Mince Pie Ramble – Matlock to Cromford (10.5 miles)

30 December 2018

The walk starts above Matlock at Upper Lumsdale from where we descend Lumsdale valley following Bentley Brook down to Matlock Green. Bentley Brook was the water source for a series of holding ponds, the water being used to power a series of mills (see the attached leaflet). We join the Riverside footpath along the River Derwent beneath Pic Tor. Then follows the first climb of the day up to High Tor – several view points down to the A6 and Matlock on the right; on the left views of Riber Hall standing proud on the hillside. At the summit the more adventurous walkers may wish to try Giddy Edge before we descend to
the join the River again at Matlock Bath where we will have our first stop of the day.

Refreshments & New Toilets available but you now need to carry 20p!!!!
From Matlock Bath, two Options:
– Main group-high level walk to Cromford (stiff climb from the A6!) or
– Continue along the A6 to Cromford
From Cromford (Toilets available) we will steadily climb up to Black Rocks; hopefully some good photo opportunities and time for a second short break to admire the views.
(Those not wishing to make the full ascent to Black Rocks have a couple of easier options by joining the High Peak Trail sooner and dropping down to High Peak Junction).

From Black Rocks we will continue to the Trig Point (view of Carsington Water), followed by a short road section before heading ENE (Wigwellnook Farm) and descent to the Cromford Canal at the High Peak Junction. We will halt at High Peak Junction for a short break. Hot & Cold drinks along with snacks & Toilets available at the Visitor Centre.

We then start the final leg of our walk via Lea Bridge, through Bow Wood back to Cromford. After crossing over the River Derwent Bridge we take the river footpath at the rear of the church/Arkwright Mill to join the A6 at the Bus Stop (Matlock Bath side of the Cromford Cross Roads) for a coach departure at 4.15/4.30.

As daylight hours will be short “pit stops” will be limited to 20/30 mins. Those opting for the shorter/easier options would be able to enjoy longer breaks. Depending on the weather/light conditions the route may be varied towards the end.

Conditions may be slippery if wet – wooden steps, tree roots, limestone, mud and leaves – please take care, particularly when descending.

David G Coleman.
Free Mince Pie to ALL participants!

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