Being brought up in Nottingham I am quite familiar with the Derbyshire Peaks. Beyond Buxton however it was a mystery. I don’t recall ever being to New Mills or Whaley Bridge before. I was amazed to discover that at the end of the 18th century a canal was constructed through the steep sided valleys into the heart of the Peaks. Such a tremendous feat of engineering. The Peak Forest Canal was built to transport limestone, gritstone and coal to the factories and industries of the North West. Bugsworth Basin was one end of the canal and was once a hive of activity. The minerals and stone was brought down from the hills by horse drawn waggonways and loaded onto canal barges. At the height of working 2,000 barges full of limestone were exported each year.
Today the canal and basin have been restored providing a rare opportunity in these parts for level walking and cycling along the towpath.