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Walking in Derbyshire

Derbyshire can be best described as consisting of three major sections. The southern lowland region, including the county town of Derby, the central Derbyshire Dales, and the northern High Peak region.

The Derbyshire Dales and the High Peak are largely within the boundary of the Peak District National Park. If you are interested in walking in the Peak District National Park see National Parks in navigation at left.

Having effectively removed the Peak district Natinal Park area from Derbyshire what is left? Well, not a lot you might say; just the southern and south east regions. But whilst south Derbyshire lacks the rugged grandeur of the High Peak, or the softer beauty of the Dales, much of it is fine walking country with large areas of undulating pastoral scenery through which several rivers meander lazily.

The River Dove flowing south from the Dales swings east in a large arc following the county border and finally joining the River Trent. Further east the River Derwent flows south through Derby, it's waters also destined to join those of the Trent. The rich deep soil of this area is utilised in growing wheat and barley, much of which is used in the brewing industry based at Burton on Trent. There is much of historic interest in the Derwent Valley, particularly related to the early industrial revolution when the Derwent was an important energy source for mills and clay, coal, iron and stone were all nearby.

The eastern border of the county, south from Heanor, which is industrialised and has a history of coalmining, is less attractive for walking.


Osmaston - Osmaston is an attractive village with its picture postcard thatched cottages, village pond and photogenic old sawmill. The pleasant countryside round about makes for enjoyable walks from the village.

OS Maps: Explorer™ 259

A Walk from Osmaston [SK 199439]
Leave Osmaston, passing the village pond, and head southeast along a track which descends to the Old Sawmill. After a short climb you continue to descend along a track under trees to reach a peaceful valley. Following the valley westward you will pass a lovely large pond before continuing up the valley to meet a track heading north east which takes you back to Osmaston. About 3.5 miles.
Best Pub for this walk
Shoulder of Mutton, Osmaston Tel: 01335 342371 (Good Pub Guide)
A snug and inviting down-to-earth pub offering enjoyable and generous home-made food. There's a wide choice from jacket potatoes, toasties and sandwiches to specials such as casseroles and pies.
This walk is fully described in the guidebook 'Drive and Stroll in Derbyshire and the Peak District' by Charles Wildgoose

Matlock - Matlock is a Victorian spa town set in the Derwent valley and now a very popular tourist destination in summer. Above the town are the famous 'Heights of Abraham' at 250m, named, so the story goes, because of their resemblance to the heights scaled during the capture of Quebec by General Wolfe. The Derwent gorge south of the town has dramatic crags and a fine view of Riber Castle on top of High Tor. It was the cloth manufacturer John Smedley, builder of Riber Castle, who first promoted hydropathy (water therapies) in Matlock.There are several paths to Riber Castle from Matlock.


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