Visit Cromford Mills for a complete day out, the start of your journey exploring the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Here you will find a range of fascinating activities for all the family; discover more about this unique valley in the new Gateway with interactive displays with film, meet Sir Richard himself in the “Arkwright Experience“, take a narrow boat ride along the canal or accompany one of of our guides as they bring the extraordinary history to life on a tour of the area.
There are plenty of walks, trails, shops and places to eat to keep the whole family entertained.
Opening Hours: Open all year except Christmas Day. Cromford Mill Site is open 9am to 5pm and the Visitor Gateway opens 10am to 4pm.
Your exploration of the Derwent Valley starts here. With a fully interactive scale model of the World Heritage Site you can discover all there is to see and do in the valley. There is a film, children’s activities, interpretation and help is on hand to assist you to plan your journey beyond Cromford Mills in the Tourist Information area.
Sir Richard Arkwright Experience
Enter Sir Richard Arkwright’s First Mill to hear the man himself as he shares with you the story of his mill empire. Admission charge applies – see Cromford Mills website.
Daily Mill Tour: Find out how Sir Richard Arkwright built his empire by stepping back in time to when he pioneered the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mills on this introductory tour around the Cromford Mills complex. Times from 11am, throughout the day. These tours take one hour. For prices see Cromford Mills website.
Village Tour: Follow in the footsteps of hundreds of mill workers and explore the streets built by Sir Richard Arkwright. To find out what is on offer and for prices visit Cromford Mills website or telephone 01629 823256.
Group Bookings: Cromford Mills welcomes group bookings. Book one of their knowledgeable guides to take your group on a bespoke tour of Cromford Mills. Why not make a day of it by booking lunch or afternoon tea? French and German tours are available by prior arrangement. For more information visit Cromford Mills website or telephone 01629 823256.
Shop in the Yard: Choose from a wide range of souvenirs, greetings cards, scarves, books of local interest and gifts, many of which are produced locally. Also sells a selection of bespoke food and confectionery. All purchases make a contribution to the Arkwright Society’s work of restoring the mills. Open daily.
Arkwright’s Attic: This Aladdin’s cave of treasures forms part of the Arkwright Society’s recycling initiative, whilst also raising funds. Sells glass, tableware, quality bric-a-brac and a constantly changing stock of second hand books. Opening hours are dependent on volunteers, but can be opened on request.
The Gallery: Cromford Mills Gallery offers a lively programme of changing exhibitions featuring the best of local ceramics, painting, jewellery, textiles and more. Exhibitions and workshops run throughout the year.
Heritage Antiques and Collectables
Interior & Antiques
The Cromford Antiques Centre
Cromford Mill Cheese Shop
Wheatcroft’s Wharf: A stunning canalside cafe and bookshop located across the road from the main mill site. Relax and unwind by the water with a glass of wine or Arkwright’s Ale. Enjoy made to order panini, homemade soup, oven baked potatoes, summer salads, fresh ground coffee and a selection of tasty homemade cakes and scones. Pizza menu available after 6pm.
Arkwright’s Cafe: Enjoy Arkwright’s Cafe ever changing selection of unique and delicious cakes – all homemade on the premises by their friendly staff. Arkwright’s Cafe also serves home-cooked breakfasts and lunches every day. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are all available.
The Counting House Coffee Stop: open for takeaway drinks and snacks, located on Wheatcroft’s Wharf.
What makes Cromford Mills Special?
Cromford Mill was the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill.
It was at Cromford in the 18th century that Richard Arkwright devised modern factory production techniques.
What is there to see and do?
- Take a guided tour of the mill to get an insight into the history of the site and of Arkwright’s village, and their importance in the Industrial Revolution.
- The old stables and coach have been converted into a restaurant and there are a number of shops in the mill yard.
- Look down into the massive wheel pit of the Second Mill from the viewing platform in the mill yard. It provides a great view of the water crashing down to the floor of the wheel pit and into a stone vaulted watercourse which runs about a third of a mile underground to connect with the River Derwent.
Contact Cromford Mills
Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mills, Mill Lane, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3RQ
Tel: 01629 823256
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