Things to do in Matlock

1st June 2022
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A bursting place full of energy and excitement, from historical sights to arcades to relaxing gardens. With many small towns making up Matlock and with so much to see, we thought we would give you a helping hand and show what Matlock has to offer for your staycation.

The Heights of Abraham

First the must-see place to visit has to be the Heights of Abraham. Take a cable car right to the top of Masson Hill where there are stunning views of the surrounding valleys and woodlands. They have a self-guide audio tour available to tell you all about the history of what you can see for miles around.

Not only that, at the top of the Height of Abraham there are two caverns deep within the hillside to explore. From candle light to a chamber flooded with colour, and with calcite crystals hidden in their walls. It's truly a special place, overflowing with history as you go deep underground learning of the fascinating journey of the caverns formed over 350 million years ago with guided tours.

Prices: £22.00 per adult

Aquarium and Exhibition

In the same area you can also visit Matlock Bath Aquarium and Exhibition, which houses a gemstone and fossil display, aquarium and thermal pool, hologram gallery and history display. It is also the site of a Petrifying well, a technique that was used where thermal water was sprayed onto objects to turn them into stone during the Victorian era. It even includes a display of items that have been petrified.

Note: there are no toilets or baby changing facilities.

Prices: £3.80 per person for all exhibitions, under 4's free

Chatsworth House and Garden

Within a 12-mile radius nestled in the countryside the grand Chatsworth House and Garden awaits. This 1600 century stately home welcomes all to explore the splendour and heritage that it offers. Take in what lies in its grounds, explore through the vast Garden, and discover the rich history in its walls with tours around the House. With many adventures to be had in the surrounding 1000 acre parking and woodland, you can easily spend a full day here. A popular walk starts behind Chatsworth House in Stand Wood where the Hunting Tower and Aqueduct walk begins.

Prices: House and Garden £26.00 per adult, or just the Garden at £15.00 per adult.

Matlock Illuminations Festival

Every year between September and October, the Matlock Illuminations Festival takes place where residents decorate their boats in an array of coloured lights and shapes such as planes, cars, even tractors and carousel, they are then paraded along the River Derwent for all to see. Next to the river, Derwent Gardens is the centre of a fair like atmosphere, holding food stalls, games tents and other delights, including a firework display as well. This tradition has been taking place since 1897 and is simply a must see if you are visiting during these times.

If you are not here for the Illuminations Festival, have no fear. You can hire rowing boats to take up the River Derwent yourself, or if you don't feel like rowing you can take a Motorboat instead. On a lovely summers day you can travel and see all the river has to offer and the surrounding areas.

Derwent Gardens

Photograph Credit: ©

Derwent Gardens is a magical place all year round. With a main emphasis on water throughout, as several thermal springs emerge around the park and have been used to create water gardens and other magical pools. Grottos and alcoves also provide unique features within the grounds. There are many paths and trails to take you through the landscaped gardens to include thermal pools, fishponds and the café. Some also incorporate other areas of Matlock, providing you with a great opportunity to explore the Matlock area further and see what excitements the bustling town holds.

Boxing Day Raft Race

The Matlock Boxing Day Raft Race, a hilarious watch as competitors take to the four-mile course on the River Derwent all on homemade vessels, some made for racing other for comical effect. It's safe to say that not all will make it to the finishing line in good shape, but that is definitely for the benefit of the spectators. A belly aching tradition that is certainly worth a watch.

Lumsdale Valley and Falls

Hidden on the outskirts of Matlock, there are few obvious signposts so many visitors to the area pass without ever knowing what magic is hidden. Lumsdale Valley was once a hive of industrial activity, bustling watermills powered by the ever-flowing waters of Bentley Brook. Now left to ruin, nature has engulfed the remaining buildings to create a truly magical place. Waterfalls, pools and streams run through the ruins and alongside Lumsdale Valley, making it a magical walk from the centre of Matlock.

Find here the Lumsdale Valley and Falls Walking Route

It's asked that you respect the delicate nature of the area when you walk through.

Peak District Mining Museum

Whilst tracing the steps of history, why not visit the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath. Housing thousands of items and relics in a creative exhibition, including rock and mineral specimens from around the world. A temple mine lies just across the road from the museum and a guide will take you around and provide an authentic insight into life underground. Afterwards you can try your hand at gold panning, using a traditional pan you can find fools gold, galena and a variety of crystals to take home.

Prices: Museum £5.50 per adult. Mine £6.50 per adult. Museum and mine £10.00 per adult.

Crich Tramway Village

Be transported back in time at Crich Tramway Village. Home to The National Tramway Museum, located just outside of Matlock you can enjoy rides on vintage trams from 1873 onwards. Take a stroll down a period village scene containing a working pub where you can grab a bite to eat, as well as an old-style sweet shop. Visit the onsite exhibition hall and gallery, discovery centres, workshop and tram depots.

You can also stretch your legs through the woodland walks and sculpture trail that is located around the tramway site. Where you can peak into the mine at Wakebridge and look out at the breath-taking views of the Derwent Valley.

Prices: £20.00 per adult with 12 months from purchase to return as many times as you wish for free.

Looking for somewhere to stay?  If you are planning a visit to Matlock, we have a number of hotels, inns and holiday cottages in the Derbyshire area that are perfect for a countryside staycation.

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