VPDD Main Cromford Mills
VPDD Main Whatstandwell21
VPDD Main Milford River 12
VPDD Main Darley Abbey paddleboarding
VPDD Main Cromford
VPDD Main Belper North Mill
VPDD Main Belper river 2


    Welcome to Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

    The World Heritage Site is the birthplace of the modern factory. Each mill has its own story to tell; stories of pioneering engineers and entrepreneurs who set off a chain of events that changed how we live and work forever.

    Today the Derwent Valley is awake again, alive with creators and makers. A great place to explore, and discover all its heritage and busting community, along the river & canals that flow through it. Find out more about the sites below.

    The World Heritage Site is set in the beautiful Derwent Valley, where the lowlands meet the rugged grandeur of the Peak District, the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is a partnership between many land and building owners, organisations and visitor attractions.

    It was here in the Derwent Valley that the essential ingredients of factory production were combined. Water power was applied and successfully used for the first time on a relatively large scale.

    The site begins at top of the valley in Matlock, down to Belper and Darley Abbey ending in the heart of Derby with arguably the world’s first factory - Derby’s Silk Mill which is home to the brand new Museum of Making.

    To find out more visit derwentvalleymills.org

    In The Area




    White Peak Distillery

    Established in 2016, White Peak Distillery is the first full-scale, craft distillery in the Peak District region.


    Cromford Mills

    Explore the history of Cromford Mills and discover the captivating story of how the Derwent Valley changed the world in the 18th Century with the…


    Museum of Making

    Celebrating the area’s rich history of innovation, the Museum of Making in the Derby Silk Mill.


    High Peak Junction Visitor Centre – Cromford Canal

    Discover some of the oldest surviving railway workshops in the world, from the former Cromford and High Peak Railway and step back in time with the…


    Belper River Gardens

    Located within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site adjacent to Strutt's historic North Mill the riverside promenade allows flat easy access…


    Cromford Village Heritage Walk

    A great walk around the historic village of Cromford.


    Leawood Pumphouse

    Leawood Pumphouse was built in 1849 to pump water from the River Derwent into Cromford Canal.

    Cromford Canal

    Now a picturesque and relaxing place to go for a countryside walk, Cromford Canal was once a buzzing hub of Derbyshire’s industry.


    Cromford Wharf

    The wharf is a haven for wildlife and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Little grebes and water voles can be seen throughout the year. In summer…

    Our Great Itineraries

    Car-free guide: 48 hours in the Derwent Valley

    Connecting charming towns and villages with an amazing industrial past, the Derwent Valley Line runs from Derby to Matlock.

    City Heritage, Culture and Cocktails!

    Visit Derby, the UK’s most central city, with a rich history of creativity and making, a busy cultural calendar, a varied shopping offer and the…

    Events in Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site


    Cromford Steam Rally

    Derbyshire’s premier steam heritage and vintage rally, showcasing the very best in steam, transport and leisure industries 5-6th August

    Trails nearby

    A Stroll along Cromford Canal

    A walk along the old canal tow path on the five mile stretch through the Derwent Valley between Ambergate and Cromford passing through the village of…

    Cromford Mill & Village Walk

    Explore the home of the Industrial Revolution and discover Derbyshire’s rich history on this 6 or 8 mile walk.

    Derby Heritage Walk

    Discover the southern gateway to the Derwent Valley Milld World Heritage Site.

    Belper Heritage Walk

    Learn more about this industrial community and how it has changed in the past 200 years.

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