Discover more about this unique valley in the Visitor Centre @ Building 17 with interactive displays, games and puzzles providing you with everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to the area.
Our stunning interactive scale model of the 15 mile long Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site allows you to explore all of the key heritage and wildlife sites before you head off by canal boat, train or on foot to see this incredible valley first hand. There are over 20 attractions within walking distance of the Visitor Centre and our helpful volunteers are on hand to guide you as you plan your day. Watch our introductory film revealing why this amazing place was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and discover how the textile industry developed in this once rural valley over 250 years ago.
The exhibitions continues with the story of the Derwent Valley's global impact on the cotton industry and you can meet Sir Richard Arkwright himself in the world's first water powered cotton spinning mill where he brings the building to life in the CGI Arkwright Experience. Hear how he created his cotton spinning empire and watch as floors and machines appear in front of your eyes.
Discover what happened to the site after it finished spinning cotton in the 1840s and the life of the mills since then, including the restoration challenge faced by the Arkwright Society to bring the buildings back into use and create the heritage attraction you can see today.
- Only the Arkwright Experience inside the Visitor Centre is accessible to the public as part of the new 'Arkwright's Special' guided tour offer, the rest of the centre remains closed for the foreseeable.
Arkwright’s Special Pass
Book your own tour guide for an exclusive and informative outdoor tour of Cromford Mills!
Discover how Cromford Mills changed the world as you hear about the incredible story of Sir Richard Arkwright and how he became ‘the Father of the Factory System’. Our guide will even introduce you to the man himself in an immersive audio-visual projection inside the first mill built in 1771.
- Arkwright’s Special Pass also includes the optional use of an audio tour which explores the area beyond the mills around Cromford village.
- Plus, when you arrive on site your Special Pass can be exchanged for up to three Mill Manager’s Passes so you can visit for free anytime in the next 12 months.
- Already have a valid Mill Manager’s Annual Pass? This is transferable to our new offer; we advise pre-booking a time slot to avoid disappointment on the day. Please email us with your preferred date and time options, (you can check availability here first.) You can of course use an Audio Tour with your Mill Manager’s Pass without needing to pre-book (subject to availability). We have extended any Mill Manager's Passes bought since 1st July 2019 for 3 months for the period we have been closed this year. You will need to bring your valid Pass with you on the day, even if you have booked in advance.
The tours, with your own private tour guide, will run at 11am, 12.15pm, 1.45pm and 3pm daily. Each timeslot is per household bubble for any number up to a maximum of 6 people (including children) and advanced booking is recommended to secure a slot. If your group contains more than 6 people, please purchase additional Passes/time slots, for any additional numbers. Tickets will be released on the day to book in person only if timeslots are available.
Every measure has been taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all. Social distancing will be followed for the duration of the tour between you and your guide. Face masks must be worn for any inside portion of the tour, including during the audio-visual show. If you or anyone in your household are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, please do not attend. If you need to cancel at short notice, please let us know and a refund can be arranged. If you have any questions please get in touch by phone 01629 823256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets will be released in weekly blocks on a Friday.
£30 per household bubble (maximum 6 people).
You will be asked if you are happy to Gift Aid your ticket at no extra cost when picking up your ticket from the Mill Shop.
Disabled toilets are located in the Visitor Centre with full wheelchair access throughout the Visitor Centre, shop and Arkwright Experience.
Dogs on leads are welcome in the Visitor Centre, but are not permitted to go into the Arkwright Experience as the show contains flashing lights and loud sounds. Assistant dogs are allowed everywhere on site.