24-26th August | Cromford Derbyshire | Adventure Weekend

Cromford Mills Adventure Weekend

The Cromford Mills Adventure Weekend is back again for the fifth year and we are cramming even more adventure into the three days of family fun over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.. Over the last four years the local club and charity Paddle Peak have introduced more than 1000 local kids to kayaking in Cromford. 

Our venue, Cromford Mills was the birth place of the Industrial Revolution where Sir Richard Arkwright began the modern factory system more than 250 years ago. It is an amazing site for what is now becoming an annual Paddlesport Festival. Events will take place on the River Derwent, the power source for local Mills all those years ago and the Cromford Canal, the transport route to the world for the textiles and cotton produced in the Derwent Valley.

The weekend kicks off on Friday afternoon with the launch of Peak Paddlesports vision to bring textile manufacturing back to Cromford. There will be a presentation in the Mill Yard.

Peak Paddlesports summer factory sale will take place on Saturday in Building One.

Over the three day bank holiday the awesome kids ‘Come & Try Kayaking’ sessions will take place on the Cromford Canal. These free sessions are designed to introduce kids between the ages of 7-16 to kayaking in a fun and safe environment. Our experienced team of volunteer coaches will guide them through the basics of paddling and develop their new skills through a series of fun-packed team games. They’ll be kitted out with boats, paddles, buoyancy aids and helmets for their session. 

Throughout the weekend there will be guest appearances from the GB kayak and canoe slalom teams, freshly back from the Paris Olympics. They’ll all be demoing their skills, helping with coaching, and you might even get a signed poster or selfie with them and their medals. 

An awesome new addition for 2024 is The Cromford Peak Challenge – a multi discipline paddlesport event comprising of three days fun-packed racing. If you and/or your kids are already paddling, come, stick around all weekend and get involved - we’ll have Slalom, Downriver and Kayak Cross racing for all ages, abilities and crafts! Great value B&B accommodation, food and social events will be available at Manor Adventure Willersley Castle Activity Centre, just over the bridge.

On top of that there’ll be additional fun for all over the weekend including climbing, other activities, live music, talks, food and more.

Checkout below what’s going on in more detail…

The future of Cromford’s Dinosaur and it’s home!

Friday 23rd August 4-6pm. Cromford Mills Yard Marquee

Learn how local family business Peak UK plan to bring back textile manufacturing to Cromford, and how the charity Paddle Peak want to establish a base where they can inspire and enable local young children to take up kayaking on the Cromford Canal & River Derwent. There’ll be a presentation and public consultation revealing the plans for an exciting new chapter for Peak UK and of course we guarantee, the dinosaur will not be harmed…..

The Peak Paddlesports Bank Holiday Sale

Saturday 24th August 10am – 4pm. Cromford Mills Building 1.

Grab a bargain piece of paddle sports equipment from Peak PS. There will be samples, seconds, clearance, used and discontinued jackets, pfds, one piece suits and more at fantastic prices. Get to the Mills early to avoid disappointment and join in the fun of Cromford Mills Adventure Weekend.

Kids Come and Try Kayaking Sessions

Kids Come and Try Kayaking Sessions

Sat 24th. Sun 25th. Mon 26th. 9.00am – 5pm. Cromford Canal Wharf

Try kayaking on the Cromford Canal. Sessions are for local youngsters aged between 7-16yrs. They are free of charge and run every 45 mins, starting at 9.30am each day. Bookings are in person only, at the canal wharf from 9am on each day. Sorry no bookings in advance. Equipment and expert instruction will be provided.  Wetsuits and rashies advisable, shorts and T-shirts will work too. Wear beach shoes or old trainers and bring a change of clothes, the kids are sure to get wet, or wetter.

The Cromford Peak Challenge

Sat 24th. Sun 25th. Mon 26th. 9am – 5pm. River Derwent

The Peak Challenge is back. This multi-discipline paddlesports event combines Slalom, Downriver and now Kayak Cross to find an overall river master. If you’re of a certain age (!) you’ll remember the best multi-discipline kayaking series ever run in the UK, The Peak Challenge. We’ve brought it back! The new event is family friendly and this initial event will be on a normally peaceful, meandering section of the River Derwent in Cromford. The main focus of the weekend being inclusive, family fun; so, if you’re an old-timer parent you can race your kids, kids can race other kids, and their parents, and maybe even against World Champions! Open to all crafts, levels* and ages. (*need to be capable of paddling class 1 moving water safely)

The three disciplines will be run over three days, with a combined champion being crowned in each class after the Grand Kayak Cross final on Monday.

There is amazing B&B ensuite bunk room accommodation available just across the river, kindly provided by Manor Adventure at Willersley Castle. The castle will also be an evening hub for the event, with food, nightly entertainment, talks and chat also on site. Get booked in for a fun-filled family weekend on the water. Finish the Summer on a good one!

For more Challenge Information click here.