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The Derwent Valley
Flowing through history
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Moved to create
Visit Derby
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Where Ideas Flow
Visit Cromford
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firing our imagination
Visit Belper
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“Little flowery fields of every shape and size, square fields, triangles, fish-shaped fields with odd corners, rhomboids, bounded by green hedgerows and black walls, linked arms and rang up hill and down dale, round the folded hills out of sight into countless valleys beyond where the sun set.”

Alison Uttley ‘The Country Child’


Amid breathtaking 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.

This is the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

Ours is a special place,
A place of enlightenment,
A place of innovation and beauty,
A place where ideas, like the river, flow.

This is the birthplace of the modern factory.
A place with a heritage of inventions, which have shaped our world.
The drama of our landscape stirs the creative spirit.
Today the Derwent Valley is alive with creators and makers.

This is a welcoming community,
A community where everyone feels at home.
you too can be part of our special place.
This is the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.