Section 6 – 6 miles
Overview: Follow the canal towpath from Whatstandwell to Ambergate then cross the A6 and then the Derwent via Holly Lane, and up through the woods to Whitewells Lane. Follow the road for half a mile then left over the stone stile and down the fields to follow Wyver Lane back over the Derwent then up the cobbles of Long Row then along Green Lane into Belper.
Start this section at Whatstandwell following the Cromford Canal towpath south for 2.5 miles to Ambergate.
At the bridge turn right onto Chase Road and down the hill a short way to the busy A6. Turn left and cross at the bridge over the river Amber and past (or via!) the Hurt Arms pub and cricket ground.
Turn right down Holly Lane to the stone bridge over the Derwent then walk up through Birches woods to the road junction with Whitewells Lane.
Follow the road for half a mile until you reach a stone stile in a wall on your left just after some woodland. Go over the stile and follow the path through two fields to Wyver Lane.
Follow Wyver Lane for 1.5 miles then turn left and over the Derwent at Bridgefoot, admiring the UNESCO World Heritage mills and horseshoe weir. Carry on under the bridge walkway to the traffic lights then turn right and go past the school and up the cobbled street of Long Row. At the top turn right and along Green Lane to King Street, Belper’s main shopping area.
Turn left up to the Market Place to continue to the next section, or descend King Street for the town centre, and station and bus stations.
Belper’s train and bus stations are well signposted near the centre of town – see www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk
Several taxi firms are based in the town.
Use the free car park next to the canal to avoid the stairs/sharp road ascent from Whatstandwell station.
The canal path is generally flat, smooth and wide but beware of occasional cambers, narrow sections and short steep inclines at bridges.
The canal is not very deep, but care is recommended in wet conditions and with young children.
The A6 is a busy road so cross with care at the bridge where there is good visibility.
The section from Birches Wood to Belper is less accessible with several steep inclines, stiles and gates. To adapt the route from the bridge, double-back along Holly Lane then turn right along the A6 for a mostly flat 2 miles into Belper. The pavement just past the railway bridge by St Elizabeth’s school has a short section with raised camber.
Divert right at the traffic lights to see Belper’s famous North Mill and horse-shoe weir, then double-back to the lights and follow the A6 into Belper to the bottom of King Street to avoid the Long Row cobbles.