Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Black Rocks

Dramatic land forms, picturesque views and a fascinating history are all waiting to be discovered at Black Rocks.

The wood takes its name from a dramatic gritstone outcrop well used by climbers, and forms part of a much larger woodland called Cromford Moor, with miles of walking and mountain bike trails to explore.

The High Peak Trail passes through too so you can access Middlton Top one way of Cromford Canal the other!

There are plenty of picnic benches along the way, ample parking and simply spectacular views across the Derwent Valley - not to be missed!

Carsington Water

Located between Wirksworth and Kniveton, Carsington Water takes water through the tunnels and aqueduct straight from the River Derwent. Carsington Water has everything you need for a great day out, with plenty of activities and things to do.

Carsington Reservoir Watersports Centre hires out kayaks, paddle boards, windsurfing boards, sailing boats and rowing boats. You can also launch your own craft or book taster, refresher and improver sessions, children’s activities and private or group tuition.

There's an excellent visitor centre where you will find courtyard shops, exhibitions and a great café, plus a huge adventure play area for the kids and opportunities for bird watching, cycling, horse riding, fishing and more! 

Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Middleton Top & the High Peak Trail

Wander up the hill from Wirksworth (up The Incline if you're feeling energetic) and you'll come to Middleton Top Visitor Centre, besides the old engine house which would pull carts laden with stone from the quarries below, up to the train line, that now forms the High Peak Trail - over 17.5 miles of traffic-free adventure through some of the White Peak’s finest countryside.

The visitor centre has a great café and offers Cycle Hire too, whist the adjoining Middleton Moor is a fantastic spot for wild flowers, including spectacular displays of cow slips and bee orchids.

The trail is a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike with easy access for walking, cycling and horse riding and runs from Cromford Canal all the way to Dowlow near Buxton.

Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

White Peak Distillery

White Peak Distillery is Derbyshire’s first full-scale craft distillery, making award-winning whisky, gin and rum with a proud Derbyshire provenance.  

Founded in 2016, founders Max and Clare were still at the beginning of their whisky journey. They produced their first Wire Works Whisky in February 2022 and were humbled by the response. 

They look at every strand of the whisky making process in their pursuit of flavour. To create their Wire Works Whisky, they use local brewer’s yeast, combined with an uncommonly long fermentation for a distinctive new make spirit with character before it goes into a cask.  

Book here for a tour and tasting and see for yourself!

Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway


Chatsworth House is home to the Devonshire family, and has been passed down through 16 generations.

You can explore over 25 rooms in the stately home including the Painted Hall, State Rooms and Sculpture Gallery to discover its art, history and family.

Or wander the 105 acres of grounds and gardens surrounding one of Derbyshire’s most popular country houses, the product of nearly 500 years of careful cultivation and includes an arboretum, rock garden, fountains, sculptures and more.

The farmyard has been a favourite day out for children since 1973. There are so many farmyard friends to meet, from Eugenie the rare breed Suffolk Punch mare to Grace the pygmy goat, whilst the woodland playground offers hours of adventures and excitement for all ages, with a zipline, water and sand play. 


Wirksworth makes a perfect base for cyclists. As well as easy access to the High Peak and Carsington traffic-free trails and cycle hire, you can explore the southern Peak District along quiet lanes. Fuel up at the town’s cafes and pubs before you set out or on return.

Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway


Stride out through beautiful hill country along footpaths and quiet lanes. Hill-top panoramas, woodlands, the High Peak Trail, Carsington Water and Cromford are all nearby. Follow the 11-mile Ecclesbourne Way to Duffield and ride the train or bus back. You can download a map and guide for the Gritstone Farmers circular self-guided trail starting from Wirksworth.

Steam train on Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Mountain Biking

Wirksworth’s hills are perfect for more challenging and adrenaline-fuelled mountain biking. Most routes are intermediate, suitable for families, and take you both on and off-road.