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The Route - Kilometre 20 to 39

Kilometre 20 (Mile 13) Lea Bridge

Divert Off RouteNearby is Pear Tree Farm Creative Holidays which has Art Courses in Painting, Sculpture and Drawing. There is a wide range of courses for beginners, improvers and those with more advanced skills.

200 metres later, as the road turns to the right, there is the John Smedley factory on the left with its factory shop car park on the right.

Get out of car for a short walkThe shop is about 100 metres from the car park; from the car park cross the road, go slightly right and along Lea Road and the shop is on the left. It is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.

The factory was set up by Peter Nightingale in 1784 who was the Great-Great Uncle of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) has a close connection with this part of Derbyshire. Florence was born in Florence, Italy. When her father inherited the large estate from Peter Nightingale the family returned to Lea Hurst just a few hundred metres distant. Florence Nightingale is know to have been helping the poor and sick of Holloway in 1843. She continued to be a benefactor of the area setting up reading rooms in Holloway and Whatstandwell. She also provided books for Lea Primary School.

Leave the John Smedley car park and turn right, following the signs to Holloway and Crich.

The road climbs out of Lea Bridge, and in 600 metres Holloway is entered. At the top of the hill at Holloway, directly ahead, a brief glimpse of the Crich Monument can be caught. On the right there are superb views of the Derwent valley.

1.3 kilometres (0.8 miles) later, as Wakebridge is entered, there are better views of the Crich Monument and the power cables for the tram museum can be seen. The entrance for the museum is in 1.3 kilometres (0.8 miles).

Kilometre 24 (Mile 15) Crich Tramway Museum

Clock FaceThe National Tramway Museum at Crich is worthy of a visit. It houses over 50 trams, a third of which are in full working order. Further details on the museum and the nearby Crich Monument are found on the Crich page.

Leaving the museum car park, turn left. After 20 metres, follow the road as it bears round to the right.

In 400 metres, Crich village cross is reached. At this cross, go to the right of it and then straight on along the B5035 towards Wirksworth. To confirm that the correct road was taken, there is a fire station 500 metres on the right, with the road going uphill at 1:7, after which the road starts to go gently down hill for 2 kilometres (1.2 miles).

Between the breaks in the trees, on the right, can be seen good views of the Derwent valley

At the junction with the A6 (by the Derwent Hotel Public house) turn right towards Matlock, Buxton and Wirksworth.

This is Whatstandwell. Ellen MacArthur, who comes from here, was in the news in 2001 when she became the fastest woman to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe non-stop and again in 2005 when she became the fastest person to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe non-stop (in 71 days). Not bad for someone coming from a land locked county! In April 2005 Ellen became Dame Ellen MacArthur.

The road immediately crosses the River Derwent. After crossing the river the road goes through a 90 degree right bend. Immediately after this bend, take the road on the left (B5035) up the hill to Wirksworth.

4.2 kilometres (2.6 miles) later, as you descend the hill, Wirksworth can be clearly seen in front with quarrying behind it.

Kilometre 33 (Mile 21) Wirksworth

The road goes over the railway 500 metres after entering Wirksworth and in a further 200 yards there is a very well signposted car park on the right; 20p for 1 hours; 30p for 2 hours; 80p for 3 hours; 3 for over 3 hours.

The car park is adjacent to the Vaults Inn, a restaurant and free house, and next door is another public house, the Red Lion.

Wirksworth is a small market town which was important in the lead mining days. Wirksworth was granted its Market Charter by King Edward I who gave the Market Charter to the Duchy of Lancaster in 1306. The Barmote Court, in Moot Hall, was set up in 1288 to enforce lead mining laws and ensure payments of royalties from mines on land owned by the Duchy of Lancaster. Today the court, which meets once a year in April, is mainly ceremonial. But the sessions still include a bench of 12 mineral experts elected to the jury who occasionally adjudicate over mineral rights. The Grand Jury sits before a miners' standard dish, made in the reign of Henry VIII, and originally used for testing the size of miners' wooden dishes against the regulation model. At the annual meetings the traditional vitals of bread, cheese, clay pipes and tobacco are still provided. The steward asks members of the public if anybody has any matter they wish to bring forward but, as there is very little lead mining business to be conducted these days, the meeting is then usually adjourned. Although nowadays, the court is looked upon as a tradition, by law, this annual event must occur. There is a plaque to commemorate the 700 year aniversary of the Market Charter.

Wirksworth 700 year Market Charter Celebrations 2006

Among the events between July 13 and 16 there will be a lecture about the history of markets, a continental market will be held in the market square and a concert is to take place at St Mary's Church. The plaque will be unveiled in July as part of the four-day event to mark the town's market status.

The former Silk Mill houses the Wirksworth Heritage Centre, where the emphasis is on the strong mining traditions of this area both past and present. The Heritage Centre is well signposted from the cross roads by the Vaults Inn.

Well Dressing take place here on the Spring bank Holiday Monday. See the comprehensive list of well dressings which includes other villages and towns within the Peak District National Park and many outside the Peak National Park.

For forthcoming and past events in Wirksworth see Wirksworth Events.

Turn right out of the car park. At the crossroad, by The Vaults Inn, turn right signposted to Cromford and Matlock B5036. After 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) on the B5036, at the top of the hill, the road goes under a railway bridge.

There is no longer a railway line on this bridge. It is now part of the High Peak Trail.

Immediately after the bridge, turn left onto the B5035 towards Ashbourne and the National Stone Centre. The entrance to the Stone Centre is 300 metres on the left, after the brow of the hill and very well marked.

Kilometre 35 (Mile 22) National Stone Centre

Clock FaceThe Stone Centre is probably the best place to gain an understanding of the rocks of the Peak District. It is a 50 acre site which gives a complete story of stone, from its creation to its modern high technology uses. Further details can be found on the National Stone Centre page.

Leaving the Stone Centre, turn left and continue along the B5035 (towards Ashbourne).

Directly up ahead is a clearly visible tall chimney and that is Middleton Top our next stop.

After 500 metres (0.3 miles) go across the crossroad signposted to Brassington, Longcliffe, Rydar (checkspelling) Point and a brown sign for Carsington Water, Middleton Top. Just before the railway bridge there is a sign indicating Middleton Top to the right and just after the bridge, the entrance for Middleton Top appears on the right.

Kilometre 36 (Mile 23) Middleton Top

The car park is 300 metres from the road and, at 30p in a honesty box, is one of the cheapest. It also has a picnic site, a reasonable visitor's centre and public conveniences. It is certainly worth coming up to Middleton Top car park because there are very good views over the surroundClock Face There is a viewpoint which shows places of interest and in clear weather the Sutton Coldfield television mast can be seen, some 57 kilometres (35 miles) distant.

Middleton Top is a main access point for the High Peak Trail. From here cycles can be hired, and this is one of the best ways of doing the trails. In 2001 the Middleton Top Cycle hire centre is open 7 days a week from until September 16th when it only opens at weekends. It opens at 9:30 with the last cycle hire at 4pm. The cost of a mountain bike is 3/hour or 10 for the day. You will need a 20 deposit PLUS proof of identity and address.

The tall chimney on this site belongs to the Middleton Top Engine House. In the engine house is a 1829 beam winding engine built for the Cromford and High Peak Railway to pull wagons up the 1 in 8 gradient of the Middleton incline. It is open and in steam the first weekend in the months from April to October and during the 3 days of Bank holidays from April to August.

Return to the road and turn right; signposted Ashbourne B5035.

In 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) turn right onto the unclassified road signposted towards Brassington and Longcliffe.

800 metres later on the right is a very good view of the High Peak Trail. This is the footpath and cycle way that started at Cromford and went up to Middleton Top.

In a few hundred metres, after a cross roads, the High Peak Trail runs parallel to the road. In another 800 metres, as the HighView from CarTrail starts to move away from the road, there is a disused windmill on the left. In 500 metres high voltage power lines cross the road. 200 metres after the power lines, Carsington Water can be glimpsed on the left. Carsington Water was constructed as part of the flood relief system for the Derwent valley. It is also used for water based recreation facilities.

100 metres later, the road bends to the right. There used to be a road that went straight on but, due to quarrying, it is now closed.

In a further 100 metres pull into the small car parking area on the right.


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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.

Last Updated : Saturday, 23-Jan-2016
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