Cromford Canal - Peak District Walk

Friday 31st December 2021

Over Christmas the sun had finally appeared and so on a day when there were no visits planned we decided to head out for a local walk. Over the last 18 months Cromford Canal has been a place we have visited a lot with our grandson, who loves to feed the ducks and explore the old train carriages at the bottom of the High Peak Trail. For the first part of the walk it definitely felt like someone was missing.

Start: Cromford Wharf (SK 3004 5707)

Route: Cromford Wharf - Cromford Canal - High Peak Junction - Cromford Canal - Birch Wood - High Peak Trail - Intake Lane - Cromford - Cromford Wharf

Distance: 4.75 miles     Ascent: 169 metres      Time Taken: 2 hrs 40 mins

Terrain: Clear but muddy paths

Weather: Warm with sunny spells

Pub Visited: None    Ale Drunk: None

Route Map >>


Cromford Canal

As it is easier to access we started the walk from The Wharf at the end of Cromford Canal. If I didn't know better I'd think those ducks were asking where Thomas was with their breakfast.

Cromford Canal

We made quick progress and soon found ourselves at the bridge.

Cromford Canal

As we walked along the canal we were able to enjoy some great reflections in the water.

High Peak Junction

High Peak Junction was very busy, so it is just as well the bridge, which only a few months ago was being repaired, is back in place.

Cromford Canal

It seemed very strange to head down this side of the canal, as these days this side is usually done in the opposite direction.

The Wharf Shed

We'd deliberately stayed on this side in the hope of catching the reflections of The Wharf Shed in the water.

Cromford Canal

For much of this section of the canal we were being blinded by the sun, which certainly makes a change.

Leawood Pump House

A look back to Leawood Pump House just before the canal passes over the River Derwent.

Aqueduct Cottage

Over the last 18 months we have watched the improvements to the cottage progress. Most of the work is now being done outside and a recent trip saw the new steps behind the cottage into the wood being a great source of entertainment for Thomas. A hillwalker in the making!

Crich Stand

Continuing along the canal we start to get a view of Crich Stand high above us.

Cromford Canal

Once we have passed Aqueduct Cottage the number of people declines, which is a shame as they are missing out on seeing some great reflections.

Cromford Canal

More reflections as we approach the point where we will be leaving the canal path.

Birch Wood

Having crossed the A6 we take the track into Birch Wood and I quickly start to regret leaving my gaiters at home.

Birch Wood

A short climb takes us to the top of the wood, where we hope to find a suitable spot to stop.

Birch Wood

At the top of the hill we spot a convenient log and sit enjoying a mince pie stop whilst looking through the tress in the direction of the Derwent Valley.

Birch Wood

Mince pies consumed it is time to make our way along the top of the wood.

Birch Wood

As we walk through the wood the sun lights up the bare trunks and branches.

Birch Wood

The track leads onto a tarmac lane, which we follow as far as the campsite and then head downhill.

High Peak Trail

We briefly join the High Peak Trail, which is full of families out enjoying the sunshine.

Intake Lane

After a few minutes we turn off the High Peak Trail and join Intake Lane as it passes beneath the High Peak Trail.

Intake Lane

We follow Intake Lane, which becomes a tarmac track and then a road into a small housing estate.

High Tor

The residents at the top of the road enjoy a great view along the Derwent Valley, here looking towards High Tor.

Derwent Valley

In the opposite direction they enjoy a view across the valley to Coumbs Wood. All that remains now is for us to drop down to the A6 and follow the road back to the Wharf.


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