Our tour of Derwent Valley Mills offers a unique opportunity to experience an industrial landscape that would become the model for textile factories throughout the world in subsequent centuries.
Designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001, the site runs along 15 miles of the river valley, which stretches from Matlock Bath to Derby. The Cromford Canal and the High Peak Railway are also included in the World Heritage Site.
The complex of buildings at the site provide some well-preserved examples of the world’s first modern factory buildings. Although the buildings have undergone restoration work, this has been done with detailed research in order to ensure the integrity of the site and authenticity to its history.
Though initially the area was dominated by the throwing of silk, it was not until Richard Arkwright’s first cotton spinning mill was built in 1771, harnessing the local water power, that the cotton industry was truly established, ensuring the socio-economic development of the district on a great scale.
The importance of the industry to the local community is further demonstrated in the construction of watercourses, canal network, the local railway, and Ladybower Reservoir, all built to serve the community working in the textile industry. Ladybower is surrounded by beautiful countryside and visitors can enjoy a stroll or cycle around its many walking routes.
Whilst the site benefitted the wider community, there were of course individuals who benefited specifically from the area’s wealth; the Evans Dynasty saw several generations of the Evans family develop interest in Derwent Valley’s milling community, specifically at Darley Abbey, from the 18th century right up until the 20th.
This fascinating site is further complimented by other nearby landmarks showcasing the heritage of the Midlands. Natural water resource is further exploited in nearby Buxton, home to St. Ann’s well, fed by the geothermal spring bottled and sold by Buxton Mineral Water. The county town of Matlock, which appears in the Domesday Book, has also benefited hugely from its natural thermal springs.
Haddon Hall is a combined Medieval and Tudor building, dating back nine hundred years. The National Tramway Museum at Crich runs its collection of trams through a reconstructed village setting, demonstrating tram heritage and history from cities across the UK in the early to mid-20th century.
Articles about England published by Odyssey Traveller.
- The London Underground
- Victorian Women’s Fashion
- Queen Victoria’s Britain, Part 1 and Part 2
- Understanding British Churches
- Studying Gargoyles and grotesques
- Georgian Architecture
- London’s Victorian Architecture
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to England.
21 daysMay, Aug
Habsburg Spain vs Tudor England: small group tour exploring the history of 16th century England and Spain
This holiday with a leading tour operator allows the escorted tour for seniors to explore the life and times of the royal families responsible for making England and Spain so significant in the 16th century with local guides providing the travel experience for the detailed itineraries. We spend 10 days travelling from London to Madrid.
22 daysJul, Sep
Scotland small group tour | Tracing 5,000 years of history
This guided tour of Scotland with a tour leader and local guides includes the isle of Skye, Orkney islands, the Scottish highlands with breathtaking scenery. Edinburgh including the royal mile, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Fort William, Urquhart castle, Stirling castle, loch lomond, Hadrians wall and New Lanark also a UNESCO World heritage site.
19 daysAug, Jul
Whisky and Other Scottish Wonders
A guided small group tour of Scotland is a day tour collection that includes Edinburgh, the royal mile, Edinburgh castle, and the old town a UNESCO World heritage site Experience and learn about, Kellie castle, St Andrews, Skye, Balmoral castle, Loch Lomond and Loch Ness as well touring the Scottish highlands to finish in Glasgow.
Exploring Wales on foot : small group walking tours for seniors
A Walking tour of Wales with spectacular views across as you walk the millennial path across the Irish sea or up in Snowdonia national park. This guided tour that provides insight into the history of each castle visited and breathtaking scenery enjoyed before exploring the capital of Wales, Cardiff with day tours of Wales from Cardiff. For seniors, couples or Solo interested in small groups.
From A$8,995 AUDView Tour
18 daysMay, Sep
Channel Islands | A small group walking tour for seniors
Visiting Channel Islands
From A$12,650 AUDView Tour
Opera Tour Europe | Theatre-Opera-Ballet and Classical Music Small Group Tour for Seniors
This 22-day small group program visits the major arts centres of Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris, and London. We travel in winter avoiding crowds and enjoy a different perspective of the places visited. At Odyssey Traveller we have sought to assemble entry and show tickets to what many will consider the best arts experiences available in those cities during each program.
From A$17,995 AUDView Tour
23 daysMay, Apr
Agrarian and Industrial Britain | Small Group Tour for Mature Travellers
From A$13,450 AUDView Tour
Jacobites, Scottish History small group mature travellers tour
From A$13,250 AUDView Tour
20 daysMay, Jul, Sep
Scottish Islands and Shetland small group tours for seniors
An escorted small group tour for couples and solo travellers of the Scottish isles including the isle of Skye draws on local guides to share their knowledge of the destinations in this unique part of Scotland. UNESCO world heritage site are visited as breathtaking scenery and authentic experiences are shared in a group of like minded people on this guided tour of remote Scotland.
23 daysOct, Apr
Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain
A small group tour of Wales, Scotland & England that traces the history of the journey that is the Industrial revolution. Knowledgeable local guides and your tour leader share their history with you on this escorted tour including Glasgow, London, New Lanark & Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake district.
15 books on Britain's Industrial Revolution
Fifteen books on Britain’s Industrial revolution This reading list on Britain’s Industrial revolution complements Odyssey Travellers escorted small group tour that traces via the canal and railway network, the evolution of this monumental change in…
Bees in Manchester: a surprising symbol of the Industrial Revolution
Bees in Manchester: a surprising symbol of the Industrial Revolution The bee is an intriguing symbol for the city of Manchester. The city’s damp climate provided the ideal conditions for milling cotton. But this is…
Britain’s National Trust role for successful small group history tours
Britain’s National Trust: Historic houses, gardens and natural wonders Britain is home to many attractions, many of them rich in the region’s history. Sites and artefacts are preserved beautifully, and […]
England's Liverpool: Port City, Architecture Marvel
Exploring Newcastle upon Tyne: The Definitive guide for Travellers
Industrial Revolution. Britain's contribution to the world
London's Victorian Architecture: The Definitive Guide for Travellers
Personalities from Queen Victoria's Britain
Ten key influencers that shaped Queen Victoria’s Britain (Part 1 of 2) This article related to Queen Victoria’s Britain was prepared by one of our Odyssey Program Leaders, Mal Bock. She will be leading this small group…