Middleton Top engine house and Lea Valley pumping station

Middleton Top Area

A historic pair of working beam engines, quarries, National Stone Centre, walks & bike rides.

Approx 9 miles away


The Middleton Top area offers a visitor centre, cycle hire, walks & bike rides, the National Stone Centre and a historic winding house.

The winding house is the imposing building with the tall chimney, that you can see for miles around. It is the last surviving complete winding engine house built by the Cromford & High Peak Railway Co and still contains its original pair of beam engines. It was one of a series of winding engines and inclines required to lift railway carriages from the Cromford canal up to the High Peak Railway. The engines are still in working order and several times a year there are open days when you can experience them running. See opening times on the website here.

The old railway line is now the High Peak Trail, a walking and cycling route which links with The Tissington Trail at Parsley Hay.

A short walk down the incline from Middleton Top is the National Stone Centre, which has a cafe, a self-guided tour around some of the disused limestone quarries above Wirksworth and offers courses in dry-stone walling.

Wirksworth is a charming town that is easily reached by walking on down through the Stone Centre (but remembering you have to walk back up!).

If you carry on down the inclines, past the Stone Centre, you find yourself at Black Rocks and further still at the bottom of the inclines is the Cromford Canal, part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage site. Along the canal here is the Lea Valley pumping station, with opening days on the website here.

Travel from Ashbourne

Its about 9 miles from Ashbourne.

Follow the B5035 towards Wirksworth and its on the left at the very top of the hill just before you drop down into Middleton village.

Postcode for sat-nav:

Take service 110 or 111. There is bus stop opposite the centre driveway, just before you drop down the hill to Middleton. Stay on the bus and it will take you into Wirksworth and also on to Cromford for the World Heritage sites.

See our buses page for more information on Ashbourne buses.

By bicycle it makes part of a fabulous all day round trip taking in the Tissington Trail and the High Peak Trail (route description coming soon).

It's too far to walk.