Matlock Bath Highlights
Matlock Bath is located in a particularly stunning location, surrounded by a deep-sided gorge and huge limestone cliffs. There are an abundance of fish and chip shops, gift shops and amusement arcades (Matlock Bath is often referred to a seaside town without the sea!) There are also lovely parks along the River Derwent which are great for picnics or hiring boats.
The Heights of Abraham Hill-top Park
Heights of Abraham is a visitors park located on top of a hill. The park is popular with tourists and families and attractions include cable cars, show caverns, exhibitions, a play area and a cliff-side cafe.
Gullivers Kingdom Theme Park
Matlock Bath has its very own theme park. Gullivers Kingdom has fun rides and attractions including roller coasters as well as more gentle rides. It also has differently themed areas, perfect for families.
There are several great museums in the area, including a lead mining museum,a textile museum and the wonderful ‘Life in a Lens Museum of Photography‘ which has a an exhibition in a Victorian setting. Part of the lead mining museum is a mine where you can see what a lead mine was like in the past. The Whistlestop Countryside Centre is also worth a a visit and includes a wildlife garden, learning areas, exhibition and gift shop.
The Aquarium, Petrifying Well and other exhibitions
Matlock Bath has a small aquarium housed in the former Victorian Baths and is now home to all sorts of fish including huge Piranhas and turtles, you can also feed the fish here. In the same place there is also a hologram exhibition and a Petrifying Well which appears to turn everything it touches to stone!
The surrounding countryside and High Tor
The area is very popular with walkers and High Tor (on the opposite side of the River Derwent) is a sheer limestone cliff which impressively towers over Matlock Bath. A great rock climbing spot!
The Peak Rail
The Peak Rail is a preserved railway running regular steam trains between Matlock Riverside and Rowsley South. At weekends you can take a ride one of these trains and even experience driving the train itself.
Situated high on a hill between Matlock Bath and Matlock, Riber Castle Is a 19th century Grade II listed Gothic Country House which was once a home to John Smedley and also a former boys school, an MOD storage site and a controversial zoo. Although the house is now is disrepair it sits high on a hill and is still an imposing sight. It was also used in the haunting Shane Meadow’s English film “Dead Man’s shoes.”
Matlock and Matlock Bath History
Warm springs were discovered in this area in 1698 and a Bath House was built. During the 19th century various royal visits to the spa town confirmed Matlock Bath as a fashionable society town. Princess Victoria even made a visit in 1831.
- On bank holidays and weekends many motorcyclists meet at Matlock Bath.
- Lord Byron felt that Matlock Bath had an Alpine town feel and gave it a nickname of “Little Switzerland”