Cromford Mill in the Spring sunshine

Walking and Exploring Derbyshire, a great day out

Light green hand drawn scroll

Leave the car and explore

Many of our guests staying at Glendon, like to spend a day or two, out and about without their car. As well as great scenery, this is made all the easier by some great public transport links. Here is one of our suggestions for a great day out.

Matlock Bath train station on a sunny day

Where does the day start?

From Glendon Bed and Breakfast, walk through Hall Leys Park and head towards Matlock train station. Take the Derby train and disembark at Whatstandwell. From the station, cross the railway bridge and turn left. You will be on the towpath of Cromford Canal. From here enjoy a stroll of approximately half an hour walking towards Cromford.

What is along the Cromford Canal?

As well as the tranquil scenery, wildlife and birds after 20-30 minutes, depending on your pace, you will see Aqueduct Cottage, which was once owned by the Nightingale family, relatives of the famous nurse Florence Nightingale. The cottage has recently been restored by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and is open to view some Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 1 pm, subject to the weather and volunteer availability.

Aqueduct Cottage on Cromford Canal on a sunny day in Spring

A little further down the canal, again on the right-hand side is Leawood Pump House. The pump house was built in 1849 to pump water from the river Derwent to feed the Cromford Canal. Around the time the canal was the core means of transport from the mill located in Cromford. From Easter to late October there are regular open days where the steam engines that power the pump house are powered up and open to visit.

Cromford Canal boat and pump house

Things to do in Cromford

A little further along the canal is the High Peak junction, which provides a stopping point for refreshment. The walk along the final section of the canal to Cromford Mill is approximately one more mile. There is a variety of wildlife along the route, including water voles, little grebes, ducks, swans and geese.

At the end of the canal is Cromford Mill, built by Richard Arkwright, a key site at the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century. As well as the mill Arkwright is credited with other developments for workers, which for the time, brought notable improvements for those who worked at the mill and their family members. You can find more about Arkwright at the exhibitions in the Mill.

Cromford Mill on a sunny day in the Spring

Work is regularly undertaken to restore features of the mill. In 2024 hydropower is being returned to the mill with a new water wheel. And the well-known BBC show, Antiques Roadshow, is being filmed at the mill on the 28th May this year.

Across the road from the Mill is Cromford marketplace. There are a range of shops of interest dotted around the square. From handmade chocolates at Taylor Wilde to the wonderful Scarthin Books. For book lovers, this is really worth a visit. Just along from Taylor Wilde is Parkys Eatery. This is a great place for lunch or a lighter meal. It can get busy, particularly for afternoon tea, so a booking is sometimes necessary.

Taylor Wilde shop selling chocolates in Cromford with vintage car outside

From Cromford, you can walk along the road to Matlock Bath. If you have waited to eat this is an ideal place for fish and chips. You can also while away some time in the arcades. Matlock Bath is often described as the Seaside without the sea. It will make sense when you are there!

On the way back to Matlock

And finally continuing along the A6, follow the road back into Matlock. As you reach the edge of Matlock, on the right-hand side there is an iron bridge across the River Derwent. You can cross the bridge and follow the path to the left along the river, which brings you into Knowleston Gardens, opposite Glendon Bed and Breakfast.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to walk the last part you can catch the bus from Cromford to Matlock or the bus or train from Matlock Bath. In addition to this bus, there are some lovely scenic bus routes to explore other areas in Derbyshire and the Peak District and nearly all journeys remain capped at £2 per single journey through much of 2024. A great time to get out and about exploring on the bus. Boat trips also run along the canal from Cromford to the pump house on certain days, for a more leisurely way to explore the waterway.

Just an example of a few things you can see and do from Glendon Bed and Breakfast in Derbyshire and the Peak District without taking the car.

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