Matlock is nestled alongside the Derwent River in the beautiful Peak District National Park in a steep and beautiful gorge that only the most foolhardy climbers try to scale.
It was in 1698 that three medicinal springs were discovered here and soon afterwards the first ‘bath’ was devised and constructed. It was made of wood and lined with lead and it was this that
gave Matlock ‘Bath’ its name. It developed as a spa town in the nineteenth century and along with the fresh air, fabulous scenery and prosperous visitors it became very fashionable.
The rows of Victorian terraced houses built with lime stone file neatly up the hill and overlook stunning views across to Riber Castle, Black Rock and Alport Heights. Browse the delightful antique
shops in Matlock, enjoy the beautiful gardens then walk 15 minutes along the river to the popular tourist resort of Matlock Bath.
It now has a very modern ‘café culture’, but you can still get great fish and chips and afternoon tea. Often on a Sunday you will be amazed by the hundreds of motorbikes lined up along the ‘front’
in Matlock Bath as the spectacular road that winds along the Derwent is very popular with bikers.
Where to visit
Cable cars will whisk you up to the Heights of Abraham which is a purpose built, hill top attraction on top of Masson Hill, overlooking Matlock Bath and here you will find a café and restaurant; children’s play area, a viewing tower and a rocks and gems shop. Underground tours of Masson and Rutland caverns are included in your return cable car fee and should not be missed. Don’t forget your cameras as the views across the Derwent Valley are magnificent.
Matlock Bath is also the home to Gullivers Kingdom theme park, set up on the hill side, designed for families with children aged between 2 and 13. It includes a log flume and at an altitude of 629 feet (overlooking a valley some 300 feet below) and there’s not another log flume in Europe with views like this one! Parking is free and there is a travellator and a chairlift, which is buggy friendly, to transport you from the bottom to the top of the theme park.
Visit www.derbyshire.co.uk for more information.