage walk following the route of Derbyshire's River Derwent. The walk is 88 kilometres (55 miles) long, along the Derwent Valley. The northern end is at Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District National Park with the southern end at the confluence of the River Derwent and River Trent near Long Eaton.
The Derwent Valley Heritage Way has been way-marked using small yellow and purple disks shown on the right.
From north to south is passes Bamford, Hathersage and Froggatt passing ever changing breathtaking scenery. Then on, via Baslow, to Chatsworth House, the home of the Duchess of Devonshire. The walk continues past Rowley, passing close by Caudwell's Mill before entering Matlock. From Matlock the walk enters the gorge at Matlock Bath, leaving the gorge around Cromford - famous as the home of it Sir Richard Arkwright, father of the industrail revolution. This is the start of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The walk continues through the Derbyshire Dales and on to Belper were it moves away from the river. The walk come close to the river at Duffield and contiunes through the centre of Derby - the souther boundary of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Leaving Derby, it follows the river as it widends out but makes a detour near Shardlow - an historic inland port - where it follows the Trent and Mersey Canal to the confluence of the Trent and Mersey Canal, the River Derwent and the River Trent and the end of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way.
This is essential reading for anyone walking the route. It will contain route descriptions, maps, travel information and details of attractions and heritage.
The Upper Derwent valley is excellent for cycling. There is a Peak Cycle Hire centre at Fairholmes, Derwent near Bamford (01433 651261). The cycle routes around the Derwent Reservoirs, the Thornhill Trail and cycle lanes to Hathersage offer safe cycling in this area.
The High Peak Trail joins the Cromford Canal (which forms part of ther Heritage Way) at High Peak Junction near Cromford. The High Peak Trail provides 17.5 miles of traffic free route and links with the Tissington Trail.
Cycle Hire is available at Middleton Top, Middleton by Wirksworth on the High Peak Trail (01629 823204).
Carsington Water also offers cycle hire (01629 540478).
From Little Eaton The Derwent Valley Heritage Way follows Route 54 of the National Cycle Network which links with the cycle route through Darley Playing Fields into Derby city centre. From the city centre the Riverside Path becomes Route 6 of the National Cycle Network, which leaves the Derwent Valley Heritage Way at Borrowash and continues on to Nottingham. A Derby cycle route guide is available from Derby City Council, contact 01332715017.
Access for All The Derwent Valley Heritage Way follows field and woodland paths, tracks and sections of pavement and road. Although a valley walk there are climbs and descents. The terrain generally makes for easy walking, however, some sections can be wet underfoot and prone to flooding. Within the Peak District National Park many stiles have been replaced with gates to make access easier. The National Park produce a free Access For All Guide ( 01629 816200). Sections of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way that are accessible by wheelchair include Ladybower Dam, The Thornhill Trail, Matlock Parks including Hall Leys and Lovers Walk in Matlock Bath, Cromford Canal from Cromford to High Peak Junction and the Little Eaton and Derby cycle routes as described above.
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This information is provided to the best of our knowledge. We have collected and collated it in good faith but we are not responsible for its accuracy and anyone intending to make use of this information is advised to check it out.
Well that's the legal stuff sorted.
Should you decline to comply with this warning, a leather winged demon of the night will soar from the deep malevolent caverns of the white peak into the shadowy moonlit sky and, with a thirst for blood on its salivating fangs, search the very threads of time for the throbbing of your heartbeat. Just thought you'd want to know that.