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High Peak Junction Visitor Centre

Nestled in the Derwent Valley, High Peak Junction was the hub of transport activity and is now a true haven of heritage and wildlife. It's literally the junction of the Cromford Canal and the High Peak Trail.

High Peak Junction

Barbecues are not permitted at any of our sites.

It lies a mile to the southeast of Cromford village and is in the beautiful Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. It is a haven for wildlife and is the ideal location for a stroll or a heritage or nature walk.

There are a variety of buildings from the former Cromford and High Peak Railway - one of the first long-distance railways which were built on canal principles.

The Cromford Canal can be explored between Cromford Wharf and Ambergate, a distance of just over 5 miles. The High Peak Trail starts here at High Peak Junction and continues for 17.5 miles to Dowlow near Buxton.

For information and a warm welcome call in at the High Peak Junction Visitor Centre where there are refreshments, gifts and a variety of maps, walk leaflets and books.

Here you can step back in time with the fascinating audio tour for a small fee of £2, where you will discover the history of Cromford Canal and the Cromford and High Peak Railway. You can also visit the old Railway Workshops for free.

A canal aqueduct over the River Derwent and the magnificent Leawood Pump House are just a few minutes walk away. Leawood Pump is a steam-powered beam engine which operates on some summer weekends and bank holidays. A number of waymarked walks start from High Peak Junction.

Visitor centre summer opening hours

Easter to October from 10am to 5pm.

Visitor centre winter opening hours

Weekends only, November to Easter from 10.30am to 4pm.

Christmas and New Year Week 26 December 2023 to 1 January 2024, subject to weather.

Railway workshop forge days

Have-a-go at being a blacksmith on the historic forge and make a poker to take home and keep.

Participants must be 11+ years old. From 11am to 4pm.

Cost: £10 per poker. Booking is essential, tel: 01629 533298.

You can also do the audio tour of the area whilst here.

  • Wednesday 21 June 2023
  • Wednesday 26 July 2023
  • Wednesday 2 August 2023
  • Wednesday 9 August 2023
  • Wednesday 16 August 2023
  • Wednesday 23 August 2023
  • Saturday 26 August 2023
  • Wednesday 27 December 2023

Repairing the roof at High Peak Junction workshops

Works will start on Monday 4 September to repair the railway workshop roofs and gutters, so this area be closed to public from then until 23 December 2023.

The visitor centre / shop will remain open other than the weekend of 11 to 12 November, where this will be closed.

Audio tours

Hire one of our audio handsets and let Tapper Jack take you on a self-guided tour of High Peak Junction and the Cromford Canal, educational and fun. Only £1.10p.


The canal is a haven for wildlife (it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest). Little grebes and water voles can be seen throughout the year, in summer look out for dragonflies, damselflies and hoverflies.


High Peak Junction and Cromford Wharf car parks are signed from the A6 at Cromford. There are regular bus services. Railway stations at Cromford, Whatstandwell and Ambergate are only a few minutes walk away from the canal.

High Peak Junction Visitor Centre - the centre is signposted from the A6 at Cromford.


The car park machines on this site take cash only.

School visits

We have a number of opportunities for school visits along the Cromford Canal. Visit the Derwent Valley Mills website to find out more about our ‘Fantastic Transport’ or ‘Wonders of STEAM’.

Self-led visits for primary schools include free to download activity guides with resources available to pick up on site: engineering kits, historical photo packs and other activities.

Explore the workshops, canal, railways, rivers, aqueducts and bridges and even book for pupils to have a go at blacksmithing on the forge and make a poker to keep.

Audio guides are available for secondary groups. We’re happy to discuss your requirements. You can also visit Leawood Pumphouse with your school group.

There are ‘in steam’ days open to the public throughout the year or you can book this for your group.

Activity guides are free to download for you to self-lead a visit exploring science, art, history and engineering or you can book a volunteer to help you explore this amazing building.

Why not combine a visit with a stop off at High Peak Junction, Aqueduct Cottage or a trip on the Birdswood canal boat?

Facilities available

  • Cycle path

  • Easy access for all

  • Footpath

  • Light refreshments

  • Museum

  • Nature trail

  • On-site information

  • Parking

  • Picnic area

  • Toilets

  • Wildlife area


High Peak Junction and Cromford Wharf car parks are signed from the A6 at Cromford. There are regular bus services. Railway stations at Cromford, Whatstandwell and Ambergate are only a few minutes walk away from the canal.