Monday, March 10, 2014

Matlock, Matlock Bath, Cromford, and Wirksworth

After popping in to a shop at Matlock to get something to eat, followed by a visit to the toilets, I walked through the park, over the bridge and along the path to High Tor. There were some lovely views along this section of the walk in all directions, but the best photo-opportunities were behind me, with Matlock being illuminated by the bright sunshine.

The walk to High Tor comes out at the cable car base station; I took some photographs, but it's all a bit untidy at the moment and so I haven't included any.

I'd lingered for so long taking photos and just admiring the view from High Tor that I needed to make up some time, and the quickest way of doing this was to walk along the promenade at Matlock Bath...certainly nothing too unpleasant; I actually like Matlock Bath - I think there's a place for appropriate commercialisation in the Peak District. I counted six fish and chip shops, I forgot to count the amusement arcades; there were probably a similar number.

I continued along the road to Cromford, passing the church; it's not particularly old, but it was looking impressive in the sunlight.

The last building in Matlock Bath, before reaching Cromford is Masson Mills, I went in once ,but didn't stay for long; it's just a shopping complex....and I couldn't even find a toilet.

After a short detour to visit the shops and the toilets at Cromford I found the track that leads up towards the High Peak Trail, arriving halfway up the old incline railway; quite a challenging walk that just seemed to be at an annoying slope that it was causing the top of the little toe on my left foot to rub against my boot - and of course the slope is no respite. 

When I reached the top I thought I would be at Middleton Top, but that was a further mile and a half along the track of the old railway.

The place I'd arrived at was 'Sheep Pasture Engine House.'

There are some nice views from here though; so long as you ignore the two large quarries that are out of camera shot, over to the left.

I had a pot of tea and a scone at the Information Centre at Black Rocks; I didn't climb up to them though - I was concerned about my toe hurting me.

It was easy going along the course of the old railway for the next mile or so...until I reached Middleton Incline - my second incline of the day; the angle of ascent seemed kinder to my little toe this time though. I stopped to briefly chat with three cyclists who were repairing one of their bikes: I asked them if they were going up or down - they were going up the incline, and claimed that it had all been uphill so far today.

Although higher up than Sheep Pasture Engine House, Middleton Top has no sense of being high up...and there aren't any views at all. I was quite disappointed; especially after reading so much about the place.

This is the only photograph I took.

I then walked down the road and took a path across fields which eventually led down into Wirksworth, passing right through some deep quarry workings.

I've not visited Wirksworth before; it looks like it's a decent-sized town. I didn't have time to explore, my bus back to Matlock was due in ten minutes.


  1. What a great walk... we did part of your walk towards High Tor last year, but then went around Giddy Edge! This post reminded me of a cycle ride I did about 6 years ago... it was supposed to be a flat-ish ride along one of the trails but I got carried away, ended up in Matlock and then faced those inclines you mentioned on my way back - needless to say, I pushed the bike up the hills! I'm not keen on Middleton Top either but I do like Wirksworth.

  2. I have lived in Middleton for over 12 years. I resent your comment 'so long as you ignore the two large quarries' as these quarries provided families with an income and were an asset to industry. Furthermore, I think Middleton Top is beautiful - I can only presume you must have had your eyes shut if you thought there were no views.

  3. Having lived in Middleton for over 12 years may I say I disagree with your opinion of Middleton. Firstly, 'the two large quarries' that you refer to provided families with an income and were an asset to the working industry. Furthermore, I think there are some superb views to be had at Middleton Top - I can only presume you must have had your eyes shut if you felt there was no view.

  4. Great views from Middleton Top.