If you are looking for a nice family walk around a small village with lots of open space and woodland and rivers to explore, then look no further than a visit to New Mills.
Perched on the northwest corner of the Peak District, and within easy striking distance of Manchester and Sheffield, New Mills is a scenic, thriving town with a great community spirit. There’s a great selection of shops, pubs and cafes to wander around and the town hosts lots of different events throughout the year.
Things to do
When we arrived, we headed straight down towards the Torrs gorge. We accessed this from Torr Top Street car park (SK22 4BS) which it’s also worth pointing out is free on a Sunday! From the car park turn left and follow the cobbled road down, you will then come to a signpost and just follow the signs to the Millennium Walkway.
There are several trails you can take from here – the Seff Valley trail and The Torrs but we just followed the black signs to the Walkway.
Our kids loved exploring down all the different paths and bridges and we even saw some fantastic wildlife including a heron! There were also some rock climbers to watch too. If climbing is something you enjoy there’s a designated climbing area on the viaduct and a great climbing rock face. Both areas are well signposted for climbers on the main trails.
Entering the Torrs Riverside Park, deep in a gorge below the centre of New Mills, it immediately becomes apparent that this walk is different from any other in Derbyshire. It is very special as only 20 years ago Torrs Gorge, now so beautiful, was notorious for dereliction and the heavily polluted river.
The Millennium Bridge and High Lea Park
The Millennium bridge itself is quite spectacular. It is a 160m long walkway that links New Mills, the Torrs and the Riverside Park. The walkway forms the final link in the 225 mile long Midshires Way. It’s quite impressive and takes you right over the edge of the water. There’s also a delightful little café that looks on to the bridge, but this was closed during our visit.
After an hour exploring, we also found a fantastic park and playground 10 minutes’ walk from the car park called High Lea Park. Our kids still say this is one of the best parks they have ever been to!
The playground is set into 3 main areas – there’s outdoor exercise equipment suitable for ages 5 plus, then the middle section of the park has lots of unique play equipment including a roundabout swing like no other! The top section of the park then includes a great big slide and an obstacle course. There is also a beautiful rose garden and flower garden to walk through which was nice and peaceful for those looking for a quieter time! Nestled in beautiful woodland and surrounded by lots of open space and fields I would highly recommend a visit to High Lea even if you don’t have children and just fancy a nice walk.
Top tips – if you are planning to visit Torrs Gorge I would definitely suggest wearing trainers or walking boots as there’s some steep inclines throughout the gorge. I would also stick to main trails if you have a pushchair.
Events – Visit New Mills have a great calendar of events throughout the year so please keep an eye on their social pages and website for further information.