Take the A515 south and take the A5012 and arrive at Cromford Mill and wonder into the courtyard and view the historic buildings. Watch the water flow over the mill wheel pit and walk along the canal to view the Rail Sidding. This was a former crane house, rail workshops and goods shed. Finish at the Leawood Pumphouse and come up to where the canal passes over the Derwent. If you need something to eat, go to Alison House, a georgian style House, built by the Arkwright Family and set in the Derwent Valley world Heritage site. There you can get a nice meal and look at the beautiful gardens in a peaceful setting, and stroll around some of the seven acres of grounds.
This was the first cotton spinning mill to be powered by water and was a major influence on the cotton industry. It was built by Richard Arkwright in 1771 and started operating one year later, and in 1775 he took out a patent for a carding machine. The machine enabled raw cotton to be turned into yarn and along with water frame it launched mass production of cotton and made Arkwright a fortune.
Continue down the A6 north to Matlock Bath and park on the right near the Pavilion. Visit the Peak District Mining Museum, which tells the story of lead mining from the Romans to prestent day. It’s worth a look, but like most museums nowadays, there will be a fee. At the road side view the small pond full of Carp and Goldfish and keep to this side of the road and walk down the parade along side the flowing river Derwent to the right. There are many scenic views, nature walks and gardens and the famous Jubilee bridge, first opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. You could walk across the bridge to Lovers’ Walk, which had to be accesses by ferry prior to the building of the bridge, or walk to the end where there are toilets. Cross the road where this parade starts with a different out look of Georgian buildings and Victorian cottages, then walk back southward along by the amusements, fish chips, gifts shops, pubs and bars which gives an image of a inland seaside resort.
Matlock Bath became attracted the wealthy and influencial, when warm springs, which kept to a constant temperature of 68 degrees fahrenheit, were discovered back in 1698. The old turnpike road, connecting from Cromford was built in 1818 which made Matlock Bath more accessible. It gradually began to attract the new middle classes, who built their homes here, some precariously perched high on the hillside. The arrival of the railway in the 1840’s opened up Matlock Bath to the ordinary tourist, who came in droves.
Heights of Abraham
Take the cable railway from Matlock Railway Station and take in the Heights of Abraham and view the whole village and the scenic 390ft High Torr. You also get stunning views of the Gorge and the flowing Derwent passing on its way down below. There is a coffee shop, restaurant and picnic area, all taking advantage of the superb view. There is also a Victorian Prospect Tower built in 1844 and two caves, the Rutland Cavern and the Great Masson Cavern.
There is a model railway which is a reconstruction of the Midland Railways Company tracks through the most scenic parts of the Peak District. There is a aquarium which occupies the old Matlock Bath Hydro which still contains stone staircase and thermal pool, though now the pool is home to a large collection of different types of carp. The old , upstairs consulting rooms have tanks full of native, tropical and marine fish.