Lumsdale Valley: Public access to Lumsdale Waterfalls and Ponds has been suspended until further notice. Please do not travel to the site.

Guided Tours of Cromford Mills

Cromford Mills Tour Guide

Join one of our fantastic tours to discover more about the Cromford story and how Sir Richard Arkwright influenced the world we know today.

Daily Mill Tours from 11am

  • Winter Tour times: 5th November until 28th February - 11:30am and 2pm.
  • Summer Tour times: 1st March until 5th November - 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm.
  • There are no guided tours on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  

Our tour guides take you back in time to when Sir Richard Arkwright pioneered the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill right here with an introductory tour of the main mill complex.  Hear more about the secrets of Sir Richard Arkwright’s work; why he choose Cromford and find out more about the revolutionary techniques he used to make it an international success. This tour lasts approximately one hour. 

We sometimes have large booked groups and are therefore unable to run certain daily tours. To avoid disappointment, please call ahead to check the tour times for the day. We do our best to offer as much as possible to our visitors and apologise for any inconvenience. If you are unable to go on a guided tour, why not try our excellent audio tours instead.

Cromford Mill and Village Tour

Fridays at 11:00am (11:30am from November - January)

Join us on a two hour extended tour of both the mill and Cromford Village as we trace the footsteps of hundreds of Mill workers and explore 18th Century village life. Our knowledgeable guides will take you around the mill yard and continue your journey of discovery into Cromford Village. You will visit North Street and see the earliest industrial housing in Derbyshire and the state of the art water management system used to power the first cotton mill. 

Costumed Tours

Third Saturday of the month.

Join our Mill Manager and step back in time to 1797 when he was running the world’s first ever successful water powered cotton mill in its most profitable year. Learn what was happening locally and nationally at the time and hear tales of Sir Richard Arkwright and just what jobs the Mill Manager made the workers do!  Then hear what the workers themselves have to say as they busy themselves around the yard. 

Tour Ticket Prices

Our guided tours can be enjoyed as part of one of our Visitor Passes

Mill Manager's Pass - £10

This ticket includes: 

  • Any of our tour options (guided and audio tours).
  • Entrance into the Visitor Centre and the Arkwright Experience

Under 16s go free (must be accompanied by a paying adult).

Carers go free. 

The following tours are part of our events programme and can also be booked in advance for groups of 10 people or more: 

Cotton to Canals Tour

This once quiet valley changed forever with the growth of the cotton mills, but have you ever wondered how they bought the cotton here in the first place? Come with us on a journey of discovery about how local travel advanced dramatically over the last 200 years to keep up with industrial demands. Along the way we'll tell stories about the Arkwright family, the building of the canal and the coming of the railways.

Waterwheels and Wealth: Making the Mills Spin Tour

The mastery of water power was essential to Arkwright's success. This tour explains his ingenuity and manipulation of the local water sources during the lifetime of Cromford Mills. You'll discover where water still moves under your feet today and how the disruption to this once remarkable system led to the final demise of cotton spinning in Cromford.

Family Mill Workers Tour

Children were an essential part of the mill workforce, but what was life like for them growing up working for Sir Richard Arkwright? Discover more about family life, the jobs people did and the risks they took every day. Starting in the mill yard you will also visit Cromford village and see the street where you could have lived if you were one of Arkwright's workers.

Rule and Riot Tour

What happened if you broke the law in the 18th century, or broke one of the rules working at the mill? Did the punishment always fit the crime? Find out more about law, order and industrial espionage during Georgian times, and just how strict working at the mills was as we explore the mill and village on this guided tour.

Group Bookings

Book one of knowledgeable guides to take your group on a tour of Cromford Mills. Why not make a day of it by stopping for lunch or afternoon tea?  Groups of 10 or more save £1 on all ticket prices when booked in advance. 

Visits can be tailored to your needs and French and German tours are available by prior arrangement.

Visites en français avec préavis. 

Deutsche Führungen auf Voranmeldung.

How to book

Telephone 01629 823256 or email volunteering@arkwrightsociety.org.uk for more information and to make a booking.

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