Derbyshire Heritage Walks Derbyshire Heritage Walks (Adrian Brown)
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Do The "Cromford Double" And Save 25% - Book this walk and the Cromford Village walk on the same day and save 25% on the total cost of your booking. For details of all our special offers, please click here. (Links open in new window.)

The Cromford Canal
Distance: 5.25 miles Duration: 3 hours Price: £6.00 per person
Special family rates available - see below for details

Leawood Pumphouse
This is an enjoyable end-to-end walk of the surviving western section of the Cromford Canal, looking at the history of the Canal and the various industries it once served.

The walk begins at Cromford Wharf, which served the huge cotton mills of Richard Arkwright where the Industrial Revolution was born. It then follows the canal towpath to visit High Peak Junction, site of one of the earliest railway workshops in the world. There, the canal was able to pick up stone traffic brought down from the hills on the Cromford and High Peak Railway, and also drop off coal to power the winding engines that worked the line's many steep inclines. Close by High Peak Junction stands the preserved Leawood Pumphouse, which supplied water for the canal by drawing it from the river below, and the junction with the Nightingale Arm of the canal, which served the textile factory of John Smedley at Lea Mills.

From Leawood Pumphouse, the walk then continues along the much quieter eastern part of the canal. This takes it past the sites of Duke's Quarry, Whatstandwell Goods Station and the canal wharf of Johnson’s wire-works, finally ending where the line of the canal is broken by modern industrial construction at Ambergate.

The entire length of the Canal from Cromford to Ambergate is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the diverse wildlife found along its length, while the section from Whatstandwell Bridge to Ambergate is also a Local Nature Reserve (LNR). The Canal has become a haven for the Water Vole, under threat elsewhere from the introduced American Mink. Other wildlife that can be seen along the length of the Canal includes Grass Snakes, Little Grebes, Moorhens and Coots, while Dragonflies can be seen at the southern end around Ambergate.

Copyright: Peter Trimming
A Water Vole
Starting at 1:00pm, this walk is ideal for combining with our morning walks around the village of Cromford. As the only regular end-to-end guided walk along the Cromford Canal, it is one of the things to do in Cromford, or when visiting the wider areas of Derbyshire and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Please note that due to the risk of ice on the canal towpath, this walk is not usually available from December to the end of February, or at other times when the risk of ice is present.

Distance: 5.25 miles.

View Cromford Wharf in a larger map
Duration (approx): 3 hours.
Start point: Cromford Canal Wharf,
Off Mill Road (Mill Lane),
Cromford,
Derbyshire.
Start time: 1:00pm.
End point: Opposite the Hurt Arms public house,
Ambergate,
Derbyshire.
Dates available: November 11th, 15th, 19th, 26th, 30th.
Unavailable December 2017 to February 2018.
March 2018 onwards, dates TBC.

Private bookings for this walk are also available - see here for details.

When is this walk available?

Scheduled walks usually take place several times each month between March and the end of November, while private bookings for a Personal Walking Guide can be taken at any time between those dates. Personal Walking Guide bookings can be taken for any day of the week apart from some Saturdays and some Sundays. Due to the risk of ice on the canal towpath, we are not able to offer this walk between the beginning of December and the end of February. The only other times this walk is not available is during staff holiday periods, or when we are unable to take any bookings due to other commitments such as media work.

Provided we have not already received any other bookings for that date, any scheduled walk may be upgraded to a private booking, giving you the exclusive services of your guide.

All scheduled walks begin at 1:00pm so as to fit in with our "Cromford Double" offer. If you make a private booking for this walk, either upgrading a scheduled walk or booking a Personal Walking Guide, you can request an alternative start time. For weekdays and Saturdays, this may be anytime between 9:00am and 2:00pm. For Sundays and Bank Holidays, the start time may be between 10:00am and 1:00pm. This difference is due to the more limited availability of buses and trains on Sunday mornings and Bank Holidays. While we cannot guarantee being able to accept your request for a different start time, we will make all practical attempts to accommodate it.

Prices.

The following prices apply for this walk:

Ticket Price Deposit
(Included in overall price)
Private Upgrade Cost
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(Up to 6 people in group)
£6.00 per person £2.00 per person £10.00 per group
Family Ticket - 1 adult plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
£15.00 per ticket £3.75 per ticket
Family Ticket - 2 adults plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
£19.80 per ticket £4.95 per ticket
Personal Walking Guide
(group of up to 6 people)
£60.00 per group £9.00 per group N/A

For more information on how to book places on this walk, and on private upgrades and private group bookings via a Personal Walking Guide, please see here. If you have any questions about the cost of this walk, please contact us via email at enquiries@derbysheritagewalks.com.

What is the "Cromford Double"?

This walk qualifies for our "Cromford Double" offer. With this offer, if you book this walk and our Cromford - Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution walk for the same day, you can save 25% on the total cost of both walks. So, instead of paying £6.00 each per person for each of the walks (a total of £12.00), you get both for £9.00 per person. This offer applies to both scheduled walks and private bookings, where you make an additional saving by only paying one private booking fee for the two walks, saving you an additional £10.00 off the total cost.

Family tickets are also available for the "Cromford Double" offer, priced at £18.00 for one adult and up to three children (aged up to 15 years), and £24.00 for two adults and up to three children (aged up to 15 years).

The walks are scheduled so that you do the Cromford village walk in the morning, then have an hour for lunch and a look around Cromford Mill, and then walk along the Canal to Ambergate in the afternoon. Because of the limited space on the Canal towpath, we can only accept bookings for groups of up to 6 people for this offer, and both walks MUST be on the same day. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please contact us for more details and to check availability for your preferred date.

Travel to and from the walk.

This walk is easily accessible by both car and public transport. Full details of how to get to and from the walk will be included in the walk information sheet you will be sent along with your booking confirmation, but detailed information on the various public transport options is also available on our travel information page, which we try to keep as up to date as possible.

By far the easiest way to access this walk is by train, as both Cromford and Ambergate are served by East Midlands Trains services between Derby and Matlock. Cromford Railway Station is around a five-minute walk from the start point of the walk at Cromford Canal Wharf. The end point of the walk is in the shadow of Ambergate Railway Station, the entrance of which is a short walk away on the A610 Ripley Road. On weekdays and Saturdays, the trains run hourly throughout the day, but only every two hours from mid-morning onwards on Sundays and Bank Holidays. This means that you may potentially have a long wait at Ambergate for your train, so you may wish to consider alternative travel options for the return home. Alternatively, you could always combine the walk with a post-walk meal at the Hurt Arms.

It is also possible to access this walk by bus, as Cromford is served by two main bus services linking Derby and Matlock, the Trent Barton 6.1 service via Wirksworth, and the High Peak Buses "Transpeak" service along the A6. Both of these services run hourly Monday to Saturday and drop off in the village of Cromford itself, around a five to ten minute walk from the Meadows. On Sundays and Bank Holidays, while the "Transpeak" runs hourly, the 6.1 runs every two hours. Other bus services such as the 140 and 141 also serve Cromford from Ripley and Alfreton. The end point of the walk is also a short walk from stops used by a number of buses including the "Transpeak", 142 (for Alfreton and Belper) and 143/144 (for Ripley and Belper). Please note that the 141, 142, 143 and 144 services do not run on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

As the "Transpeak" also serves Bakewell, Buxton and Manchester (some buses only), it is possible to use this service to access the walk from these areas as well. After finishing the walk at Ambergate, you can then take the 4:18pm "Transpeak" service back home. If travelling from Manchester, you will need to use the train to get to Buxton Railway Station, and then take the 11:37am "Transpeak" from there, but can take the 4:18pm "Transpeak" all of the way back home to Manchester.

Please note that, as of April 2016, the Derbyshire Wayfarer day rover ticket is no longer valid on the "Transpeak" and you may need to purchase High Peak Buses own day rover ticket, the PeakPlus Extra, if you intend to travel on the "Transpeak". This ticket is NOT valid on other buses such as the Trent Barton 6.1 service, or on any train services.

If travelling by car, there is "pay-and-display" parking available on the Canal Wharf, the adjacent Cromford Meadows, and also across the road at Cromford Mill. The postcode for sat-navs to reach Cromford Wharf is DE4 3RQ, and the Wharf is directly opposite the entrance to the car park of Cromford Mill. Having completed the walk, you can then use either the Derby to Matlock train or the "Transpeak" bus service to return to Cromford. However, to avoid a potentially long wait at Ambergate, we usually recommend that you park at Ambergate Railway Station and use the train or bus to travel onwards to Cromford to start your walk there.

Is there anything special I need to bring?

As this walk uses the canal towpath for its entire length, you won't need full walking gear. However, there are a few places where the going underfoot could be a bit rough and possibly muddy, so stout waterproof shoes are advisable. There is also very little shelter in some places, so be sure to bring waterproofs if rain has been forecast.

Given the distance and time involved, and the lack of facilities along the way, it is also strongly recommended that you bring something to drink with you. At the bare minimum, bring a 500ml bottle of water per person, and think seriously about doubling this if the weather is very warm. If you forget to bring anything with you, bottled water can be purchased prior to starting the walk from the Arkwright Society's cafes at Cromford Wharf and Cromford Mill.

It is also an idea to bring a small torch with you, as although it is only short, Gregory's Tunnel on the canal is surprisingly dark inside. As a result, it can be quite easy to trip on the towpath - or step in a little present left behind by a passing dog - as you walk through the tunnel.

Are there any disabled access issues?

The first part of the Canal, from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse, is suitable for wheelchairs, with easy access onto the canal towpath at Cromford Wharf, and also off the towpath at High Peak Junction. Beyond Leawood Pumphouse, wheelchair access is more problematical due to the surface condition of the towpath, and also its width in places. This means that Derbyshire County Council have assessed it as being unsuitable for wheelchairs. For this reason, we are unable to accept bookings for wheelchair users on this walk.

As for other accessibility issues, the canal towpath is level, but constructed of packed earth and gravel, and so the surface can be a bit loose and uneven in places. Beyond Leawood Pumphouse, it is also quite narrow, which can lead to issues when meeting some of the many cyclists who use the towpath and result in walkers having to step off the towpath into the long vegetation to the side. There is also the need to cross a fairly narrow wooden bridge over the canal. As these factors may cause issues for some people of more restricted mobility, it is something you need to be aware of when considering if this walk is suitable for you.

If you have any concerns about accessibilty, please contact us before booking.

Is this walk suitable for dogs?

Given the narrow towpath, the sensitive nature of the natural environment and the large number of cyclists also using the canal towpath, we strongly recommend that you do not bring your dog with you. This is also a view shared by Derbyshire County Council, as they have had many issues with incidents where free-running dogs have disturbed the protected species found along the canal, and have an on-going campaign to educate owners using the canal as a walking route for their dogs.

If you feel that you must bring your dog with you, we do ask that you inform us at the time of booking. We also ask that, due to the large number of people and cyclists likely to be encountered, the possibility of meeting other dogs, and the need to avoid disturbing the rare and protected wildlife species along the canal, you keep your dog under close control on a short non-extendible lead at all times and do not allow it to run free under any circumstances.

Booking

Scheduled Walks

You can book and pay for places on all of our scheduled walks online via PayPal. Other payment options are available on request - Please e-mail us for details if required.

The cost of this walk is £6.00 per person, including a £2.00 per person non-refundable deposit. Due to the limited space on the towpath beyond Leawood Pumphouse, the maximum group size for this walk is 6 people, and we are unable to accept any bookings for groups larger than this.

We also have discounted family tickets available for this walk. These cost £15.00 for one adult and up to three children aged up to 15 years old, or £19.80 for two adults and up to three children aged up to 15 years old. These family tickets can be booked via PayPal below. Other discounted family rates can be quoted on request - please e-mail us for details. All family tickets include a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Bookings

If you wish to have the exclusive services of your guide, you may upgrade any scheduled walk to a private booking. Not only does this guarantee you the exclusive services of your guide, but it allows you to walk at your own pace without having to worry about others, and the walk may also be varied within reason to suit your own personal interests or abilities. Please note that we cannot upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking if we have already received other bookings for that walk.

The cost of upgrading a scheduled walk to a private booking is the same as for a scheduled walk, plus a private booking fee of £10.00 per group. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking.

Personal Walking Guides

You can also make a private booking for this walk on dates other than those on which it is normally scheduled by booking a Personal Walking Guide. This allows you to do the walk when you want to, not when we have it scheduled. We have Personal Walking Gudes available most days, except for those listed as either "unavailable" or "unavailable for private bookings" on the calendar here. Please see the table below for the days of the week on which we are able to offer Personal Walking Guide bookings for this walk.

Personal Walking Guide Availability - The Cromford Canal
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Bank Holidays
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Most* Most* Most*
* = Please contact us for details of availability

The cost of a Personal Walking Guide for this walk is £60.00 per group. Please note that we cannot normally take a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk on the same day as we are also running it as a scheduled walk. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to make a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk.

Bookings can be made at any time up to 48 hours before the intended date of your walk (72 hours for Personal Walking Guides), but the earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting the date you would like. We regret that we cannot accept bookings made less than 48 hours prior to the planned start time of the walk.

Please ensure before booking that you have read and agree to our terms and conditions.

Latest booking news

  • Bookings are open for all dates listed, and close at 1:00pm two days prior to the date of the walk.
  • Please note that due to the risk of ice on the canal towpath, this walk will not take place between December 1st 2017 and February 28th 2018.
  • This walk may be booked privately via a Personal Walking Guide on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, most Saturdays and some Sundays from the beginning of March 2017 to the end of November 2017.
How to book

To book a scheduled walk, simply select the number of places you require from the drop-down list, enter the date you would like to book, and confirm that you accept the terms and conditions. If you have a credit or debit card, you don't even need a PayPal account in order to make your booking.

Once we have received your booking, we will e-mail your booking confirmation and other information you will need to the address you gave during the booking process. In order to allow sufficient time for us to process your booking, please book at least two days ahead of the date of the walk you wish to book.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please contact us via e-mail with details of the walk you would like to book and we will send you the necessary information. As booking in this way takes much longer than booking online, please book at least two weeks before the date of the walk to allow for postage times.

Private bookings

If you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking or book a Personal Walking Guide for this walk, please contact us to see if this is possible. You can find more information on private group bookings here, and information on Personal Walking Guides here. Please note that, due to the restricted space on the canal towpath, we can only accept bookings for groups up to a maximum size of six people.

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If you encounter any problems with your booking, or have any questions about this walk, please e-mail us.



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