Cromford & The High Peak Incline – a walk review

A dog walk along Cromford Canal

A dog walk along Cromford Canal

Distance: 3.5 miles
Time taken: 1.75 hours
Terrain: Towpaths, trails, woodland paths and footpaths alongside busy road.

I’ve just completed one of the walks shown in the Collins “Short Walks in the Peak District.”  Here is my review of it’s suitability for dog walkers.

The walk begins from the Cromford Canal car park, which is opposite Cromford Mill and is a pay and display car park. There are handy toilets at the start and also a cafe across the way.

1. Following the towpath from Cromford Wharf, walk a mile along the towpath to High Peak Junction.

Warnings for dog walkers:

  • There is a low barbed wire fence which is almost hidden behind the stone wall on your left as you wall along the towpath. Whilst it might not present a danger to most dogs, those with an inquisitive nature and a strong sense of smell, might be tempted to jump the wall into the field beyond, and could quite easily hurt themselves on the barbed wire. Just be careful.
  •  There is a train track that runs alongside the towpath, before you get to High Peak Junction. There is only three strands of wire that would prevent a dog from straying towards the line. Once again, just be prepared for this and keep a close eye on your dog.

2. From High Peak Junction, cross the canal at the swing bridge and go to the right behind the building.

Warning for dog walkers: You will pass under a road bridge, and the path climbs uphill quite close to the road. It would be possible for the dog to access the road if not carefully supervised.

Note: There are toilets and handy poo bins at this part of the walk.

3. Walk up the High Peak incline (which is quite steep and will raise your heart beat!) There are some interesting placques and notices to read on the way.

4. When you reach the High Peak trail carpark, go through a gate at the side of the car park and immediately turn right – almost doubling back on yourself. Follow the waymarked path down through the wooded area.  Plenty of rabbit smells for dogs down here.

5. When you reach the bottom of the path and it opens out into a clearing, turn right and find the gap in the wall. Follow the field path, alongside the boundary wall.

6. Go through a narrow gate (with cottages to your right) and turn left and head down the access lane. This seems as though it is a driveway to the cottages.

Warning for dog walkers: There is a cattle grid on this lane. You can bypass this by walking around it and through a metal gate.

The access lane drops downhill towards some more houses. You will see a footpath sign to the right, but do not take this and continue along the road as it bends to the left.

7. You are looking for a stone squeezer stile on your right which leads into a narrow hedge-lined path which leads down into Cromford.

Narrow stone squeezer stile to negotiate

Narrow stone squeezer stile to negotiate

8. Follow this path until it links with Cromford Hill. Turn right and walk down the main road into Cromford.

9. Cross the busy A6 and walk past Cromford Mills back to the car park.

The book I used to do this dog walk is shown below and has 20 different “easy” walks which are all less than five miles. All walks are suitable for beginners and families.