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

Our Autumn Specials operate on Thursdays and Saturdays in September and October.  (See the schedule below).  Tours are limited to 10 guests in a 16-seater minibus, and to protect our guests, tour guides and driver we will continue to apply a number of Covid precautions.

Autumn Tours of the only World Heritage Site in Derbyshire

Two escorted tours of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site are available for a discounted price this autumn. The full day Derwent Valley Highlights is only £25 and starts from Derby at 9.30am (returning at 5.15pm). The Half Day Explorer is £12.50 and starts from Cromford Mills at either 10.30am or 2.30pm (returning at 1.00pm or 5.00pm).

Derwent Valley Highlights

An escorted tour, taking in the major sites of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Your tour guide will point out the places of interest along the valley and weave the history of ‘The Valley that changed the World’ into your journey.

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.
  • A guided tour of Cromford Wharf and the Cromford Canal aqueduct; an unspoilt example of eighteenth-century engineering within an amazing setting.
  • A guided tour of High Peak Junction, visiting the oldest railway workshop in the world to discover unique relics and curiosities of this pioneer railway.
  • A guided tour of Strutt’s North Mill in Belper, where a disastrous fire led to innovation in building technology and the rise of modern skyscrapers.
  • 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.
  • You will have time to buy your lunch at Cromford Mills, or you can bring your own refreshments.

Half-Day Explorer: High Peak Junction & Belper North Mill

Join us at Cromford Mills, the first water-powered cotton spinning mill in the world, to start your journey on an exploration of two fascinating gems in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.  The half-day explorer can be booked on the day at Cromford Mills if tickets are available, and child tickets will be available at this point.

The tour includes:

  • Guided tour of High Peak Junction, on the Cromford Canal, 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 & Derwent Valley Visitor Centre, looking at the original machines and hearing the stories behind them. The North Mill was rebuilt in 1804 as an iron-framed, fire-proof building, using the pioneering building techniques that gave birth to modern-day skyscrapers.
  • Your knowledgeable guide will also point out other locations of interest along the way.

Our Schedule

Tour No Date Tour Starting from Tickets
1 Thursday 16 September Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
2 Thursday 23 September Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
3 Thursday 30 September Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
4 Thursday 7 October Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
5 Saturday 9 October Half-Day Explorer Cromford Mills at 10.30am BOOK NOW
6 Saturday 9 October Half-Day Explorer Cromford Mills at 2.30pm BOOK NOW
7 Thursday 14 October Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
8 Saturday 16 October Half-Day Explorer Cromford Mills at 10.30am BOOK NOW
9 Saturday 16 October Half-Day Explorer Cromford Mills at 2.30pm BOOK NOW
10 Thursday 21 October Derwent Valley Highlights Derby at 9.30am BOOK NOW
11 Saturday 23 October Half-Day Explorer Cromford Mills at 10.30am BOOK NOW
12 Saturday 23 October Half-Day Explorer Cromford Mills at 2.30pm BOOK NOW

Note

Further details of our pickup locations in Derby and Cromford 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 0) 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 0). (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 Cromford leaves from Cromford Mills main car park. 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 0) 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.

Do I need to bring lunch?

We include a stop for lunch on all the tours.  For the Derwent Highlights, and the Cromford Explorer tours, you can choose to buy your lunch from one of three cafés on site at Cromford Mills (a selection of light meals and sandwiches), or you can bring you own picnic lunch. For The Belper Explorer, we have reserved a table for a pub lunch at The Devonshire. Check out the menu in advance here. You will be responsible for ordering and paying for your party 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 0) immediately. (Please note lines are open from 9am—5pm.)