Derwent Valley

About Derwent Valley


Amid breath-taking countryside in the heart of rural Derbyshire, the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site snakes 15 miles from Matlock Bath and Cromford in the north, through Belper, Milford and Darley Abbey into the City of Derby. Following the course of the mighty River Derwent, which once powered the world’s first ‘modern’ factories, it offers fascinating insights into life at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

Historic buildings have been restored as visitor centres and attractions so you can explore the past with expert guides, and discover more with a varied, inspiring events programme. And with country walks, quality shopping, wholesome food, and abundant local hospitality, the Derwent Valley is the perfect choice for a day trip, or short break at any time of year.

The Derwent Valley is an area of contrasts, united by the river which flows through it. The Valley is exceptionally rich in wildlife with woodlands, charming villages, flower rich pastures and flowing streams; home to the internationally recognised Derwent Valley Mills, the only World Heritage Site in the East Midlands.

Take a journey back to an age when Britain held centre-stage as the world’s first industrial nation, to a place where water-power was first successfully harnessed for textile production. Explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site right on your doorstep: be inspired by its beauty; learn more about its story; unearth its hidden heritage. Discover for yourself why this part of Derbyshire is famous around the World.

Map of the Derwent Valley: