Matlock Station To Darley Bridge

Walk Area
OS Map
Start Point
Altitude Information
Start Point
Low Point
High Point
Other Information
Tea Shops
Last Walked
4.25 Miles (6.80 Km)
Explorer OL24  1:25000
White Peak Area
Matlock Station Car Park
DE4 3WN  (SK 2972 6019)
305 feet   (93 meters)
331 feet   (101 meters)
298 feet   (91 meters)
Pay and Display
Dec 24th 2013  Duration 2hrs
Matlock Station Parking
Map For
This Walk.

Walk Altitude Profile:

This is a fairly easy walk that is also relatively flat, having only 42 feet (10 meters) between the highest and lowest points of the route, and the steep bits are the path up the bank to the side of the railway line (Peak Rail) from the fields near Darley Bridge, and the decent back from the track to the riverside path near the end of the walk. The outbound section follows the route of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way (DVHW), following the line of the River Derwent to Darley Bridge. The return leg passes through a farm and across fields before joining the track-side concessionary path back to Riverside Station. From there the route rejoins the DVHW to return to Matlock Station. (Peak Rail Operating Dates)

Getting There:

From the M1 Motorway junctions 28, 29, or 30 follow the signs for Matlock, then on arrival follow the railway station signs to the car park. From the north (Manchester,Buxton) and the South (Derby) follow the A6 to Matlock, (not Matlock Bath) and enter the Station car-park between Sainsbury's and the old river bridge in the centre of town. Be sure not to use the spaces allocated to rail passengers as the charges for parking in these spaces is different to the rest of the car-park. Public transport to Matlock is available by train from Derby, and by bus from Manchester, Buxton, Chesterfield and Derby. See Derby Bus Info website for details.
The Santa Special, Peak Rail, Derbyshire

"The Santa Special", Peak Rail, Derbyshire

Car Park Charges
Matlock Station
These prices were correct at the time of last visit.
(February 9th 2017)

    One Hour       £1.30
    Two Hours     £2.20
    Three Hours   £3.30
    Four Hours    £4.40
    All Day          £5.50

The Walk:

From the car park walk back towards the town centre and cross the A6 at the pedestrian crossing near the old river bridge. Once safely across the road take the riverside path away from the town which forms a section of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way long distance footpath, follow the tarmacked footpath down between the high wall and the river until it passes beneath the bridge that carries the A6 by-pass over the river. Beyond the road bridge River-side Station and its signal box are visible up to the left, the footpath from this point begins to become less well maintained as it approaches the railway bridge ahead. Pass under the railway bridge and cross a concrete beam over a small stream that has eroded a gulley into the path, to the left at this point are some steps on the left which are the point where the return leg of this route descends to rejoin the DVHW on the return section to Matlock Station.

A view across the derwent valley, Derbyshire

A View Across The Derwent Valley, Derbyshire

Continue along the riverside path as it rises into a wooded area, along this piece of the route short sections of the path can become muddy and flooded in wet conditions, these are easily passed by keeping to the grass on right side of the path. Staying on the path follow it past the factory on the left and enjoy the views across the valley to the right until eventually arriving at a wooden step stile near a bend in the river. Beyond the stile the path divides, one route continues ahead diagonally across the field, and the other (our route) continues to the right along the path of the river, carry on along the track to a stone squeeze stile and stock gate then cross the middle of the following field to another stock gate. Pass through the second gate with it's bridge across a drainage ditch then once again continue along the path as it curves gently to the right. After a distance the path arrives at a makeshift stock gate leading to a path between the hedges of gardens belonging to the houses ahead. Again in wet conditions this path can be affected by water, in this case a free-flowing stream down the centre of the path!
Looking back down the stream path, DVHW Oaker, Derbyshire

The Stream Path,
Oaker, Derbyshire

Once at the top of the stream path go through the stone squeeze stile and out onto a lane, turn right and walk along the lane until it splits, continue ahead and follow the path as it swings left then right to cross a stream then on to a stile beside a metal farm gate. Go through the gate or cross the stile and follow the tarmac track for a little under half a mile to another metal gate and stile combination. Pass through the gate then follow the road through the outskirts of Darley Bridge to the bridge it's self, at the bridge cross the road then cross the bridge towards the Square and Compass public house.

On the far side of the bridge cross the road once more and take the footpath on the right into Flatts farm. At this point there are two footpaths one each side of a stone wall, the one this route takes is the one nearest the bridge. If in doubt forget the stiles and walk into the farmyard through the drive way then follow the wall to the left.With the wall to the left continue past the barn to a metal farm gate, pass to the left of the gate and cross a farm track then to the left of a second gate into a field and walk ahead keeping the wall to the left. On entering the field you may be faced with a quagmire, I got around this by walking around its right side, if you need to do this look out for what may be an old well capped only by a few old pieces of wood.

Darley Bridge, Derbyshire

Darley Bridge, Derbyshire

Having negotiated the mudflat follow the field wall (to the left) to the end of the field and go through a stone squeeze stile near a wooden power line pole. Continue through the next field and exit through a similar stile, now head diagonal right (about 45°) to the point where a fence meets the curving River Derwent. Go through the the wooden stock gate and take the path that follows the river bank south-east towards Matlock. Follow the path to another stock gate then down to cross a wooden plank bridge over a stream and up some steps on the far side, the route then tracks the course of the river passing under the arch of a fallen tree to a stone squeeze stile. The embankment that carries the trains of Peak Rail should now be to the left, continue ahead through three fields via stiles and stock gates until the path again meets the river bank.
On leaving the third field there is a cattle creep under the railway line to the left, to the right of the creep is a rusting metal kissing gate that provides access to a concessionary line-side footpath. Go through the gate and up the embankment to join the track-side path. Walk along the concessionary path beside the track towards Matlock for three-quarters of a mile to the point where it crosses the River Derwent. If you time the walk right you may well be passed by a Peak Rail steam train running between Matlock and Rowsley South stations, in my case it was "Santa's Special" hauled by the saddle tank "Orchid" and tailed by the desil loco' "Penyghent" providing generator power to the coaches. On reaching the bridge the path crosses the river using the parapet of the railway bridge, it's quite safe with sturdy hand rails on both sides. Climb the metal steps, cross the bridge and descend on the far side, here the concessionary path ends and drops down to the DVHW via a stepped path to the right. On reaching the bottom of the path turn right to pass under the railway bridge and retrace you steps along the footpath for around half a mile back to the pedestrian crossing and the car-park at Matlock Station.
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