Having walked the existing Derwent Valley Heritage Way with my wife in the Summer of 2013 the idea came into my head for a walk that would take you out of the valley, up onto the hills running either side. A walk that would reveal the vistas you can’t see from the river bank. A walk that carries on where the Heritage Way ends (a car park next to Ladybower Reservoir) to the river’s source on lonely, exposed Bleaklow. So, I devised a route that deviates from the Heritage Way north of Derby, following the hills on one side of the valley or the other, ending at the source of the river in the wild moorland at Swains Greave, near Barrow Stones. The walk was planned on the OS Maps website┬áin 8 sections, each suitable for one day’s walking. It was first walked in 2014 and 2015 as part of the weekly walking programme of Footloose First, a Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire based walking club.

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