Matlock & Matlock Bath – a guide for visiting these Derbyshire locations in 2023

Derbyshire is full of interesting towns and villages, and we think Matlock and Matlock Bath are among the best. Situated in the south-eastern part of the Peak District, you'll find a great mix of stunning nature, historical locations and fun for the family in this area. We wanted to highlight Matlock & Matlock Bath in this guide and recommend the top things to see and do during your time in the area, let's get into the guide:

Where are Matlock & Matlock Bath?

As we've mentioned, Matlock and Matlock Bath are in the Peak District. They're only 5 minute's drive from each other which is why they often come as a pair when you read about them. Matlock is around 20 miles north of Derby and around 10 miles south west of Chesterfield, so in terms of location in Derbyshire this area is well suited for exploring other cities and towns.
FireShot Capture 1782 - Matlock - Google Maps -

What is there to see and do in Matlock & Matlock Bath?

Despite not being big locations, there is quite a bit to see and do in Matlock & Matlock Bath. Here are some of the highlights:

Crich Tramway Village (and the National Tramway Museum)

One of the highlights of a visit to Matlock is the chance to ride in these vintage trams and to visit the National Tramway Museum. The trams are not just amazing to admire and ride on, they can also take you to some genuinely interesting places! There are regular trips to locations such as Wakebridge (where you can see Cabmen’s Shelter) and Glory Mine (where you can see the Sherwood Foresters Memorial). Your ticket includes access to the Woodland Walk & Sculpture Trail at the Crich Tramway Village, where you can enjoy breathtaking views across the Derwent Valley. Plan your visit and learn more here -


Matlock Farm Park

If you're looking for something that the whole family can get involved in, Matlock Farm Park is one of the best areas to head to in the area. You'll get the opportunity to get up close and personal to animals such as llamas, peacocks, and meerkats, as well as participate in Lamb Bottle feeding (depending on the season) and Wallaby Encounter (which is as fun as it sounds). Even if you're not looking to get up close and personal with animals, there are plenty of other things to do including a go-cart track and crazy golf. Overall, Matlock Farm Park is a great day out and not too pricey either! Learn more here -

Peak District Mining Museum

Mining was an important industry in Derbyshire, and this museum highlights its importance very well. The exhibitions in the museum outline the history of lead mining in the local area from the Roman Times to the present, in a very engaging and interesting way. Through the use of interactive exhibits, mock tunnels and shafts that you can actually climb, anyone visiting the museum will get a sense of how difficult and brutal lead mining was as a line of work. Panning for gemstones is also a highlight! Overall you might not be expecting much from a museum about mining, but trust us when we say it is fun for all the family! Learn more here -

Heights of Abraham

Unsurprisingly, this attraction involves going up high! You start with a cable car ride up to the top which takes you over a stunning limestone gorge. Once you reach the top, you'll find the Heights of Abraham, a 60-acre hilltop park with plenty to see and do including exhibitions, woodland trails, and a tour through illuminated caverns. Learn more here -

Leawood Pumphouse

This historical building is in Whatstandwell which is just a 10-minute drive from Matlock, and we think it is well worth the trip. Built in the mid-19th century to pump water from the River Derwent into Cromford Canal, this building might be old but it remains in pristine working condition and is very impressive to see in action. The team of volunteers hold open days where you can see the pump in action and learn about the fascinating history of the Pumphouse. The 95-foot high chimney stack is especially impressive and gives the building an alien shape at night which is really quite beautiful. Learn more here -

Hopton Hall Gardens

Your experience at Hopton Hall Gardens will really depend on what time of year you visit - we recommend early in the year between February & March when the Snowdrop Walk is open and you can admire the beautiful snowdrops. The walk takes you around the wooded area, to the formal garden, around a lovely lake, and of course, the snowdrops. Learn more here -

Steeple Grange Light Railway

This small railway run by volunteers is often overlooked, but we highly recommend stopping here for a visit. The railway takes you into the edge of the quarry where a talk is held about some of the fossils there, which is very interesting. After the talk, you typically then travel to the terminus in Middleton and back again, which is a lovely journey through nature. The volunteers are very passionate and knowledgeable, and we should also mention that you can buy a great coffee and cake! Learn more here -

Hall Leys Park

This park in the centre of Matlock is highly regarded and has won many Green Flag Awards over the years. It's a lovely place for a stroll and there are also events and festivals held here throughout the year. The flower beds are very pretty to admire, but if you've got young kids with you who want to do a little bit more than walk around then the play areas are also excellent and there is plenty to do including a pond full of ducks (who are grateful for any appropriate food you've got to feed them with). You can't really visit Matlock without visiting this park as it is the focal part of the town, learn more here -

Lea Gardens

This garden is just outside Lea on the edge of Matlock, but is only a stone's throw away and really is worth seeing. This is described a Rhododendron Garden, and it certainly lives up to that name - the collection of Rhododendrons here is incredible and stunning to walk through. The garden is actually set on an old quarry, which gives it a slightly strange feel at times and there are plenty of quirky features. Another point worth mentioning is that the food at the cafe here is excellent and worth staying for. Learn more here -

Do the High Peak Trail and Cromford Canal walk

There are loads of great walks throughout the Peak District, and we think some of the best are found within the Matlock and Matlock Bath area. Take for example the High Peak Trail and Cromford Canal walk - this route is only 7km long but takes you past some really interesting and beautiful sights. The High Peak Trail runs down the former railway line at the Sheep Pasture Incline where you pass a collection of old railway machinery which is very interesting. You then walk along the Cromford Canal to Cromford Mills, and up an incline back to where you started. If you're looking for a little exercise during your time in Matlock and Matlock Bath, give this circular walk a try!

Lumsdale Valley & Falls

This wooded gorge on the edge of Matlock is a site of national archaeological and historic importance, and an absolute must-visit location during your time in the town. It's considered to be one of the best remaining examples in Britain of a water-powered industrial archaeological site, and is quite a fascinating area to explore, particularly the ruins of the mills and the water features including Bentley Brooks and the stunning Lumsdale Falls, a natural waterfall which can be admired from a safe distance.

Gulliver's Kingdom

Trust us when we say Gulliver's Kingdom is not to be missed! Not only is there loads to do here for all ages, but it's also very good value. The park has a retro feel which is charming, and all of the staff here are very helpful and friendly. There are hotel rooms at the park which are great for kids as they're all themed, and they're also not too expensive. Learn more here -

Druids Caves & Rowtor Rocks

If you like exploring and you don't mind getting a little bit dirty or getting into tight spaces, then a trip to the Druids Caves in Birchover is well worth a visit. The carvings and symbols on the rocks and caves look like they could be prehistoric, but that isn't the case - they were actually carved in the late 1700s, possibly made to look older to try and trick people. Nobody really knows why they were carved like this, but what remains is a fascinating area to explore. Please be careful though! If you head to the Druid Inn in Birchover you'll find a path you can walk up to the rocks.
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What should you be aware of before visiting Matlock & Matlock Bath?

There is lots to see in both of these towns, but there is also plenty to see in the surrounding towns, and in Chesterfield to the North (which is home to the famous crooked spire and delicious deep-fried jam sandwiches). So if you've got the time, definitely head to some of the surrounding towns and villages!
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit these lovely towns. We have other guides about amazing parts of England such as Teesdale, the English Riviera, or Yorkshire.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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