Map of the Way

Annual Report


Collective Trade Mark

Related Sites

Tourist Info
[Walks / Places]

  An Overview of the Way


Derwent Valley Walks


Discover the beauty, splendour and heritage of Derbyshire's River Derwent by following the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. This is a 55-mile walk along the Derwent valley from Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District National Park via Chatsworth and breathtaking scenery around the Derbyshire dales and through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Follow the Riverside Path through Derby and continue onwards to the historic inland port of Shardlow. Journey's end is at Derwent Mouth where the Derwent flows into the River Trent.


The Derwent Valley Heritage Way can be enjoyed as a long distance walk or as a series of shorter walks.


Stay in local accommodation and enjoy relaxing rambles through the valley. Take a walking break and explore the valley from end to end.


Use Public Transport, it is frequent and reliable for getting around the Derwent valley. Leave the car at home and put your feet up while someone else worries about the driving. Use buses and trains to see more of the valley. Walk a section of the route and use public transport to return. A series of shorter walks will give you longer to explore the valley's rich heritage and numerous visitor attractions.




Walking the Derwent Valley Heritage Way


The Derwent Valley Heritage Way has been way-marked using small yellow and purple disks, look out for these at road crossing points and path junctions.


To walk the route you are advised to use the appropriate 1:25,000 scale  (4cm to 1km or 2.5 inches to the mile) Ordnance Survey maps. The route will appear on the following OS maps: Explorer 1 The Peak District - Dark Peak, 24 The Peak District - White Peak, 259 Derby, 260 Nottingham.




Derwent Valley Heritage Way Guide Book


Jarrold Publishing is producing The Derwent Valley Heritage Way Walking Guide. This is essential reading for anyone walking the route. It will contain route descriptions, maps, travel information and details of attractions and heritage. Until this guide is published a leaflet called "Walking the Derwent Valley Heritage Way" will be available from the listed Tourist Information Centres.



Cycling in the Derwent Valley


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 01332 715017.




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.





Accommodation to suit all is available along the route including hotels, guesthouses, campsites, Bed and Breakfast and Youth Hostels. Full details are available through the Tourist Information Centres.



Other walking opportunities in the Derwent Valley


The Derwent valley passes by many beautiful places and fascinating attractions. A comprehensive guide to walking publications for the Derwent valley can be found on the Derwent Valley Trust web site.  Amongst them are 'The Derwent Valley Walks' which are based around railway stations on the Derby - Matlock line, and 'Walks from the Hope Valley Line'







Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site


In December 2001 the Derwent valley between Matlock Bath and Derby was granted World Heritage Site status. This international designation confirms the outstanding importance of the area as the birthplace of the factory system, where water power was first successfully harnessed for textile manufacture - a milestone in the Industrial Revolution.

The site contains a series of historic mill complexes, including some of the world's first 'modern' factories. No less important are the watercourses that powered them, the settlements that were built for the mill workers, the canals, railways, roads and other supporting infrastructure - all in a beautiful landscape that has changed little over two centuries.




Travel Information for the Derwent Valley


The Derwent valley is easy to travel to and within, so why not leave the car at home and relax and enjoy the journey by bus or train. Use these services and you will be able to explore the whole length of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way on foot. Do a linear walk and return by bus or train.


Rail Services  Tel 08457 48 49 50


The Hope Valley Line serves the northern section of the Derwent valley. There are regular trains from Sheffield and Manchester that call at Bamford, Hathersage and Grindleford.

Derby is well served by the national rail network. From Derby there are regular services to Matlock calling at Duffield, Belper, Ambergate, Whatstandwell, Cromford and Matlock Bath . 


Bus Services  TRAVELINE 0870 608 2 608

For up to date public transport information in Derbyshire visit


There are regular direct bus services that will enable you to travel to and from Sheffield, Chesterfield, Manchester, Nottingham and Derby. Regular services link Heatherdene and Bamford, Hathersage, Grindleford, Calver, Baslow and Bakewell. Buses serve Rowsley, Darley Dale, Matlock, Cromford, Whatstandwell, Ambergate, Belper, Duffield, Little Eaton, Derby, Elvaston, Borrowash and Shardlow.


The Derbyshire Wayfarer Day Rover Ticket is an excellent way to tour the county. The ticket is valid on all buses and trains in Derbyshire and is available for individuals or groups. Ring Traveline for more information.


For full public transport information the Peak District and Mid and South Derbyshire timetables are available from Tourist Information Centres (cost 60p) or by post from Derbyshire County Council Public Transport Unit, County Hall, Matlock DE4 3AG. (£1.20 inc. postage)





The Derwent Valley Trust is a charitable trust supported by all the local authorities and many other organisations and businesses in this beautiful part of Derbyshire.  It was established to secure recognition of the River Derwent valley and its immediate corridor for its landscape, wildlife and heritage.  The map shows the diversity of things to do and see. The Trust wants to promote these to a wider audience.  At the same time it wants to encourage visitors to cherish and protect the attractions by using their cars less and adopting sustainable means of transport such as walking, cycling and the use of public transport.  The Trust has secured the trademark “The National Heritage Corridor” to further these aims.


The Trust works through partnerships with others who share its vision and this walk is a result of many people and organisations working together.  The Trust is especially grateful to Blue Circle plc, Derbyshire County Council, Peak District National Park Authority, East Midlands Development Agency, Environment Agency, Southern Derbyshire Chamber and  WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) for financial support for the Way.  Amber Valley Borough Council, Derby City Council, Groundwork Erewash Valley, Severn Trent Water and the Countryside Agency have also supported the provision of interpretative panels along the route.  All the other local authorities, and many organisations such as Amber Valley Conservation Volunteers, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, the Peak and Northern Footpath Preservation Society and Derbyshire Dales Ramblers Association have helped with work on the ground.  This is ongoing and demonstrates the local support and ownership of the project.




Whereas every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this document is accurate,

The Derwent Valley Trust cannot accept responsibility for any errors, omissions or misleading statements

in that information and no responsibility is accepted as to the standing of any firm, company or individual.

This leaflet has been published by Derwent Valley Trust and designed by Amber Valley Borough Council

with funding from the Countryside Agency. Printed by Graphic Repro Nottingham.

Many of the photographs in this leaflet are provided by the City Photographic Society, Derby and the PDNPA. 

(Cover photograph of Darley Abbey Mill by Ashley Franklin).

The registered office of the Derwent Valley Trust is c/o Robinsons Solicitors, 83 Friar Gate Derby, DE1 1FL.

Visit the Derwent Valley Trust website:


Walks and distances


The Derwent Valley Heritage Way can be walked as a complete route, or you may prefer to walk certain sections. All are accessible by public transport. (     indicates a station).


Starting Point

End Point



total miles

Ladybower, Heatherdene































Little Eaton




Little Eaton

Derby city centre




Derby city centre






Derwent Mouth









The time it will take to walk the sections will obviously depend on your walking speed. You are guaranteed plenty to stop and see along the whole route. Allow yourself time to visit the many attractions, teashops, pubs and shops along the way.  An estimate for timing is approximately 2 miles per hour, but this does not include time for stops. So 6 miles would take about 3 hours of walking without long stops, with stops it would be a relaxing days walk. More regular ramblers will manage between 6 and 13 miles in a day.