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Amazing Facts About Derwent Valley Mills

Derbyshire is full of rich history, including the industrial revolution which started right on our doorstep. At the heart of this is Derwent Valley Mills, a World Heritage site that snakes 15 miles through Matlock Bath and Cromford all the way to Derby City Centre.


Here are 5 reasons that you should visit Derwent Valley Mills after lockdown:

1. Cromford Mill is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, explore how this remarkable mill site changed the world we live in today with a guided tour and visit the courtyard cafes, shops and nature walks.

Cromford Mill


2. Alongside the mill runs the Cromford Canal which stretches all the way to Ambergate, there’s lots of heritage along the way as well as unique wildlife - one of few places in the UK with water voles. You can enjoy the canal by foot or hop on the Birdswood canal boat for a leisurely cruise - lookout for opening dates on their web pages - birdswood.org

Birdswood canal boat


3. Just along the valley you can visit Smedley’s knitwear shop at Lea Mills, a supplier of fine knitwear to Harrods and used by royalty. Grab yourself a bargain in the factory shop on site – you’ll find a large range of knits at up to 60% off.John Smedley at Lea Mill


4. Follow the river south to Belper Mill and River Gardens – these unique riverside gardens have been offering visitors a tranquil setting to view the River Derwent for over 100 years.  To learn more about the lives of the mill workers follow one of Belper’s heritage walks for a fascinating insight into the past.


5. Brand new for 2021, a new Museum of Making is opening this Spring at Derby Silk Mill. Celebrating the area’s rich history of innovation, the Museum of Making will be a contemporary space telling Derby’s 300-year history of making to inspire new creativity on the site of the world’s first factory.


Discover more about Derwent Valley Mills at www.derwentvalleymills.org.



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