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“An Afternoon Stroll”
Review of Cromford Canal

Cromford Canal
Ranked #3 of 45 things to do in Matlock
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The construction of the Cromford Canal by William Jessop and Benjamin Outram, partners in the Butterley company, was completed in 1794. It is 14.5 miles long and joined Cromford with the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill. The site has a wealth of industrial heritage and lies in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site. The canal is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its entire length from Cromford to Ambergate. The 3.3km southern section from Whatstandwell Bridge to Ambergate is a Local Nature Reserve. The canal is a haven for water vole, a threatened and declining species, and for grass snakes, little grebes, moorhen and coots. The southern end towards Poyser's Bridge is excellent for dragonflies. The canal can be explored from the towpath between Cromford Wharf and Ambergate, a distance of just over five miles. The walk from Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction is suitable for pushchair's and wheel chairs. We manage the section from Cromford to Ambergate for recreation and wildlife. The canal has a very rich and diverse wildlife running through the attractive Derwent Valley and part of it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve can be accessed from the north end at Whatstandwell or at the southern end from Ambergate by a towpath off Chase Road. The old towing path which follows the canal is a public footpath - please note that this path is narrow and uneven in places. Birdswood, a restored narrow boat is run on scheduled trips through the year by the Friends of Cromford Canal. Open to all members of the public. Come and enjoy a peaceful journey along the canal, from Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction, introduced by a booming announcement from the FCC President, Brian Blessed. Birdswood is also available for private hire and for specialist educational trips. Limited canoeing is permitted on the Cromford Canal between Cromford Wharf and High Peak Junction. Because of the sensitive nature of the canal, numbers are strictly controlled. There's a Changing Places toilet for use by the public in the car park at Cromford Wharf.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access
Level Contributor
94 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“An Afternoon Stroll”
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Enjoyable afternoon stroll along the Cromford Canal following a light lunch at the Cauldwell Mill Restaurant. Watching a game of cricket and enjoying an ice cream people watching

Visited June 2012
Thank TalismanUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Matlock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Lovely peaceful walks”
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Walkl the canal route regularly trying to spot the water voles. Been successful once!! Lovely peaceful place for a walk or a jog. Some good exhibitions at the museums as well.

Visited June 2012
Thank Sharon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
109 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“A very pleasant stroll”
Reviewed July 4, 2012

This is a lovely walk from Cromford to Whatstandwell. The footpaths have been well maintained and the wildlife is in abundance

Visited July 2012
Thank Tom_Tait
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“One of the most easily accessed, beautiful walks in the area”
Reviewed June 8, 2012

Full of interest from an historical perspective, this waterway has its terminal basin close to Cromford Market place. A pay and display car park is available in the basin, but free parking (at least for the moment !) is to be had in the adjacent Cromford Meadows. There is a useful cafe at the basin for refreshment. It is possible to walk the upper reaches of the canal as far as Ambergate,(5 miles from start) where the route is now blocked by industry. But, in that short distance, you can explore High Peak Junction (1.06 mile from start) where the old High Peak Railway workshops can be visited; the magnificent Wigwell Aqueduct and Cornish pumping engine (1.32 miles from start) - take a short diversion down through the trees next to the aqueduct to see its fine arch; walk through the 47 yard Gregory Tunnel (2.12 miles from start) and perhaps have a pub lunch to Whatstandwell (3.03 miles from start). Just beyond the Wigwell aqueduct, a now dry branch of the canal veers off and heads for Lea Mills and the nearby gardens which can be visited. The whole is easy walking at a pace of your making.

Visited May 2012
Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great views”
Reviewed June 8, 2012 via mobile

Excellent place great walks beautiful views, coffee shop near the pay and display car park is very quaint . Wonderful ice cream which I think is locally made its the one in little tubs. We go here all the time to pass the time or just for a nice view. There are plenty of ducks and wildlife to see. But be warned can get very busy on nice days. The mill is across the road with various little shops in and the place is not far from Matlock either but again can get busy traffic wise in peak seasons or when weathers good also brill to go to Matlock on a Sunday see all the motor bikes .

Thank Quackamie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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