Cutest Bookshop in Derbyshire

Scarthin Books

This place is so cool! Writing this I am majorly regretting not buying a book. Let that be a lesson to you to buy one on your visit! This second-hand bookshop offers every book under the sun. Between the maze of bookshelves, you might not actually find your way out. If not, there is a vegan cafe upstairs which has tables on the roof in the summer months. 

The Promenade, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3QF

If you’re an active outdoorsy type, Derwent Valley Mills is the UNESCO site for you! Spanning 24km of the Derwent Valley, the area is a haven for cyclists, walkers and happy campers plus… it’s free!

I visited Cromford Mill. I would recommend the daily tours that cost £5 and leave at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm as there is not much visitor information in the mill itself.

This BBC Radio 4 episode of Open Country features Helen Baxendale(Emily from Friends) exploring the area. Definitely a worthwhile pre-visit listen! Open Country, Belper.

Cromford Mill

Why the UNESCO status?

    • Cromford Mill is the birthplace of the modern factory system.
    • Richard Arkwright built mills here and in the surrounding area which were the first to use water power to assist with the cotton production process.
    • This first happened in Cromford in 1771 and then in 1776 at Darley Abbey in Derby.
    • This area spans 24km of the Derwent Valley.
  • After this period further development in the cotton production happened in Lancashire, meaning these mills were not redeveloped and remain unspoilt.
Hartington Cheese Shop

This must be the smallest shop I have ever encountered.  The cheese is made locally and they offer free samples.


This area is full of great bike rides, walks and canal trips, however if the weather is rubbish the mill can be quite dull if there isn’t a tour available. Try and visit when a tour is taking place.


I went to Parky’s bistro for a tasty goat’s cheese salad. I think it was around £7.

11-13 Market Pl, Cromford, Matlock DE4 3QE

Lunch at Parky's, Cromford

Goat's Cheese Salad at Parky's, Cromford


Use this interactive Map to plan your visit. I would recommend visiting one or two mills, scheduling in lunch and if the weather is nice taking a stroll along the canal.

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