News 21 April 2023

Beautiful bluebells in Derwent Valley

One of the most beautiful spectacles of spring has to be the scent and sight of a bluebell wood. Lace up your boots and explore these woodlands in Derwent Valley in late April and early May to enjoy bluebells at their best.

Lea Wood and Cromford Canal

Alight at Cromford or Whatstandwell and stroll along the canal to Lea Wood. The bluebells are especially lush near the newly restored Aqueduct Cottage, part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and cared for by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. As well as a dazzling display of bluebells, you might see other signs of spring such as ducklings, wood anemone and dragonflies along the canal.

Follow our activity book walk from Cromford to Aquaduct Cottage at the side of the entrance to Lea Wood:

From Whatstandwell follow our activity walk along the canal and enter Lea Wood from the path above Gregory’s Tunnel:

Shining Cliff Woods, Ambergate

From Ambergate Station you can explore ancient Shining Cliff Woods, carpeted in bluebells in May. The woods are also home to the Betty Kenny Tree, which according to legend inspired the nursery rhyme “rock a bye baby”, as Betty Kenny and her husband are said to have hollowed out the tree as a cradle for their children when they lived here in the 17th century. Click here to download a walking route of 4 miles: Betty Kenny Walk, Ambergate | Derwent Valley CRP

Lover's Walk, Matlock Bath

Simply head across the Matlock Bath station car park and into the coach park to join the upper path for great views over Matlock Bath, or alternatively start from the footbridges in the town centre or in Derwent Gardens, to immerse yourself in the riverside paths and spectacular cliffs of Lover’s Walk footpaths. The paths lead through ancient woodland, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and home to a beautiful display of bluebells.

Caring for bluebell woods

Remember not to trample or pick bluebells – please keep your dog on a lead when walking in the woods to avoid damaging the flowers.
We would love to see your photos of Derwent Valley bluebell woods – you can tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You can find lots more walks on our website:

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