There is no high-level alternative in the broad valley of the lower Derwent east of Derby, so this preliminary stage largely follows the official Derwent Valley Heritage Way. I chose to begin the walk at Long Eaton Railway Station because of its excellent connections. Three trains per hour quickly allow you to return from Derby at the end of the walk. There’s only a short section of pavement walking to reach the towpath of the Erewash Canal, which is followed to Trent Lock. From there the route follows the River Trent and Sawley Cut to Long Horse Bridge, where you cross the river to pick up the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal. I chose to deviate from the Heritage Way in Shardlow, following the footpath to the north of the village, rather than the pavement along the main road. Otherwise my route follows the Way through Ambaston and Alvaston into Derby, ending close to the railway station.
- Length: 12.5 miles (20 km)
- Ascent: 189 feet (58 m)
- Lowest Point: 95 feet (29 m)
- Highest Point: 157 feet (48 m)
- Approximate walking time (excluding stops): 4 hours 15 minutes
- Refreshments: Trent Lock, Shardlow, Derby