• Start: Cromford Canal car park
  • End: Cromford Canal car park
  • Country: England
  • County: Derbyshire
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub:
  • Ordnance Survey:
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Linear distance:7 or 3 miles
Approximate time:3 or 1 hours
Total height climbed:300 to 600 ft
Parking Grid Ref:SK 299570
Paths:Tow path, field paths and tracks
Refreshments:Snacks at High Peak Junction (not always open); Cromford Mill and Whatstandwell Picnic:Cromford Mill and High Peak Junction


1. From the car park return to the road and turn left for a few metres before turning right into the Cromford Canal car park. (A)

2. Walk up to the canal then along the tow-path keeping the canal on your right.

3. After just over one mile of very pleasant easy walking you will reach High Peak Junction. (B)

4A. Cross the canal to continue following along the tow-path with the canal now on the left.

4B. For the three mile walk: Cross the canal and turn right to walk behind the information centre passing the old rolling stock before climbing the High Peak Trail for about half a mile. At the footpath post, before you reach the top of the incline, leave the trail to turn left. Follow the woodland path round and down to a footpath sign. Take the left hand route signed Cromford. Now follow the 7 mile route from instruction 22.

5. Pass the wharf sheds and just before a farm gate turn left to cross an outflow channel following the Whatstandwell route, still with the canal on your left. The Leewood pumping house is on the opposite bank.

6. After two miles from High Peak Junction and having gone through three tunnels you will leave the tow path to walk up to the B 5035 in Whatstandwell. (C)

7. Turn right to walk down to the A6 and across the bridge. At the end of the bridge leave the A6 to keep straight on towards and over a stile. (D)

8. Walk up the field to cross a road via two stiles.

9. Follow a path at the edge of a wood with a wall on the right. In about 100 metres turn left to follow the Derwent Valley Walk. Walk up the hill with your back to the A6.

10. Join a surfaced track for a few metres before turning left to follow a fence close on the right. Cross two stiles passing Lambert Hill.

11. Keep straight on up the next four fields following the field boundaries on the left and crossing a stile, a gate and a wide hedge-gap.

12. (E) At a crossing of paths do NOT go through the stile but turn right downhill keeping the wood on your left and aiming for a house on the hillside ahead. You are now on the Midshires Way.

13. Cross a stile in the field corner to continue downhill to Watergate Farm. Go through a small gate to cross a paddock diagonally then over a stile. Cross the farm drive to walk along a walled path then follow a stream on the left before climbing up through a wood.

14. Cross a stile and bear slightly right up the field to cross another stile hidden behind a hawthorn and elder tree. Continue uphill to the wall to cross a stile in the field corner by a farm gate. [Not the stile on the left.]

15. Walk uphill to join a track. Turn left to walk to and past the houses. (F) At Watfield Farm go through a stile by a farm gate then leave the track to follow a path on the right.

16. Walk uphill to cross two stiles and a gate passing the farm buildings on your left.

17. Cross a way-marked stile to walk along the edge of a wood. Soon you will walk through and down the conifer wood; ignore a permissive path on the right. At the end of the wood cross two stiles to walk diagonally down the field and across a stile in the field corner.

18. Cross the road to follow the Public Bridleway sign.

19. You will now follow a partly surfaced track (Intake Lane) for about three-quarters of a mile passing a caravan site.

20. (G) At a conifer wood and a wall ahead turn right to pass by a metal gate. Follow a wooded walled track which shortly goes round a left bend. (H) [Picnic spot] Continue on downhill through the woods.

21. At a way-marked footpath post take the right fork signed Cromford.

22. Walk under the High Peak Trail to follow a track (Intake Lane) downhill keeping a fence and an old wall close on the right. This is part of the Derwent Valley Walk.

23. In about a quarter of a mile the track becomes a minor road which leads down to the A6.

24. (I) Cross the busy A6 (take care) to go through a wall gap. Turn right to follow a wooded walled path as it winds down to a small car park opposite the mills.

25. Cross the road to enter the Cromford Mills complex and car park.

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