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A stroll along Cromford Canal

October 28, 2015
October 28, 2015 - A stroll along Cromford Canal
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The Peak District is spectacular in Autumn and there are so many wonderful local walks. One of our favourites is along the Cromford canal to Whatstandwell to grab a bite to eat at the dog friendly Family Tree – they do the most amazing afternoon tea, 3 tiers of sandwiches, delicious home made cakes and cream scones, and a bowl of water for Fudge! Derbyshire has a diverse rich heritage and the Cromford Canal is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, which saw the birth of the industrial revolution. Cromford Canal swinging bridgeThe Cromford Canal was constructed by William Jessop and Benjamin Outram, partners in the Butterley company, to join Cromford with the Erewash Canal at Langley Mill. It created an important link to carry raw materials including coal, lead and iron ore, and enable finished products of the area to be exported widely, such as the Butterley Company's castings and Arkwright's spun cotton. Cromford Canal BridgeThe 14.5 mile stretch was completed in 1794 and was operational until 1944. Today it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a haven for wildlife. As you wander along the towpath you may be lucky enough to see water vole, grass snakes, little grebes, moorhen, coots or dragonflies. As well as the wildlife you can find out more about the history of the canal. High Peak Junction was a busy freight interchange with the Cromford and High Peak Railway. The old railway workshops now house a small museum and listening to the audio guide transports you back to the age of steam. Further along the towpath is Leawood Pump House, an impressive monument to Victorian engineering, which stands 45 feet tall, with a 95 foot chimney stack. Built in 1849 the enormous Watt-type beam engine is a gigantic 33 feet long, with a 50 inch diameter piston. Leawood Pump HouseThe pump draws water from the River Derwent through a 150-yard tunnel to a reservoir in the basement. The water is then lifted 30 feet up into the canal to top up the water levels sufficient for the barges to operate. water pump at Leawood Pump Cromford Beam Engine The impressive pump moves four tons of water per stroke and seven strokes a minute, a total of over 39,000 tons of water per 24 hours! The pump was made so large because of the restrictions on removing water from The Derwent River. Due to the water powered cotton mills further upstream water was only allowed to be drawn from the river once a week for a 24 hour period between 8pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday! The pump house was restored in 1979 and is still going strong, the next "steaming" of this amazing beam engine will be on Saturday 31st October, it’s extremely impressive and definitely worth a visit. Swans at Cromford CanalThe canal is ideal for walkers of all ages and abilities, and with regular public transport stops along the northern stretch you don’t have to walk back to your starting point if you don’t want to. The canal tow path is suitable for pushchairs, and those who use a powered wheelchair. You can also hire a Tramper and there is a Changing Places toilet. Horse drawn bargeAlternatively you can get a different view from the water aboard the narrow-boat Birdswood, which is operated every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday by Friends of Cromford Canal - on certain days it is horse drawn, which is an extra treat. Derbyshire has so much to discover and you can find out more about the "Valley that changed the world" by joining in one of the Derwent Valley Discovery Days.  Have fun! Felicity

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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  •   We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    KBarry
    9/15/2019

      We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    Jdrichie12
    7/11/2019

      Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    8/03/2019
  •   What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    rachelthomas2015
    6/18/2019

      We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more

    Big_Al_0000
    7/16/2019

      We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    Catboy86
    8/17/2019
  •   lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    7/28/2019

      Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    mickvfr
    7/28/2019

      We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    plopster1
    6/07/2019
  •   On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    karenmD4738KD
    6/25/2019

      Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    Peachey167
    7/16/2019

      Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    8/07/2019
  •   Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    548julie
    9/14/2019

      What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    Wheelieuser
    6/13/2019

      We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    6/04/2019
  •   For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    EJYork2013
    6/25/2019

      Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    7/04/2019

      We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    9/17/2019

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