Join Derwent Valley Tours on an escorted tour around the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. 

Tours operate on Wednesdays and Thursdays between May and September (for precise dates and times, please check the schedule below). Due to the pandemic, we are temporarily limiting each tour to just six guests (on a 16-seat minibus) and applying a number of special precautions.

Tours of the only World Heritage Site in Derbyshire

Three exciting and engaging escorted tours of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site are available The tours  start from either Derby at 9.30am, or Matlock at 9.45am. We are scheduled to arrive back between 5 and 5.30pm.

You may pre-book your lunch on some tours, to save time and money. Please find details here.

Special offer price £25

At present we are offering tours at a bargain special low price of just £25 per person (including booking fee). Prices include all admissions.

BOOK NOW TO GET THIS OFFER

Derwent Valley Highlights – Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

£58

An escorted tour, taking in the major sites of the valley. The tour includes:

  • Visit to the Arkwright Experience and Visitor Centre at Cromford Mills to hear the story of the valley and how it changed the World.
  • Guided tours of Cromford Wharf and the Cromford Canal aqueduct, an unspoilt example of eighteenth century engineering in an amazing setting.
  • Guided tour of High Peak Junction visiting the oldest railway workshop in the world to discover unique relics and curiosities of this pioneer railway.
  • Guided tour of Strutt’s North Mill, Belper, to find out how disastrous fires led to the development of skyscrapers thanks to innovations introduced here.
  • Walking tour of Belper Mills and the adjacent Edwardian River Gardens.
  • Drive through tours of Milford and Darley Abbey to discover the special features of these other early water powered mill communities.
  • Commentary along the whole route.

This is a brilliant way to get to see the World Heritage Site and every aspect of its history, interest and beauty. A picnic lunch hamper is available for this tour.

Cromford Explorer

£56

An escorted tour enabling you to explore the Cromford area in more detail and discover some of the lesser-known (but equally interesting) features. The tour includes:

  • Guided tour of Cromford Mills, the first water powered cotton mill in the world with a visit to the Arkwright Experience and Visitor Centre to hear the story of the valley and how it changed the World.
  • A guided walking tour through Cromford, the village that Arkwright developed in order to accommodate his works, the world’s first industrial village, including the Cromford Canal Wharf and the attractive riverside scenery.
  • Commentary along the whole route in the minibus.

AND EITHER:

  • A return trip along the Cromford Canal towards High Peak Junction on the narrow boat “Birdswood” (Subject to availability).

OR:

  • Guided tour of the Cromford Canal aqueduct, an unspoilt example of eighteenth century engineering in an amazing setting and High Peak Junction visiting the oldest railway workshop in the world to discover unique relics and curiosities of this pioneer railway.

AND:

  • Visit to John Smedley’s Mill (the factory which has remained in continuous family operation since the eighteenth century) in order to visit the mill shop.

A picnic lunch hamper is available for this tour.

Belper Explorer

£52

This escorted tour enables you to explore Belper and enjoy a pub lunch in one of its most popular venues. Belper has a rich history and lies at the heart of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Jedediah Strutt built one of the world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mills here in 1776 –and Strutt’s North Mill; that now contains the Derwent Valley Visitor Centre, was rebuilt in 1804 using pioneering engineering techniques as an iron framed fire-proof building. The tour includes:

  • Guided tour of Strutt’s North Mill, the building that gave birth to skyscrapers, with the stories behind the original machines that can still be seen here.
  • Walking tour of the Belper Mills site to see various buildings and to trace water courses.
  • Reservations for a pub lunch at one of Belper’s most popular venues.
  • Walking tour of the housing and amenities provided by the Strutt family for its employees. Tucked away in these attractive streets you will discover the novel features provided in the world’s first industrial town and hear stories such as that of the dreaded Belper nailers.
  • Walking tour of Belper River Gardens, the attractive riverside promenade and features that preserve the Edwardian park built for the worker’s, with an opportunity to relax and enjoy a cup of something overlooking the river.
  • Commentary along the whole route.

It includes a visit to Strutt’s North Mill and walking tours of the mill site, the River Gardens and the attractive worker’s housing.

Our Schedule

Tour No Date Tour Starting from Tickets
1 Wednesday 2nd June Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
2 Thursday 10th June Derwent Valley Highlights Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
3 Wednesday 16th June Belper Explorer Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
4 Thursday 24th June Belper Explorer Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
5 Wednesday 30th June Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
6 Thursday 8th July Derwent Valley Highlights Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
7 Wednesday 14th July Belper Explorer Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
8 Thursday 22nd July Cromford Explorer Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
9 Wednesday 28th July Cromford Explorer Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
10 Thursday 5th August Belper Explorer Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
11 Wednesday 11th August Cromford Explorer Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
12 Thursday 12th August Cromford Explorer Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
13 Thursday 19th August Cromford Explorer Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
14 Wednesday 25th August Belper Explorer Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
15 Thursday 26th August Belper Explorer Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
16 Wednesday 1st September Cromford Explorer Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW
17 Thursday 2nd September Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
18 Wednesday 8th September Derwent Valley Highlights Matlock at 9.45am BOOK NOW

Note

Further details of our pickup locations in Matlock and Derby can be found here.

Important Information

 

CHILDREN

At this stage, the scheduled tours we offer are unsuitable for children under 5 years of age. Children  between 6 – 16 yrs are most welcome onboard but must be accompanied by an adult.

BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS

Full booking terms and conditions are available here.

CHANGES TO OUR SCHEDULE

Our programme of tours may need to be varied due to changes in Covid-19 regulations or other circumstances. In all such cases guests will have the option of refunds or re-booking to a later date at no extra cost.

FAQs

What measures are in place to ensure that Derwent Valley Tours meet all COVID requirements?

We have put many procedures in place to ensure that we meet all COVID-19 requirements. All the sites that we visit on the Tour also have their own procedures in place. Numbers on the minibus are limited, masks must be worn, equipment is sanitised, and social-distancing regulations are applied. Please see more information regarding our response to COVID-19 here.

What happens to my booking if I (or another member of my party) am ill on the day?

You must phone 01629 823256 (Option 1) as soon as possible and before the time of the tour departure. Once you have done this, we will either make a refund or reschedule your booking. (Please note lines are open from 9am—5pm.)

What happens if I want to cancel or rearrange my booking?

You may cancel or rearrange up to 24 hours prior to the tour date to receive a full refund. Email info@arkwrightsociety.org or phone 01629 823256 (Option 1). (Please note lines are open from 9am—5pm.)

Do I need to bring any evidence of my booking?

Each Tour Manager will have a list of expected passengers. However, we recommend having your reference number to hand.

What do I need to know about pick-up points?

Each tour has just one pick-up point: Derby leaves from Cathedral Green, while Matlock leaves from the railway and bus station interchange. More details can be found here. Please make yourself known to the Tour Manager, who carries a board with the DVT logo, or find the minibus, which also displays the logo. Please be punctual and look out for the bus. If you have any problems, give us a call and we will advise you.

What happens if I am late arriving at the pick-up point?

Due to the nature of our tours, we cannot wait for guests who arrive late to the pick-up point, as this would impact the other passengers and delay the whole day. We ask that you try to arrive at the pick-up point earlier then required. If you expect to be very late, please call us as soon as possible.

Are there special rates for children?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide this at this current time.

Can I have a special seat due to my health or mobility issues?

If this is the case, please contact us and we will do our best to allocate a suitable seat for you.

Do you cater for wheelchairs?

A folding wheelchair can be carried on the minibus and if one of your party can help you in and out of the vehicle and push it for you, then this is a way for you to enjoy our tours. There may be restrictions at some sites, but we will endeavour to provide you with alternative activities wherever possible. Please note that it is a condition of the Cromford Explorer Tour that guests must be able to step into and out of the Birdswood canal boat unaided. However, if you contact us on 01629 823256 (Option 1) in advance, we may be able to offer an alternative experience.

Are dogs allowed?

We only allow assistance dogs on our tours. Please inform us at the time of booking.

Can you carry luggage?

Due to the size of our vehicles, we are only able to carry small day-sized backpacks. Larger luggage may be carried onboard with prior arrangement. At the moment, some seats are kept spare, so please check at time of booking.

What should I wear and bring?

Please dress according to the season, and bring sun and rain protection. Wear sensible walking shoes. You may also wish to bring drinking water. Having your own pen would help us.

How much walking is involved?

All tours include walking, so they are not suitable for anyone who cannot walk at a normal pace for up to an hour at a time. There are no steep hills, but there are some short uphill walks on the Cromford and Belper Explorer Tours.

Lunch is included in all tours: do you cater for special diets (gluten free/diabetic/vegetarian)?

Yes. The hamper choices for the Derwent Valley Highlights and Cromford Explorer Tours include a variety of options. You can find the menu and further details here. Please let us know if you have specific requirements when you fill in the online form sent when you book.

The meal included on the Belper Explorer Tour allows you to choose from the pub menu, which has a wide variety of diet options. Please note that you should state any requirements when ordering on the day.

If something goes wrong, who should we contact?

The first point of contact is the Tour Manager or their assistant. If this is not possible, please phone 01629 823256 (Option 1) immediately. (Please note lines are open from 9am—5pm.)