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Although a city, Derby still has the feel of a large market town, with plenty of open space, wonderful parks and the River Derwent running north to south through the city. It has been described as a 'city in the countryside' and this lovely two and mile walk illustrates the point. The walk starts from the car park at Darley Abbey, facing the Abbey Inn on Darley Street and follows surfaced paths all the way, but can be a little muddy in places after heavy rain. 

Bridge leading to 'Boar's Head Mills'


1.  Return to the entrance of Darley Abbey Car Park and turn right in front of the Abbey Inn, and walk along Darley Street.

2.  Continue bearing to the right to cross the bridge over the River Derwent and walk through the mill complex.  

3.  After leaving the mills behind, follow Haslam’s Lane for 80 yards, before turning right down Folly Road with Derby Rugby Club on your left.  

4.  Cross Folly Road Bridge and continue straight ahead along the tarmac path for 200 yards. 

5.  Where the path divides, take the right hand fork and carry on alongside the River Derwent, passing both Chester Green Bowling Green and the cricket/football ground on the right.  

6.  At a ‘T’ junction, with a car park on your left, go in the opposite direction to cross Handyside’s Bridge; once you are over the bridge look out for a short flight of steps on the left, which lead down to a path by the river.  

7.  Turn right along the river bank and walk towards Rivermead House, the tall block of flats that you can see on your right.  

8.  Continue along the riverside path until you are within a few yards of St Mary’s Bridge. Here you fork right to reach the road over St Mary’s Bridge. Do not cross the bridge, but turn right in front of the Bridge Chapel and then turn left into Sowter Road.  

9.  Do not go under the bridge 20 yards in front of you, but turn to the right to walk up a path in front of a row of houses towards St Mary’s Catholic Church, with the inner ring road on your left.  

10. Almost at the top of the slope, just before reaching St Mary’s Catholic Church, turn right along Darley Street. 

11. Continue straight on at the cross roads into North Parade; as you near the top of the road, turn right down Well Street. After viewing St Alkmund’s Well, which is at the bottom of the street, return to North Parade and turn right. 

12. Maintain the same direction at the end of North Parade, and walk up Darley Grove, a rough track that leads you along the western perimeter of Darley Park. 

13. Continue straight ahead until you reach Park Lodge, which is on your right with a small car park opposite. Here you turn right and walk down the path to the formal gardens and tea rooms. 

14. Turn left, up the path by the side of Darley Abbey Tearooms to reach New Road, where you turn right. 

15. Walk down the road and turn left; the starting point of the walk is a few yards ahead on your right.


Little Chester Cricket/Sports Pavilion

Darley Grove

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St Mary’s Bridge Chapel (Tel. 01332 341201) is one of only six bridge chapels left in the British Isles. It stands beside the 18th century St Mary’s Bridge, which replaced a medieval bridge to which the chapel was attached. It is not particularly impressive from the outside, nor is it blessed with a quiet location, sandwiched between the Derby Ring Road and the still busy road across St Mary's Bridge. Once inside, all that changes. The noise vanishes and there is a feeling of peace and tranquillity. The white painted walls, the simple furniture and the lack of fussiness all add to the attraction of this wonderful place. Open selected days during the summer.

Pickford’s House Museum (01332 255363) housed in a handsome Grade I listed building, built in 1769 by Derby architect, Joseph Pickford for his own occupation. It was opened as a museum in 1988 and delightfully recreates a scene of Georgian domestic life with splendidly furnished rooms and fine costume displays. Open daily, apart from during the Christmas and New Year break.

Derby City Museum and Art Gallery (01332 716659) houses the prestigious Joseph Wright collection of paintings. A programme of special exhibitions supports permanent displays relating to the city’s archaeology, history, wildlife and local regiments. The brand new Ceramics Gallery provides an additional attraction. Open daily apart from during the Christmas and New Year Break.

Little Chester path


The Abbey Inn: (Tel. 01332 558297) the layout is of a simple medieval hall-house and is thought to have been used by the Abbey as a guesthouse for travellers and pilgrims during the 13th century. From 1932 to 1977, it was unoccupied, before conversion into a public house. Open lunchtimes and evenings from Monday to Friday, all day at the weekends. Meals served at lunchtimes only.


Darley Park Tearooms: (Tel. 01332 556447) delightfully situated, overlooking flowerbeds and Darley Abbey Park, with distant views of Derby Cathedral. There is plenty of seating outside on the terrace. Normally open from 10-4pm during the week, longer at the weekend, but arrangements may be changed at short notice dependent on weather conditions – telephone for further information. Light refreshments served.


Darley Abbey Weir


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