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The Cromford Canal was a bold undertaking, linking the Derwent and Upper Erewash valleys to the main canal system of England. Collieries, ironworks, mills, limestone and gritstone quarries all flourished alongside it. Although penetrating the southern part of the Peak District, William Jessop's engineering genius ensured that the canal passed thirteen miles through this hilly terrain without a single lock. As a result there is some spectacular scenery in the upper reaches as it contours along the steep side of the Derwent valley. Today, the historical importance of the Cromford Canal has been recognised by the inclusion of its top section in the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site - the only canal in the UK to gain such an accolade.