Overview: This section starts with the excitement of Pic Tor, High Tor & Giddy Edge high above the dale below. It then passes through the busy tourist towns of Matlock Bath & Cromford before the peace of the Cromford Canal towpath.
From the train & bus stations, cross the town bridge & turn right through Hall Leys Park. Pass the playground & turn right on a path signed to Pic Tor. Turn right again on to the riverside path.
Take the next turn on the left signed to War Memorial & climb to the top of Pic Tor above the town centre.
On the way back down, turn left, left again and then left again uphill on a tarmac track.
At the top, turn right into High Tor Grounds. The path climbs gently up to High Tor, 350 feet above the road below. There are many viewpoints but beware unprotected cliff edges.
There are 2 paths ahead. The one on the right leads to Giddy Edge, carved out of the cliff face. The one to the left is a safer alternative for children & anyone with vertigo. Both rejoin at the top of steps leading down.
Turn right at a tarmac lane past the cable car station, then left to the railway station. Cross the tracks & down the car park entrance road to Matlock Bath.
Turn left & follow the main road for over a mile past the Lead Mining Museum & Masson Mills at the start of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Just before the traffic lights, turn left through iron gates on to a path above the river. Turn right through Cromford Mill car park & cross the road to Cromford Wharf. Turn left & right on to the Cromford Canal towpath.
After crossing the aqueduct over the river, cross a swing bridge to the opposite side & continue through woods to Whatstandwell Bridge.
Soon afterwards, turn right to Whatstandwell Station & the A6 for buses.
Continue along the towpath for section 6.
Trains from Matlock run south to Derby. There are also buses to Derby, Bakewell, Buxton and Chesterfield.
Trains from Whatstandwell go to Matlock & Derby, and buses to Derby, Matlock, Bakewell & Buxton.
The pavement along the A6 is suitable for a wheelchair & probably the path to Cromford Mill. The canal towpath is also suitable though the swing bridge half way along may not be wide enough.