The Derwent Valley

Exploring the World Heritage Site

Here for a shortbreak or a week? Below are some easy to get to places to explore....

The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is Derbyshire's first, and, for now at least, only World Heritage Site and encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, riverscapes, townscapes and even cityscapes. Stretching from the centre of Derby at its start winding its way along the valley to its end near Matlock. Listed in 2001 it is now well on its way to becoming a premier tourist destination in the East Midlands.

See the video link at the foot of the page to see a brilliant, specially commissioned short film that will give you a flavour of what the Derwent Valley has to offer to the visitor.  Once you've read a bitwe feel sure  you'll then want to pop on to our booking page.


For walkers there is the 80 mile Derwent Valley Heritage Way to explore, which closely passes the door of Strutt Cottage.  Extending from Derby all the way to the Derwent Dams in the north of the Peak District this walk can be done in one go or in small sections.  See the link below for more details.

Below are listed a few of the great visitor options open to guests at Strutt Cottage

Up and Down the Derwent Valley...

The first port of call for any visitor to the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site is the official website of the DVWHS, which includes a visit planner and photogallery.

The Cromford Mills

Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mills the world's first successful water powered mill built in 1771 is home to a facsinating complex of buildings housing a visitors centre, shops and cafe.

Matlock Bath

A quaint inland seaside resort based upon the healing mineral-rich waters found in this delightful gorge.  Its unique geology a result of it once being in the sea itself!    A mecca for motorcyclists on summer Sundays and Bank Holidays there is a wealth of things to do and see, including an aquarium and several fish and chip shops and resturants.  Also, there is the Masson Mill, another early Arkwirght mill, which hosts a shopping village within it. 

The brilliant Heights of Abraham a great attraction with two excellent caves or mines and its cable cars across the gorge are well worth a visit too!

There is also excellent parking here too.  On Sunday's and Bank Holidays Matlock Bath is best visited by train.

The Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath

"A little bit scruffy" this amazing building, which currently embodies 'shabby chic' in its grandest form, is a work in progress.  Already rapidly gaining ground as a fabulous destination for music lovers and lovers of the arts and performing arts. Soon to be restored to its Edwardian splendour!


A lovely town with great shopping and a riverside park that has many attractions for the family. Also a great base for beautiful walks.

Peak Rail

From Matlock to Darley Dale and Rowsley, take a vintage steam train or diesel locomotive to the edge of the Chatsworth Estate. Peak Rail have a number of trains pulling their vintage rolling stock and provides a great trip for all the family.


A fantastic little city with a delightful Cathedral Quarter crammed with quaint shops.  For those that want something a little more up-to-date as a shopping experience there is a huge ultramodern Westfield shopping centre in the heart of the city, which hosts a multiplex cinema and a vast aray of shops.  It is also home to the Silk Mill, part of the Derwent Valley Mills complex. 

These are just a few of the Derwent Valley places to see and visit.  There are mills and quaint villages to be found in abundance up and down the valley, including at Darley Abbey and Lea.  Your options are almost endless.

Scarthin Books, Cromford

Probably the finest little independent bookshop in the whole of Britain.  We dare anyone to dispute us! Independent minded, free spirited, lively and, at times, a little bohemian, this glorious little gem sits along side Cromford's glorious little Fishpond in an area enigmatically called the Scarthin. Well worth a visit to explore the several rambling floors of books and to discover the cafe hidden behind a bookcase door and its vegetarian and vegan foods.  If you can't find an interesting book to read here I'll eat my hat!

To Where it Begins

A delightful and beautifully scripted short film showcasing the attractions, places to see and wonderful landscapes of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Just click on the play button and enjoy!

Copyright Derwent Mills Cottages 2015