The village of Cromford is at the edge of the Peak District National Park in the Derbyshire Dales. Famous for its contribution to the industrial revolution, the village is within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. This area is also known as an excellent place to enjoy fly-fishing and rock climbing. With stone-built houses and tree lined streets, Cromford is an attractive place for a self-catering break in a holiday cottage or log cabin.
This area benefits from a fascinating history which gives the village extra interest for cottage holidays. One of the main points of interest in the village is the unique building of Cromford Mill. Built way back in 1771 by Richard Arkwright, this water powered cotton mill was the very first of its kind. Today, it has a visitor centre plus a restaurant and shops on site. Guided tours around the restored historic buildings can be booked in advance. St. Mary’s Church, built in 1797, is located near the mill and Arkwright is buried in the crypt there.
If you love learning about history then you should really enjoy a cottage break in this part of the country. There are plenty of historical buildings to visit plus lots of historical information to glean. Richard Arkwright built a number of historical buildings in the area and perhaps one of the best examples of his work is Massom Mills in nearby Matlock Bath which was built in 1783. This mill still operates today, but shops have now filled up most of the building. Its textile museum contains textile machinery from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. Five floors of shops in the shopping village will delight shopaholics and a restaurant overlooks the River Derwent.
The best attraction of this part of Derbyshire though is undoubtedly the great outdoors. When visiting Matlock don’t miss the Heights of Abraham which are located just outside of Matlock Bath. Here a cable car takes you up the heights of Masson Hill where you can enjoy fantastic views over the Derwent Valley. The Peak District National Park too is also easily accessible nearby and is an excellent place for keen walkers, cyclers and hikers. Discover pretty villages and attractive market towns as well as some stunning natural scenery.
When taking a self-catering holiday in or near Cromford you may catch ‘Celebrating Cromford’, an annual weekend festival to celebrate life in the village and the talents of its residents. In 2012, the festival featured morris men, a traction engine pull, fell race, live music, storytelling, a mini zoo and work from local artists and writers.
Another annual event is the Cromford Steam Rally which takes place at Highacres Farm at nearby Brackenfield. Also held over a weekend, it features steam engines, commercial lorries, military vehicles, classic cars, buses, coaches and motorcycles plus tractors and fairground organs. In addition, there are trade stalls, antiques and crafts. As well as entertaining the crowds, the rally’s organisers donate money to local charities.
For more things to do on a cottage break, at nearby Wirksworth, the National Stone Centre “tells the story of stone”, local geology and ecology, with many displays relating once again to local industrial history. Located in 50 acres of countryside, it’s a fascinating labyrinth of quarries and mine shafts. The centre hosts courses, so if you’ve ever wanted to try dry stone walling or other traditional skills, this is the perfect opportunity to learn direct from the specialists. The museum’s Discovery Centre has a permanent exhition called the Story of Stone and a shop that sells rocks and minerals. The Millennium Wall is the name given to an outdoors trail displaying various kinds of dry stone wall construction.
If industrial history is an interest, this area can’t be beaten, but outdoor pursuits and gorgeous countryside are also in the mix for a fascinating holiday. Cottages on offer in this part of the country include romantic cottages and family cottages. For somewhere really special with a cosy feel why not find a cottage with an open fire or woodstove?
About Cromford for Cottage Holidays
Book a Cromford cottage and look forward to discovering some of the best of Derbyshire on holiday.