Derwent Valley Heritage Way. Day3 Rowsley to Cromford
Well day 3 brings me to more familiar territory as I get closer to home. But it is not actually that familiar; the view at a pedestrian pace, along paths is very different to the fast view of the nearby road and rail. It’s a shorter day’s walk too …due to the need to find suitable accommodation. In many ways it’s a frustrating day too..
The path follows the river closely as far as Rowsley South.
The Peak Valley Railway follows the river quite closely, with a stop at Darley Bridge then Matlock Riverside. I was originally tempted to use the train but, with my new found walking ability (and the fact that I was over 2 hrs too early for the train), I ploughed on on foot.
From here to Churchtown the path goes across meadows, again straightening out the meanderings of the Derwent. But the meadows were empty of cattle or sheep and I was able to follow the riverbank- adding mileage but pleasure too. As I have said previously, I am intrigued that many of these paths hint at at a more industrial past- this building looks relatively recent.
As the path goes through Churchtown it moves away from the river and through farm land.
Back to the river at Darley Bridge
This pub The Square and Compass has a camp site and, on an other occasion, might be a good stopping point.
Onward to Matlock, via Oker. I really liked these allotments; making use of strips of land by the river.
After a while the river meanders wildly and I stepped off the straightened path to also meander.
Up on the hill, first sighting of Riber Castle which is to dominate the skyline all the way to Matlock Bath.
As we approach Matlock, the river, the path, the road and the railway are all close together, reminding me again of the importance of this valley over the years to the current day. The path enters a wood
and seems to speed up. More indications of an industrial past,
You can hear the road but not see it. The railway passes over the river (now Peak Railway)
and you get the feeling that the river is rushing towards the town. Then suddenly, you see it
At Matlock, the path switches banks, starting in the park in Matlock.
This is a timely reminder as to how calm the river is now;
The path climbs up to High Tor,
with views of that castle again
before descending into Matlock Bath. And this is where the frustration begins.
At Matlock Bath railway (mainline) station, the path crosses the river and follows the A6 all the way to Cromford. This is a busy road and Matlock Bath a busy place. I feel slightly disorientated after all the peace and quiet, seeing few people. It was hot too and road walking was not what I had in mind either. (See Tim Whitemore for his experience of Matlock Bath and its illuminations)
I paused over a pinim t of Poet’s Tipple (Ashover Brewery) at the Fishpond. (at time of writing, their kitchen is closed so they invite you to bring food from one of the many outlets, including fish and chips.)
I walked through the Riverside Gardens and came to realise that I could have stayed on the other bank and followed a path here:
I’ll explore this on a day trip soon. More frustrating, at the end of the Riverside Gardens, just as I think I can continue to walk along the river, I come to this gate and sign
I later find out that their grounds extend all the way through to Cromford. You would have thought perhaps that this Christian organisation might allow a concessionary way through their grounds-perhaps they have never been asked.
So back to the road and onto my final stop of the day, Cromford.