Alport Heights is a hill near Wirksworth in Derbyshire. It is the closest hill over 1,000 ft to Derby and has stunning views for miles to the South.
It is possible to see Derby city centre from the summit, as well as The Wrekin, the Long Mynd of Shropshire, and the Clee Hill. It is also possible on a clear day, to see the Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield masts, the Birmingham city centre skyline, and also the Lickey Hills just beyond Birmingham.
The Pye Green BT Tower on Cannock Chase can also be seen if you look carefully for it on a good clear day.
The hill is a beautiful area for a picnic with stunning scenery and views to the South. The stone pillar remains of quarries in the area, is called Alport Stone.
The stone lies just below the hill summit and has climbing routes on it that are popular with climbers. The main focus on the hill is the pillar of quarried gritstone, it is 20 ft (6.1 m) high, not far from the summit.
The boulder has 3 or 4 recognised climbing routes up it, one being an 8 m route of climbing-grade E5.
The Alport Height hill has an elevation of 314 m (1,030 ft). At the top of the hill is an array of radio towers that are privately owned and fenced around.
This is in sight for miles around and makes the hill easier to find. By keeping the radio towers in sight on the little country stone walled lanes, you can discover the route by sight.
This also makes Alport Height more prominent in the area around due to the elevation of the masts.
There is no car parking available but there are lots of public footpaths to get there and to make the trip more enjoyable. There’s a another beauty spot just 2km away at Alderwasley, Shining Cliff is a peaceful place to include in your visit.
Area and access
The direct area of Alport Height is looked after by the National Trust and the previous parking space is now closed.
However the main area is a beautiful place to discover on foot, a worthwhile route to include on foot from Wirksworth or Alderwasley. There is a train station at Alderwasley is near to the Hurt Arms pub.
A circular walk is possible from here that can easily take in a part of Shining Cliff woods as well as Alport Height.
If you keep following the road past the little church and over the Derwent River Bridge that is apparent once on the A6 Road, keep following the left hand road and head up hill until you see the radio towers in sight.
There are many sign posts here to take you into the Shining Cliff woods. If you would like to explore here too, and I do recommend it.
Alport Height, a nine acre site, was acquired by the National Trust in 1930. It is believed that a Roman settlement was sited at Alport Heights, while during World War II a small building here provided a look-out for enemy planes.
If you you look carefully and although now sadly weatherworn and eroded, this superb waymarker dates back to the mid-18th century and depicts hands wearing ornate gauntlets pointing the way to Derby, Wirksworth and Ashbourne, as well as the distance to London as being 139 miles.
Finding Alport Height by road
As a family, we have visited the area for picnics at lunchtimes and had leisurely walks around the hill and pondered at the stunning views all around since our kids were quite young.
We regularly visit Shining Cliff woods on a circular walk too, taking in all the peaceful woodland there. It is quite possible to include both areas in one visit.
All around the area are some lovely camp sites and one in particular hires Yurts for holiday adventures.
I have spotted other places around Wirksworth to visit on new adventures that I’ll write about in another article in the future too. The Crich memorial tower and the Star disc in Wirksworth will be written about in the near future.
Our brief visits while out on Derbyshire country drives and little wanders were always made memorable by a trip to Alport Height for a lunchtime break.
On our last visit with our young teenagers, we picked up some tasty sandwiches and smoothies and took a look around and admired the views all around. It wasn’t quite as clear as it might have been, but still sunny and relaxing.
Although the car park is now closed, it is still a beautiful place worthy of a visit on foot. There is no direct parking nearby due to the narrow lanes but it’s so worth a walk up from further down the hill. Just pick your place carefully, and preferably using public transport to make the trip more enjoyable.
We noticed markings on some of the stones dated back to 1700’s and writing on the Alport Stone that dated back to the same era too.
A lovely place to stop and admire the views, to climb the Alport Stone or just enjoy your lunch while out on a Derbyshire circular walk. These sights on a clear day are worth the effort to visit, so long as we all look after these lovely places and don’t abuse them by leaving litter and being responsible, they will still be around for the generations after us too.
Enjoy the countryside and respect it so we might pass on these stunning areas to our children and grandchildren. I hope you enjoy the inspiration.