New Mills is in Derbyshire.
New Mills is a small mill town at the junction of the Rivers Sett and Goyt. The town is bisected by the impressive gritstone gorges of the two rivers, contained within a recreational area known as the Torrs (or the "Park under the Town"). It's unlikely to feature on many itineraries in its own right, but it's worth stopping off for an hour or two if travelling between Manchester and the Peak District. Half Man Half Biscuit's laconic summary is probably fair comment: "No frills, handy for the hills, that's the way you spell New Mills."
New Mills has two railway stations:
- New Mills Central, Station Road. Trains from Manchester Piccadilly (c.30 mins) and Sheffield (c.55 mins).
- New Mills Newtown, Albion Road. Trains from Manchester Piccadilly and Buxton (c.26 mins).
The two stations are ¾ mile apart by road; allow at least 20 minutes to walk between the two (though a more direct route on foot is via Wirksmoor Road and a public footpath passing Torr Vale Mill).
Key bus services include:
- High Peak Buses 199 Skyline service: Manchester Airport–Buxton, stops on A6 road near Newtown station, not at central bus station (Timetable)
- High Peak Buses 61: Glossop–Buxton, hourly during the day, no evening service (Timetable)
- High Peak Buses 64: Glossop–Macclesfield, twice daily, not Sundays (Timetable)
- Stagecoach 358: Stockport–Hayfield/Glossop, hourly (Timetable)
The main bus station is at the junction of Union Street and Market Street, in the town centre close to New Mills Central station.
New Mills is just off the A6 trunk road (follow A6015 signposted Hayfield). There are pay-and-display car parks on Market Street, Torr Top Road and at the Town Hall on Bridge St (up to 30 minutes free, £0.50 for 2 hours, £1.50 for 4 hours, £2 per day), though free street parking is widely available a short distance away from the town centre in almost any direction.
The town is small enough to see on foot, but the following bus service may be useful:
- High Peak Buses 389 New Mills town service (Timetable)
- Torrs Riverside Park, Torr Top Street/Union St/Station Rd (various routes, widely signposted). Gritstone gorge containing the Goyt and Sett rivers, several historic mill buildings, Torrs Hydro—a small-scale community hydroelectric power scheme—and the Millennium Walkway, an impressive aerial walkway over the waters of the River Goyt opposite a historic mill building. Free.
- New Mills Heritage & Information Centre, Rock Lane, New Mills SK22 3BN (close to bus station), ☎ . Small museum and exhibition; refreshments and toilets available.
- New Mills Community Festival. The New Mills Festival takes place in September each year and includes a lantern procession through the Torrs as well as talks, walks, concerts, gigs and exhibitions.
- The Drunkard's Reform, 117 Dye House Lane (follow High Street down to the bridge, then keep left). The former town prison, now a private house with a quaint 19th-century plaque explaining its curious name.
- Masons Arms plaque, High Street SK22 4BR (at rear of Masons Arms car park off High Street). Probably not worth a special visit, but worth seeking out if visiting the Drunkard's Reform, above: look on the wall at the rear of the Masons Arms car park for a rare and rather interesting early 19th-century stone-engraved advertisement for the pub, with masonic symbols and figures in 19th-century dress. Free.
- Stroll through Torrs Riverside Park (various routes, widely signposted). One possible route is to descend from Torr Top car park (just off Market Street), passing Torr Top Cottages, a listed range of weaver's cottages , walk downstream along the River Sett to its confluence with the River Goyt (site of the Torrs Hydro reverse Archimedes screw). Take the right-hand fork to cross the Millennium Walkway and view the Grade II* listed Torr Vale Mill before returning to the town centre via Station Road. Total distance approx. 1 mile, with one steep descent and ascent but otherwise level. Free.
- Walk or ride the Sett Valley Trail. The Torrs is at the western end of the Sett Valley Trail, a 2½-mile trail for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, terminating at Hayfield. Free.
- Hire a narrowboat, Hibbert Street SK22 3JJ, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hire Rachael, a 36-ft narrowboat, for a day on the Peak Forest Canal. £120.
- Walk the Peak Forest Canal towpath. Walk along the canal from near Newtown station southwards to Whaley Bridge (3 miles) or north to Marple (4 miles), returning by train or bus. Free.
- Watch the Millers, Church Lane SK22 4NP, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. New Mills AFC play in the Northern Premier League Division One North, the eighth tier of English football. Adults: £6.50.
- Play a round at New Mills Golf Club, Eaves Knoll Road SK22 4QE, ☎ . New Mills Golf Course is an 18-hole course established in 1907 on the hillside above the town with views to Kinder Scout and the Cheshire Plain. Visiting golfers are welcome. £20–£26 per round for non-members.
The main shopping streets are Market Street and Union Road in the centre of town.
- High Street Books, 6 High Street, ☎ . Second-hand bookshop.
- Cooperative, Church Street SK22 4NG, ☎ . Largest supermarket in town.
- Sett Valley Cycles, 9 Union Road, ☎ . Cycle shop.
- Simply Indian, 76 Market St SK22 4AA, ☎ . Mid-market Indian restaurant and takeaway.
- Llamedos Café, 30 Market St SK22 4AE, ☎ . Good breakfasts.
- Gioia Mia, 41 Market St SK22 4AA, ☎ . Cosy café with friendly owner, mainly English food with a few Middle Eastern dishes.
- Crispy Cod, 71 Market St SK22 4AA, ☎ . Well-regarded traditional English takeaway—good fish and chips, generous portions.
- Pulse Cafe, 34 Union Road, SK22 3ES, ☎ . 8.30AM–3.00PM. Recently opened vegetarian café.
- Fox Inn, Brook Bottom SK22 3AY (1 mile northwest of town centre; take St Marys Road (opp Station Road) then turn left along High Lea Rd/Brook Bottom Road), ☎ . Traditional country pub in pretty, isolated stone-built hamlet at the end of a narrow no-through road. Cheapish food and Robinson's beer. Alternative routes (on foot) are via a rocky bridleway from Strines railway station (½ mile), or by walking downstream along the Goyt from the Millennium Walkway to Hague Bar picnic site (Waterside Road), climbing to the A6 in Hague Bar then following Hague Fold Road opposite (1¾ miles).
- Little Mill Inn, Rowarth SK22 1EB (2½ miles northeast; exit New Mills on Mellor Road, after 1½ miles turn right into Shiloh Road—signposted Chisworth, Rowarth—then take first right (no through road) after Moorfield Arms), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Characterful out-of-the-way place in delightful rural setting next to stream with replica waterwheel. Streamside garden (slightly spoilt by oversized decking erected for the 2006 World Cup) with adventure playground, and Pullman railway coach converted into overnight accommodation. No public transport. Free house, decent food. Live music on Friday nights. Close to pretty hamlet of Rowarth, in good walking country (the streamside path north towards Higherfold Farm is particularly attractive).
- New Mills Heritage & Information Centre, Rock Lane SK22 3BN (close to bus station), ☎ .