Cromford Canal

Cromford Canal

LaunchesPublic RoutesKnown HazardsParking


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Canal Licensing Information

Further Information

Managed by Derbyshire County Council, British Canoeing membership covers stretch from Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction. PLEASE NOTE - Stand up paddleboards are not permitted on this stretch.
Due to the various pressures on the Cromford Canal Derbyshire County Council operate a booking system. Day tickets need to be purchased in advance by calling Middleton Top Visitor Centre 01629 533298 as numbers able to access the canal are limited. British Canoeing members can get this free of charge subject to spaces but MUST still book on.

The 14.5 mile Cromford Canal is a wildlife paradise to paddle along. It starts at Cromford in the shadow of an old cotton mill once owned and run by Richard Arkwright.

It once ran all the way south to Ambergate where it met the Erewash Canal and filtered through to the River Trent and beyond.

Since then though much has changed. You can only really paddle a couple of miles as far as Lea Wood Pump House. After this section the canal becomes disused, overgrown and shallow. It is too shallow even for paddle craft.

Things to do on the Cromford Canal

What the Cromford Canal lacks in size and grandeur, it more than makes up for in quality. The basin by Cromford Meadows is a busy hub on weekends throughout the year.

Many families heading down to enjoy the outdoor space, whether that’s with a walk along the canal or enjoying the playing fields or rugby club at the side of the canal.

At the basin you can grab food and drinks or cross the road to the old mill where there are a few shops. If you want something more substantial, you’re not far from the centre of Cromford, There you’ll find plenty of eateries at your disposal, from cheese shops to fish and chip shops, pubs, cafe’s and more.

As well as it’s rich industrial heritage, the canal is a quiet haven to relax for people and wildlife. People often report sightings of herons, grass snake, water vole and little grebe basking along the route.