Cromford Wharf, Upperwood, Harp Edge

Walk Area
OS Map
Start Point
Altitude Information
Start Point
Low Point
High Point
Other Information
Tea Shops
Last Walked
3.50 Miles (5.60 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Cromford Canal Car Park
DE4 3RQ  (SK 3007 5701)
262 feet   (80 meters)
262 feet   (80 meters)
636 feet   (194 meters)
Pay and Display
May 2nd 2011  Duration 2h
Cromford Wharf Parking
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:

River Derwent at Masson Mill
River Derwent At Masson Mill
A shortish walk taking in some of the historic sites of Cromford and the Derwent Valley, the walks also has a steep climb to Harp Edge rising through woodland from an altitude of 298ft (91m) near Masson Mill, to 636ft (194m) in a distance of just over a third of a mile. If you find youself in need of refreshment along this walk there are four tea shops to choose from; five if you visit Awkrights Mill. The first is adjacent to the Carpark on Cromford Wharf, The second is in Masson Mill shopping outlet, and the third a vegetarian cafe hidden behind a (usually open) secret door in Scarthin Books (this is very popular and gets busy at lunchtimes). Last but not least is Tor Cafe , sited at the traffic lights on the A6 at Cromford, this has the advantage of being open earlier than any of the others.

Getting There:

Cromford is around one mile south of Matlock Bath on the A6 towards Derby. At the staggered traffic light controlled junction on the A6 do not take the road into Cromford it's self, instead take the Mill Lane down the side of Sir Richard Awkrights Mill. Car-parks are to be found on either side of the at end of the Mill buildings. The car parking charges shown below relate specifically to the car park at Cromford Wharf. Toilets are available long this route both at the car park and in Cromford.

The Walk:

From the car park exit through the gate next to the toilet block, turn left and head back towards the road. As you approach the exit note the fishing temple, and remains of a 15th century Bridge Chapel between the path and Cromford Bridge. Pass over the cattle grid and pass through the gate opposite to St Mary's Church. Continue along the obvious path that runs parallel to the river until it passes through a set of stone gate posts to the A6. Turn right and follow the footpath for a quarter of a mile to Masson Mill. At Masson Mill use the pedestrian crossing to cross to the other side of the A6, then continue for a short distance towards Matlock Bath.

Car Park Charges
(Cromford Wharf)
These prices were correct at the time of visit.
(February 11th 2017)
    Two Hours     1.40
    Four Hours    2.90
    All Day          4.40
Footpath from Upperwood to Scarthin
Footpath To Scarthin
Leaving Masson Mill behind look for the next building on the river side of the road (same side as the Mill), the footpath for this walk is opposite the first of these, the footpath sign is not immediately obvious, but is visible from the pavement. Follow this path up the hill for just over a third of a mile, in places the route is quite steep and has been made into steps to aid the climb. During the ascent the path swings to the right then turns sharp left. A short distance after the left turn path meets another near to a small group of white houses.
Cave in The Woods At Harp Edge
Cave Mouth Along The Way

At this junction look slightly to the right for the obvious black and white sign post to Scarthin, follow the path indicated by the sign towards Sacrthin and Harp Edge. The path continues to climb gently for a distance then begins to descend. Although the descent begins quite slowly is becomes steeper for a distance as the path passes becomes rocky, this section of the route can become quite slippery underfoot when wet, as the path flattens out the route is joined from the left by a path up from Masson Mill. Near to this junction to the right is the entrance to a what appears to be a cave. (See image above.) From the cave the path continues forward descending more gently until it begins to curve to the right. The curve continues until the path is almost pointing in the direction from which the walk came. When the path straightens out the route begins to climb once more. Continue along the path for almost a quarter of a mile. Shortly after the path brgins a sustained decent, follow the path until it meets another footpath running almost parallel. Turn left and continue to descend towards Cromford. The end of this path leads infront of a few houses before meeting the A5012. Walk along the road towards Cromford taking care as the pavement is virtually non-existent and the A5012 a busy road. Cross the road when safe to do so and continue for a short distance towards the centre of Cromford. Just past the garage take the path to the right next to the first house, walk up the slope across the rough ground into a housing estate. At the remains of a squeeze stile bear right until a road is reached. Cross the road and continue down the lane ahead. At the end of this short lane of heavily pollarded trees, cross a second road and walk down the side of the cemetery.
The "Bear Pit" Sluice.

This magnificent round sluice was built as a collection point for the drainage systems for the lead mines at Black Rock. Built between 1672 and 1709 the sluice is connected the mines by a mile long tunnel. At it's height the slough was purchased by Sir Richard Awkright and it's water used to power machinery in his nearby mill.

Water flow within the sluice was controlled by wooden stop boards and a sluice gate shown in the image opposite.

Cromford's Bear Pit Sluice
The "Bear Pit" Sluice
At this point you may be wondering why this route is heading through a housing estate and past a cemetery. To be honest on the map it was the easiest way to get from the bottom of Scarthin to Cromford Hill. When I next walk this route I may look for an alternative for this section of the walk. When the path reaches the end of the cemetery near to the lytchgate, turn left and follow the road down onto Cromford Hill. Cross the road (B5036) taking care as this is the main road from Cromford to Wirksworth. Having safely crossed the road walk down the road to the Bell Inn. Here turn right into North Street. North Street was built by the Arkwrights between 1776 and 1777 to house mill workers. The attic level of each house has a number of windows to provide ample light for "outworkers" to ply their trade. At the end of the street is Cromford School founded by Richard Awkright in 1832 with places for upto two hundred children. On reaching the end of North Street turn left down the side of the last cottage and keep to the left, look for a gap in the wall just beyond a tree. This area is used for parking so the gap may not be immediately visible. Follow the path between the backs of the houses and the garden areas. Note that each house was thourghtfully provided with a pig sty, stone pig troughs can still be seen in some of the garden/allotment areas. Follow the path to the circular sluice known as the "Bear Pit".( See information Panel above.) The tour of the less well trodden and historic part of Cromford complete pass between the houses to emerge once more onto Cromford Hill.
Scarthin Books
Scarthin Books
On reaching the road either cross at this point, or walk down to the pedestrian crossing near Greyhound Hotel. Having crossed the road walk down Water Lane (A5012) along the side ofthe side of the pond to the waterwheel. Pass the waterwheel and walk to the point where this route previously turned towards the housing estate. This time take the narrow road to the right and walk up onto Scarthin promenade and Aladdin's Cave that is Scarthin Books. The inside of Scarthin books is narrow in places so you may wish to ask the person at the till if they would mind looking after your rucksack if you have one. So far they have never said no when I have asked.

From Scarthin books continue along Scarthin past the Boat Inn to the Market Place. Turn left at the Market place and walk down to the pedestrian crossings at the A6. My observations of these crossing is that they are traffic controlled, and pressing the little button has no effect other than making you feel better whilst waiting! Having crossed the A6 walk along the footpath away from Cromford towards Derby. Opposite Intake Lane (off to the right) is a small gap in the wall to the left, pass through this gap, and follow the path between the gardens until it comes out onto a private road. Turn left then right opposite the mill, follow the footpath and Canal feeder stream to return to the car park at Cromford Wharf.

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