This five-day guided walking break begins in the beautiful spa town of Buxton on the edge of the Peak District National Park, includes a free day for you to explore the area at your own leisure, and ends in the historic industrial city of Derby.
The first day’s walk covers the 13 miles from Buxton to the popular Peak District tourist town of Bakewell, home to the famous Pudding. Much of the route of the walk follows the Monsal Trail, which occupies the former route of the Derby to Manchester railway line through the Wye Valley and gives wonderful views of some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of Derbyshire. The following day’s walk then covers a distance of 16 miles from Bakewell to the town of Matlock down the Derwent Valley. Along the way, the route of the walk passes through the beautiful "Capability" Brown-designed landscape of Chatsworth Park, home to the Duke of Devonshire, and across the high plateau of Stanton Moor with its many Stone Age monuments.
After a free day where you can either take things easy or go and visit some of the many other places of interest to be found throughout Derbyshire, the walks continue on the fourth day with a 13 mile walk down the Derwent Valley from Matlock to the village of Ambergate. This walk passes through the northern part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, created in 2001 to celebrate the area’s key role in the creation of the Industrial Revolution. The highlight of this day’s walking is a visit to the village of Cromford where, in 1771, inventor Richard Arkwright built the world’s first cotton mill and pioneered modern factory working. Following a tour of the village and a chance to visit Arkwright’s mill, the walk continues down the peaceful Cromford Canal, past the start of one of the world’s earliest and most remarkable railways, to the finish at Ambergate.
The final day covers the last 13 miles of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site from the former industrial town of Belper to the centre of Derby. Following a tour of Belper, looking at the stories of the many different and often well-known industries that once gave employment to the people of the town, the walk joins the Derwent Valley Heritage Way to follow the river south to Derby. Along the way, lunch is taken at one of the best pubs in the country for walkers, which also has a connection to the most famous highwayman of them all, Dick Turpin. The walk finishes in the shadow of the statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie, which commemorates Derby being the southernmost point reached by his army during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.
Each day’s walking tour is led by a locally-born guide with over 25 years experience of leading guided walks in the area.
The cost of this break does not include any accommodation or travel. However, each day’s walks are easily accessible from anywhere along the route via public transport, so you can very easily base yourself in one place and travel to and from each day’s walk. Advice on accommodation and travel options can be provided if required, but it is up to you to make all actual bookings yourself.