HIGH PEAK JUNCTION WALK
Outstanding views and constant reminders of the area’s industrial past are all part of this fascinating walk. After a short ascent up High Peak Trail, the walk takes you through woods and along Intake Lane, before climbing up Cromford Moor to Bolehill. The village takes its name from open hearths or boles where, for 400 years, lead was smelted.
Following a short steep climb Barrel Edge is reached, the outstanding view from the trig point making the effort worthwhile. The land was acquired in the early 1960s by the Forestry Commission, who planted stands of woodland on a commercial basis. It is also a very important recreational site for walkers.
Black Rocks have been a tourist destination for centuries as graffiti chiselled into the rock testifies. The coming of the railways to Matlock and Wirksworth made it easier for people to visit the rocks; some came to explore and admire the wonderful views, others to climb the rocks. If you have the time you can either explore the trails round Black Rocks, or do a bit of rock climbing.
The final stage of the walk takes you down the High Peak Trail, passing Sheep Pasture Engine House on the way.
Start/Finish: High Peak Junction Car Park.
Location: Turn off A6 at Cromford for Arkwright’s Mill and follow the road round heading for Lea, turning right into the car park before reaching a left hand bend.
Terrain: The High Peak Trail climbs quite steeply up to Black Rocks, but you only do part of the climb, during the first half of the walk. Turning off to follow Intake Lane and then climbing up quite gently through fields to Bolehill. This is followed by a further short sharp climb up to Barrel Edge. The final section of the walk takes you down the High Peal Trail, where there are some outstanding views.
1. Cross the bridge from the car park to arrive at High Peak Junction Workshops. Walk past the old railway buildings and up High Peak Trail.
2. After half a mile turn to the left where you see a footpath signed for Alderwasley.
3. Almost immediately the path bends to the left to a ‘T’ junction of tracks. Here you turn right, with the bridge you previously crossed now directly behind you.
4. After a short distance where the track divides go to the right, and walk along the edge of the wood.
5. Pass through a stile and turn left down Intake Lane.
6. After half a mile, with a corrugated animal shed on your left, cross a stile on the opposite side of the lane.
7. Walk up two fields keeping close to the wall on the left, then follow a short fenced path along the bottom of a third field.
8. Continue straight on for 25 yards across the top of a field to go through a stile.
9. Go up a grassy track in the next field, avoiding the path that leads off to the left. Head towards a farm field gate that you can see in the distance.
10. Pass through a gap by the gate and walk along the grassy track to go through a stile gate into another field.
11. Keeping close to the wall on your left, walk to a gate, and after that continue to maintain the same direction, along a clear path beside gorse bushes.
12. Turn left along a farm track, soon passing Wigwellnook Farm. Follow the farm access road to Oakerthorpe Road, where you turn right.
13. Walk down the road past the Bolehill sign and after a short distance go over a stile on your right by Lantern Cottage.
14. Take the stepped path up towards Barrel Edge, following the way markers to enter a wood.
15. Bear to the left along the main path, close to the front of the wood, to reach the trig point where the views are outstanding.
16. Continue on the main path, keeping to the left of Black Rocks, where the path descends to an information board by the High Peak Trail and the car park.
17. Turn to the right along the High Peak Trail, which soon starts descending as you make your way back to High Peak Junction and the start of the walk.
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PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Arkwright’s Cromford Mill (Cromford Mill Tel. 01629 823256, Masson Mill Tel. 01629 760208) is the world’s first successful water powered cotton-spinning mill. It is now a world heritage site and guided tours are available. There is a whole food restaurant, a number of shops and free car park. A not to be missed attraction for visitors to the area, along with Masson Mill situated about a quarter of a mile away on the A6 that has been converted into a shopping village and working textile museum. Open daily.
The National Stone Centre: (Tel. 01629 824833) tells the story of stone, its geological and industrial history. The exhibition inside the centre shows how advanced technology makes use of stone in an incredible number of ways. Outside the visitor centre, the quarry trail takes you back over three hundred million years. Open all year seven days a week.
Middleton Top Visitor Centre: (Tel. 01629 823204) light refreshments available, picnic lawn outside and picnic tables located at convenient points on the High Peak Trail. The visitor centre tells the story of the Cromford and High Peak Railway and provides information, maps, walk leaflets, books, gifts and refreshments. There is a car park, toilets, cycle hire centre, engine house (telephone for details of opening days) and picnic site. Open daily from Easter to beginning of September, Weekends only during the winter.
Wheatcroft’s Wharf Café and Wildlife Shop (Tel. 01629 823256) is situated on Cromford Wharf, on the opposite side the road from the car park at Cromford Mill. Hot snacks and a selection of filled rolls and cakes are available. There is large collection of countryside and walks books on display. Outside seating is available overlooking the canal.
The Greyhound Hotel (Tel. 01629 822551) at Cromford is an historic hotel, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, it was restored to a high standard in 1999. Open daily. Meals served all day from Tuesday to Sunday.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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HIGH PEAK JUNCTION FEATURE
High Peak Junction Visitor Centre is an excellent place to start or finish a walk along the Cromford Canal or High Peak Trail. There is a wide selection of books and maps available, as well as an interesting railway video to watch. Light refreshments can be purchased and there are picnic tables outside.
The best way to explore High Peak Junction itself is by hiring an audio guide from the Visitor Centre. Normally open weekends only during the winter and everyday in the summer, further details may be obtained by telephoning 01629 822831/823204.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.