Derby Nomad Way

The Derby Nomad Way is a 50 mile Recreational Route circumnavigating the City of Derby. It has been created to celebrate 75 years of Derby Nomad Ramblers which was established in September 1935. 

The permanent trail is planned on Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 Explorer Sheet Nos. 245 259 and 260. It can be tackled in linear stages of between 5 and 12 miles, allowing options for a half-day or a full-day of exercise. Sections can also be combined to make longer stretches or, the full circuit attempted as a challenging long-distance walk.

The way-marked route traverses the rolling countryside within the Districts of Amber Valley, Erewash Valley and South Derbyshire and passes through 22 Civil Parishes in the rural environs surrounding the Derby City boundary. Along the way are numerous industrial archaeological sites and a richness of medieval features plus important places of religious worship, all of enormous interest and great historical value.

By making use of the available public transport radiating from the centre of Derby, walkers may select an appropriate linear section and return to the City via another service. All of the footpaths and tracks are public rights-of-way and entirely within the County of Derbyshire. The terrain is not difficult and the walk defined as ‘moderate’, so it is particularly suitable for most active people and families. The walk provides opportunities for exploration and voyages of discovery for those who may not wish to be involved in a whole day of purposeful walking.

Parts of the trail follow the course of the former Derby Canal as well as stretches of the Trent & Mersey Canal and the River Trent. Crossings of the River Derwent are made at Duffield and Church Wilne.

​Villages included on the ‘Nomad Way’ are Quarndon, Duffield, Little Eaton, Morley Smithy, Dale Abbey, Stanton-by-Dale, Risley, Breaston, Draycott, Shardlow, Aston-on-Trent, Weston-on-Trent, Swarkestone, Barrow-on-Trent, Findern. Etwall, Dalbury, Lees and Langley Common. A number of these locations have regular bus services to facilitate the start or termination of a chosen section. There is a variety of hostelries and cafes in the form of canal-side Taverns, Lock-Keeper’s cottages, old Coaching Inns and Tea Rooms able to offer a wide range of refreshments. The Derby Nomad Way will help nurture interest in protecting the countryside and encourage an appreciation of the wealth of natural heritage that lies less than half-an-hour’s bus-ride from Derby City centre.

The Derby Nomad Way Guide book has colour maps and a detailed description of the walk broken down into individual sections. 

The booklet can be purchased from the Derby tourist office. 

Alternatively click here to request a copy.

A full description of the walk is available here (text only).

You can also view the Derby Nomads Way on OpenStreetMap.

Click here to read reviews of the walk.

Infographic map of the walk

Many thanks to John and Viv Moxham for providing this infographic map of the walk which they completed in November 2023.