This outstanding walk takes you through ‘Strutt Country’, setting off from the centre of Milford; it takes you on a sight seeing tour up above the Derwent Valley before descending to Belper. There are more spectacular views of the valley as you return to Milford along the Chevin.
Universally recognised as the Cradle of the Industrial Revolution, the Derwent Valley now holds World Heritage Status. Belper is so rich in industrial heritage that it is not only of national importance, but occupies a pre-eminent position on the world stage.
The River Derwent flows for more than 50 miles through the heart of Derbyshire. It brought with it the water power to run the mills along the valley. The dam on the right as you cross the bridge over the river at Belper at one time incorporated 12 large water wheels, the housings of which can still be seen.
The influence of the Strutt family is at its strongest in Milford. They owned the whole village and employed virtually all the inhabitants of working age. The best place to view Milford is from the top of Sunny Hill near the completion of your walk.
Length: 6 miles.
Start/Finish: Makeney Road, there is usually some roadside parking available between the A6 and the Riverside Garden Centre.
Location: Off the A6 Derby to Belper Road, the Makeney Road is on the eastern side of the River Derwent.
Terrain: A relatively easy walk to follow along well trodden paths and country tracks. There is some ascent and descent, but nothing too strenuous, although the walk down Sunny Hill at Milford is quite steep.
1. Walk along the pavement away from the A6, past the garden centre, and turn left when you reach Holly Bush Lane.
2. At a ‘T’ junction of lanes, with the Holly Bush Inn on your right, turn left. Follow the lane round past Makeney Mews, where it changes into a rough track.
3. Continue along the lane without deviating, until shortly after passing Bownsgreen Farm, you turn right at a ‘T’ junction, to walk along Shaw Lane.
4. After150 yards, on the outskirts of Holbrook, go to the left at the fingerpost sign and cross two fields along a well trodden path.
5. Go through a stile by a metal gate and head towards another stile just to the left of Wildersley Farm.
6. Follow the path round the farm down the farm access road, which straightens out and leads you to Holbrook Road, where you turn right and walk up the road.
7. Where the road bends sharply to the right, turn in the opposite direction at the fingerpost sign.
8. Walk between the houses and then maintaining the same direction over open land. Turn left to descend by some railings, passing a steeply sloping football pitch to reach an estate road by a stile gate.
9. Turn right and within 25 yards go left down Manor Road. Go right by the first street light, along a winding path that leads between the houses to a street, called Brookside.
10. Turn right and follow the street round as it bends to the left, up to the A609. Turn right up the A609, and after 25 yards go left through an archway into Belper War Memorial Park.
11. Walk through the park to the far end, cross King Street and carry straight on along Green Lane.
12. As Green Lane swings to the right into Mill Street, go down Long Row. At the bottom turn right and then almost immediately left past East Mill, to cross the River Derwent.
13. Once across the bridge, turn left down an access road. Where the road ends go through a stile and continue over two fields with the boundary close on your left.
14. At first keep close to the fence in the next field, before angling towards the river. Follow the Derwent for about 200 yards; until with the end of the field clearly in view, you go through a squeezer stile on the right hand side by a metal gate.
15. Angle to the left across two fields along a well trodden path, before following a paved path up a gulley into another field.
16. Aim towards a fence you can see at the top of the field, cross a stile and walk down to Chevin Road, where you turn left.
17. After 200 yards, turn right at the fingerpost sign and ascend two fields, keeping close to the wall.
18. At the top, turn left and walk along a wide track, without deviating, until you reach Milford and descend Sunny Hill.
19. At the foot of the hill turn right and then left to reach the A6 and the River Derwent.
20. Cross the bridge and turn right, back to the start of the walk.
www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk is an independent, not for profit website.
No recommendation of any establishment is implied by inclusion on this website.
PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
St. John’s Chapel Heritage Centre (Tel. 01773 822116) dates back to about 1250, contains an interesting collection of old photographs of Belper and memorabilia. Open weekdays 9.30 to 12.30. Also open the last Saturday in the month, when members of Belper Historical Society are in attendance.
Derwent Valley Visitor Centre (Tel: 01773 880474) situated in North Mill where superb displays of hand spinning wheels, Hargreaves’s Spinning Jenny and many more exhibits bring this old mill back to life. This is an exhibition not to be missed. For full opening details please ring or visit website.
Denby Pottery Visitor Centre (Tel. 01773 740799) offers factory tours Monday to Thursday (booking essential). The museum, cookery emporium and factory shops are open daily. Restaurant facilities are available.
The Mill House (Tel. 01332 843144) large modern pub located on the site of a former mill, with plenty of outside seating to admire the river and weir view. Open daily. Food served 12noon to 9pm.
Cromford Mill Tea Rooms (Tel. 01629 823256) delicious food is served in the Whole Food Tea Rooms situated in the yard of historic Cromford Mill. Outside seating is available. The complex is the home of the world’s first successful water powered cotton-spinning mill and is now a World Heritage Site.
High Peak Junction (Tel. 01629 822831) where there is an Information Centre and shop and a Railway Heritage Museum. In season light refreshments available, picnic tables overlook Cromford Canal.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features on towns and villages with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
The site is expanding to include many other features of interest to the local person and visitor alike. Why not bookmark this site for future reference.
1. To return to the main site click the link below.
2. To return to the contents page of the main website click the link below.
A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:
Click below for details.
Set in the picturesque Derwent Valley, with hills rising steeply on either side, travellers on the busy A6 often pass through Milford without ever realising that it exists. Yet the village has played a very important part in the industrial history of this country, so much so that it now forms part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Corridor.
The man who transformed Milford from a tiny hamlet to an important industrial centre was Jedediah Strutt. From a young age he had an obsessive interest in machinery, but when his uncle died and left him a small holding, he took it over and married Elizabeth Woollatt who he had met when in apprenticeship as a wheelwright. His brother-in-law, who worked for a hosiery firm in Derby, knowing of Jedediah’s interest in machinery, told him of the problems they were having in trying to adapt their machines to make stockings in a ribbed pattern. Everything they had tried had failed. Immediately, Jedediah set about the task of finding a solution.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.