• Start: Exeter Bridge SK 355364
  • End: Exeter Bridge SK 355364
  • Country: England
  • County: Derbyshire
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub:
  • Ordnance Survey:
  • Difficulty: Medium
Google Map



Linear Distance: 7 miles

Approximate time: 4 hours

Start: Exeter Bridge SK 355364

Stiles 4

Refreshments: Darley Abbey, Little Eaton (Little Chef and Derby Garden Centre) and the Paddock Inn

Directions: From wherever you park in Derby walk to the far end of Exeter Bridge away from Derby City centre and the Council House.

Description: This is a varied easy walk with only two very short climbs between Little Eaton and Breadsall. You will follow town paths and tracks, parkland paths and field paths. Some areas can be muddy and wet. If you wish to cut the walk short you can get the bus back to Derby from Darley Abbey, Little Eaton, Breadsall or the Mansfield Road. Also you could start from Darley Abbey car park. If the Derwent is flooded you will need to end the walk at Darley Abbey or start in Little Eaton or Breadsall and walk back to Derby. The late spring and mid autumn are also good times to follow this route.


1. Start on Exeter Bridge at the signs: Car Park, Darwin Place and cycle routes 54 and 68, ie the end of the bridge furthest from the town centre. Facing the town centre and the Council House, cross the road to turn left across Exeter Bridge.

2. Turn right by the sign Chester Green Little Eaton.

3. Walk down the steps to follow the riverside walk-way.

4. Ignore the new footbridge on the right to pass the cathedral up to your left and then bear right across the open square and in front of the Silk Mill.

5. Continue along the riverside path with the Silk Mill on the left.

6. Walk under St Alkmunds Way and St Marys Bridge.(A)

7. (If the Derwent is flooded under the second bridge take a left-hand path at the end of the Silk Mill buildings. Walk down to Sowter Road then under the two bridges to turn right. At the start of St Marys Bridge turn left to follow a short path which takes you back to the riverside path where you turn left.)

8. In about 5 minutes you will walk under Handyside Bridge and keep straight on to pass the Derby Rowing Club. Enter Darley Abbey Park (B)

9. Follow the shale path, which could be quite muddy if its rained, and where it ends bear off right to follow the river. Eventually you will join a surfaced path by the balustrade wall.

10. Cross a wooden footbridge to continue along the riverside path. Pass the cricket ground on the left then bear left to walk behind the pavilion. Aim for the village and the car park.

11. Walk through the car park, to turn right to The Abbey inn.

12. Turn right to walk along Darley Street in front of the inn. Continue ahead along Old Lane to cross the toll bridge. (C)

13. Walk through Darley Abbey Mills then along Haslams Lane for a few metres.

14. (D) Opposite the Rugby Club car park turn left by the footpath sign to walk along the surfaced track. Where it bends right, cross the stile ahead of you.

15. Keep straight on to join the riverside track which you follow for a few metres before leaving the river to bear off right along a grass path (which could be quite wet). In a few metres you will again have the river close on the left.

16. Where there is a left bend in the river keep straight on to cross the stile ahead.

17. Follow the field boundary close on the left to the river bank where you turn right.

18. Keep straight on with the river close on the left; first on a grass path then stay on a track passing the Talbot Turf fields. In about eight minutes the track turns right then left under the A38. (E)

19. Immediately after the bridge turn right then right again up a flight of steps. Cross a stile and turn left along a protected path by the A38 and across the railway line. Turn left at the footpath sign to walk down the steps.

20. Follow a fenced path before turning right along a minor road to near the junction with the A38.

21. Turn left to walk past the Little Chef and Derby Garden Centre.

22. After passing the Derby Garden Centre and at the first entrance to the New Business Park cross the road to enter the path by the footpath sign. (F)

23. Walk along the path which shortly turns sharp right to go uphill and then down to the tunnel under the A38.

24. Take the right-hand route under the road then climb the path which soon bends down left to a field.

25. Follow the field boundary on the left (it could be muddy) and in a few metres turn left through a large gap. Now keep a hedge close on the right to walk up then down to Rectory Lane in Breadsall. (G)

26. Turn right down the road. At the road junction turn left towards the church. Turn right below the church to walk down Church Lane.

27. At the junction with Brookside Road cross the road to enter Pall Mall by the footpath sign.

28. Walk up Pall Mall passing the Scout and Guide hut to go through a stile and climb the steps onto the National Greenway. (H)

29. Follow this very pleasant Greenway route, passing the partly reconstructed Breadsall station, for about one mile.

30. At the road junction go through the stile and turn left for a few metres to cross the busy Mansfield road opposite the The Paddock inn.

31. Walk down to the Old Mansfield Road and turn right along it. Where it turns left keep straight on following the cycle route to the City Centre. (I)

32. At a fork of paths bear left up to the road. Cross the road to follow the City centre route which shortly turns left at the edge of the playing fields.

33. Stay on the shale path which takes you to the A61 (Frank Whittle Way) by Days Hotel and Virgin Health Club. Turn left to the traffic lights at the Pentagon Island.

34. Cross the road. Walk up the path passing the Vauxhall garage on your left. Walk on the left-hand side of the road. Just before the road dips under the bridge turn left up steps. (J) Follow the tarmac path up hill and across the bridge, parallel to the railway line.

35. Walk down towards the road then turn left under the bridge. Stay on the pavement as it bends left signed Evening Telegraph. Just after another left-hand bend cross the road to walk under the extensive bridge following the City centre Little Eaton route. Take a left-hand fork to walk back up to Exeter Bridge.

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