|Distance:||11.1 miles (17.9 km)|
|Meets:||A515, B5023, A6|
|Route outline (key)|
The A517 is a short road, only 11 miles long, which links the A515 at Ashbourne with Belper on the A6. It skirts the south-east edge of the Peak District, and provides a good access point for Carsington Water.
Starting on the A515 one-way system in Ashbourne (part of which is claimed to be the A517 by some maps) the road heads east out of town. To begin with the road is relatively straight but there is a sharp bend to the right near Bradley and then another by Hulland church. If you turn north here you will be travelling along the Derby to Buxton turnpike road. This takes you through Hognaston and handsome Brassington up into the Peak at the junction with the A5012 west of Grangemill.
Continuing east, the road goes through Turnditch and crosses the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Shottle station (which is nowhere near Shottle). Just afterwards is a set of traffic lights where we meet the B5023. The road then zigzags through Blackbrook to reach Belper. The road bends sharply right to cross the River Derwent by the North Mill before going under a bridge connecting the North Mill to the now-demolished West Mill; general opinion of the mill owner can be seen in the fact that the bridge has ports from where muskets can be fired, making this perhaps the most recent fortified bridge built in the country. The A517 ends just afterwards at traffic lights on the A6.
Virtually the entire length of the road heading westwards from Belper to Ashbourne was used in a stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain cycle race.
Original Author(s): Lez Watson