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What to do and what to see in Matlock Bath


Matlock Bath Visitor Guide 2022

What to do and what to see in Matlock Bath and surrounding area

For information on events in Matlock , Matlock Bath and the surrounding area, please contact the Matlock Tourist Information Centre Tel 01335 343666. Dates and times are likely to change mainly due to the ever changing covid situation.

The Matlock Bath Illuminations are fun-packed family event featuring a spectacular parade of illuminated and decorated boats along the River Derwent. The show normally runs every Saturday and Sunday in September and October.

Matlock Bath attractions include the Heights of Abraham, Cable cars, Gulliver's Kingdom theme park and the Peak District Mining Museum as well as many other amusements and museums making Matlock Bath a mecca for thousands of visitors. Matlock Bath became an instant tourist resort for the wealthy and influencial, when warm springs, at a constant temperature of 68 degrees fahrenheit, were discovered back in 1698. The upheavals in Europe in the later part of the 18th century onwards discouraged the wealthy from making the Grand Tour and they diverted their attention to places like the Peak District. Matlock Bath was a beneficary of this new era in travel.

A new turnpike road,connecting from Cromford, was built in 1818 which made Matlock Bath more accessible, and in the next 30 years, high society brought gentility and elegance to this beautiful area with its dramatic scenery and river. It then slowly began to lose its aristocratic ambience and began to cater for the new middle classes, who built their homes here, some precariously perched high on the hillside, and their appearance range from gothic to swiss style.

The 1840`s opened up Matlock Bath to the ordinary tourist, with the arrival of the railway. They came `en masse` to see the sights and commercialism gradually took over, rather crudely and unrestrained at first.

Photograph from Matlock Bath
Cable car st Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Riber from Matlock Bath
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Heights of Abraham
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Heights of Abraham
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Heights of Abraham
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Train station
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath Pavillion
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Temple Hotel Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath illuminations
Photograph from Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath
Photograph from  Matlock Bath
Matlock Bath illuminations

The last 30 years have seen enormous changes in Matlock Bath. Roads have been widened and now there are more souvenir shops, amusement arcades, cafes and other food outlets, and car and coach parks.The main road that runs through the town is split in two parts known as South Parade and North Parade.

There are no ancient places of worship here, only 2 victorian churches.The Church of the Holy Trinity was built in 1873 to accomodate the growing number of visitors and residents alike, and the Chapel of St John the Baptist was built in 1897, high up above the village to a design by Guy Dawber.

High Tor is a broad 390ft high limestone cliff that rises sheer from the river Derwent`s eastern bank.It looks quite formidable but it is a popular climbing cliff. The grounds below are more inviting with refreshment facilities, picnic areas, childrens playground, wooded walks and 2 caves that are actual worked out lead mines. On the ground floor, is also the pavillion, which houses the Peak District Mining Museum. The museum tells the story of of lead mining in the area from Roman times to present day. The geology of the area, mining and smelting processes, the quarrying and the people who worked in the industry are all illustrated with static and moving exhibits and an audio visual display. The museum also houses a water pressure pumping engine found in nearby Winster. Adjacent to the museum is Temple Mine, where there is a self guided tour, illustrating geology, fossilization and mining technigues.

On the western side of the gorge are the Heights of Abraham. For many years this slope was mined for lead but in the late 18th century it was developed for visitors `taking the waters`. The Heights of Abraham are today as popular as ever and provide amenities to suit almost everyone. There is a coffee shop, licensed restaurant, picnic area, all taking advantage of the superb view. There is also a victorian Prospect Tower built in 1844, 2 show caves,Rutland Cavern and the Great Masson Cavern, nature trail,landscaped gardens and childrens play area.

Lower down on Temple road is a model railway which is a reconstruction of the Midland Railways Company tracks through the most scenic parts of the Peak District, a real mecca for rail enthusiasts. Also amongst the dramatic setting is Gullivers Kingdom, a theme park capable of entertaining whole families. The park is terraced and each terrace is devoted to a different theme, like `Old England`, Fantasyland, The Wildwest, etc, and has over 50 rides and activities.

The aquarium occupies what was once the Matlock Bath Hydro. It still contains its fine stone staircase and large thermal pool, though now the pool is home to a large collection of different types of carp. The old , upstairs consulting rooms have tanks full of native, tropical and marine fish. Also here, is a Hologram Gallery which exhibits 3 dimensional pictures using laser technology and a Petrifying Well where objects dipped into the well acquire a hard coat of lime and look as if they have been turned to stone.

The top of the Heights of Abraham can be reached by a trek up a steep road but a cable car travels to the top from Matlock Bath railway station, where the Whistlestop Countryside Centre can be found. This houses a free exhibit of wildlife and a shop and acts as an information and education centre.

Matlock Bath Illuminations and Venetian Nights are an event that started with the celebration of the the Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and features the decorated and illuminated boats that are produced by the members of the Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders Association and rowed by them each Saturday and Sunday evening during the Illuminations season. The Arkwright Cup, donated by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1903, is awarded to the winning design and the Boat Parade continues to feature one ‘candle-lit’ boat – in the traditional Victorian style.

The river banks are adorned with illuminated displays on various themes and the cliffs around are flood lit. Firework displays are also given on certain nights throughout the illuminations season.

For information on food and drink in Matlock and Matlock Bath see Where to eat and drink in the Matlock area

Attractions around Matlock Bath

Peak District Mining Museum, Matlock Bath
Exhibition showing the history of lead mining throughout the Peak District. Visitors can operate rag and chain pumps and climb shafts.
Opening Times
Summer 1st April – 31st October: open every day 10am – 5pm
Winter November 2015, February and March 2016: Wed, Thur and Fri 11am – 3pm, Sat and Sun 11am – 4pm Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Tel 01629 583834

Gullivers Kingdom, Matlock Bath
Family theme park with rides suitable for young children and Royal Cave
Tel 01629 580540
website www.gulliversfun.co.uk/matlock-bath

Matlock Bath Aquarium and Hollogram Gallery, Matlock Bath
Site of original thermal baths, with collection of cold water, tropical and marine fish; Pertrifying Well and Gemstone collection
Tel 01629 583624

Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
Entertainment for the whole family. Cable car rides across the Derwent Valley to the 60 acre sunnit. Exciting underground tours in two famous show caves. Explorers challenge. Displays. Picnic and play areas
Open daily from late March to late October
Tel 01629 582365 www.heightsofabraham.com

Lea Gardens Lea, Matlock
A rare collection of Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Alpines and Conifers in a lovely setting. There is a garden shop and a tea room where light lunches are available.
Opening times Late March- June 10am to 5.30pm
Tel 01629 534380
website http://leagarden.co.uk

Red House Stables, Darley Dale
A working Carriage Museum
Open daily at 10.00
Tel 01629 733583
website http://www.aboutbritain.com/RedHouseStables.htm

Tourist Information for Matlock Bath

Matlock Tourist Information Centre
Matlock Visitor Information Point
Peak Rail Shop
Matlock Station
Telephone number 01335 343666
Email matlockinfo@derbyshiredales.gov.uk

How to get to Matlock

By Train
Trains from Derby operate along the scenic Derwent Valley Line to Matlock. Journey time from Derby is just 32 minutes.
Rail Times and fare enquiries National Rail Enquiries (24 hours) 08457 48 49 50 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk

By Bus
Main bus services to Matlock include the hourly Transpeak service from Nottingham, Derby, Belper, Bakewell and Buxton, with services every 2 hours from Stockport and Manchester. An hourly bus service also operate from Chesterfield. Services from Sheffield and other local towns also serve Matlock. A good network of Sunday bus services also serve the town. Throughout Matlock, local town bus services operate regularly Monday to Saturday.
For local bus times call Traveline 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.org.uk

By Car
Situated on the A6, 18 miles north of Derby. Signposted from M1 junction 28 and A6 approach roads.The roads around Matlock Bath get very busy on sunny weekends, particularly during the summer. Matlock Bath seems to have a particular attraction for motor cyclists who converge in their thousands on sunny Sundays.

Car Parks in Matlock Bath

Railway station car park and Temple Walk car park. A6 car park between Matlock and Matlock Bath. Some on street parking available.

Public Toilets

North Parade adjoining Midland Hotel
A6 car park
The Pavillion

Doctors in Matlock

Lime Grove Medical Centre
Lime Grove Walk
Matlock Derbyshire DE4 3FD
Tel: 01629 581586

The Surgery
8 Imperial Road
Matlock Derbyshire DE4 3NL
Tel: 01629 583465

Dentists in Matlock

Matlock Dental Practice Dale Road Dental Practice 92 Dale Road Matlock Derbyshire DE4 3LU 01629 582218

More information on Matlock Town can be found at Matlock Town in Derbyshire

Where to stay - Accommodation around Matlock and Matlock Bath

For more accommodation in Matlock and Matlock Bath see

Derbyshire and Peak District Accommodation

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