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“Boat trip on Birdswood”
Review of Cromford Canal

Cromford Canal
Ranked #3 of 51 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
Reviewed March 3, 2014

A tranquil trip up and down the Cromford canal. Staff are very informative and pleasant. There is information regarding the trip provided at some points along the canal. Brian Blessed gives the intro which is good to hear. Even on a wet day it could not spoil such a trip. Well worth a journey. Will be trying again very soon.

1  Thank harpur22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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331 - 335 of 393 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2014

it is a canal which offers a lovely flat, walk with peace, tranquility and wildlife. Try the whole length if possible, also, try other part of the walk; the canal walk and train walk (both now defunct) from Ambergate to Lower Hartshay/Ripley - marvellous

1  Thank dick h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Yesterday we did as we often do and caught the train to Ambergate for an hours stroll along the Cromford Canal to Ambergate. The path is firm all the way along making it easy to walk. We have walked this stretch many times in all seasons but yesterday was a real bonus. A sunny January afternoon which provided wonderful light to observe what was going on amongst the water birds. Terrific reflections from the trees. Sometimes we walk all the way to Cromford and re-join the railway there. By using the train we avoid all parking charges. There are alternative walks around leading off the canal specifically the High Peak Trail which leads up to Black Rocks.
As for boats there is the remains of one on our stroll yesterday so you don't have to look out for ferries !!

Thank bill d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Visited today with child and dog- slightly disappointed at the pay and display car parks. the machine was out of order in the car park we pulled up in with a sign saying use the one on 'main street'. So parked up and looked round and found a working machine in the Mill car park so used that (£1.20 for 2 hours)- but to be honest was a little worried I would get a ticket whilst I had gone in search of machine as the signs are quite menacing - must park within lines ( there weren't any) car park monitored 24 hrs a day 7days a week, you will get a parking notice blah blah etc ( there is some on street parking if your lucky to get a space). Anyway, had a lovely walk along the canal, which was quite busy with other families and dog walkers. Child and dog explored the old engines at the High Peak Junction Workshop where you can also get snacks and info from (toilets available). You can continue to Ambergate, or cut up to the black rocks and other areas of interest. Always a lovely walk to be had as the area is gorgeous and is nice in any season. Cromford is also lovely and Matlock is just a short distance away.

Thank hotfuzzed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

The Cromford canal is a pleasant place for a walk, and Arkwright's Mill at the Cromford end has cafes, shops and little art galleries to explore. There is now a passenger canal boat on Summer Sundays,and occasionally the Leawood Pumping Station is opened by volunteers and an interesting place to visit for anyone who likes industrial heritage.

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

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