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Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, Seaside Town in the middle of England
Matlock is a historic town in the heart of England, on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire. It is about 20 miles from Derby along the A6, passing though, Belper, Wirksworth and Cromford and coming to Matlock Bath then Matlock. Matlock and Matlock Bath are two very different places. Matlock Bath was a very affluent Spa town in the nineteenth century, and it has just carried on being quite a unique town ever since. Whereas Matlock has niche shops, antique shops, restaurants, pretty gift shops and designer wear. The two towns are about a mile and a half in distance from each other.
Matlock Bath is set in a deep gorge and has spectacular views over Derbyshire. It is a great place for photographers to take photos of nature or beautiful views as well has the sights of the inland seaside resort, that is Matlock Bath.
There are plenty of buses, from Derby or Buxton and a train station at Matlock and Matlock Bath, both towns are easily accessible by public transport.
The river Derwent flows though Matlock and Matlock Bath, and it was this river that brought the industry to Derbyshire, cotton mills in Cromford and Matlock. The Derwent carries on to Derby where it joins the River Trent
The scenery is beautiful, very green, with plenty of rocks and high cliffs, the Peak District is worth a visit.
There is plenty to see and do in the Peak District, as long as you get the weather!
Matlock Bath - Seaside Town
When you drive along the A6 from Derby on a warm sunny day in you come to Matlock Bath and it is like entering another world, you have just driven through beautiful, green lush British countryside, and you turn a leafy corner to find a very busy and unusual sight, pubs filled with visitors, fish and chip shops, amusement arcades,ice cream sellers, teashops, gift shops, small hotels, guest houses, restaurants, loads of bikers and masses of people walking up and down the main street, this experience is about a mile long, but it is amazing, I live quite close so do drive through often and it still amazes me each time I go through, I always drive slowly, there is actually no other way to drive as it is always busy, especially on a Bank Holiday or any sunny weekend.
Locals divert around it, which is quite difficult as there is also the Derwent River running though it so you are limited if you want to miss the sights of Matlock Bath and drive around it.
It is just like being at a seaside town, lines of shops with tables outside, gift shops selling useless items, you can even buy dog clothes! There are always lots people in the holiday mood and dress. There is even an aquarium. There are little narrow streets to explore, with more shops, tea rooms, pubs and places to eat.
The main road though is actually called the Parade, the North and South Parade. There is a paddling pool and play areas for children, plenty of colour, and never anywhere to park your car! Every car park is full and every space on the side of the road is taken, you have to get there early to get a space to park. The sides of the river are taken up by canoes and kayaks which also helps to bring the place to life with colour, plenty of cyclist and walkers, loads of dogs on leads and children excitedly running around and wanting an ice cream or a bag of sweets.
It is also a bikers stop, any fair day summer or winter and there will be lines and lines of motorbikes, and if you like to stop and look at motorbikes there are hundreds all parked up and gleaming in the sunshine, with lots of bikers dressed in their leathers standing around talking proudly about their bikes, all mixed in with the shouting children and people in their holiday shorts and tops.
Often there is something going on in the river, they have raft races, canoe or kayak races in the fast flowing water, you can stand and watch them, paddling by. In September to October there is the Matlock Bath illuminations which is on the river Derwent, where there are tacky lights lining the streets and the river, people light up their boats and decorate them into anything from a digger to a Swan, you can walk down the parade and look at the decorated boats, there is also a colourful fair in the evenings, with candy floss, hot dogs and loud music.
Just past the parade, you come to the Heights of Abraham, the only way to get there is by cable car, it is very high up but you get great views, the climb is 169 meters or 554ft.
At the top there are mine and cavern tours, a cafe/teashop, ice cream, gift shops, and a large adventure play area also a rock and fossil shop, where you can buy the local rocks and gems from the area. The views from the top are spectacular. The cable car ride does not last very long and children love it. The cable cars sometimes have to stop if it is too windy but most times they are open all through the summer months. When driving along the road the cable cars go over your head, and you can watch them rise up gently swaying in the breeze.
It is a very odd place indeed, but if you are ever in the area, it is well worth a visit. You will leave with a smile if nothing else.
It is a good place to sample fish and chips, with a pint of warm beer! or sit in the pretty tea shop and have a tea and cream scone. Or just waste some time in the arcades.
Matlock Bath is a must if in Derbyshire.
Matlock Bath, North and SouthClick thumbnail to view full-size
Would you visit Matlock Bath?
- Matlock Bath tourist information
Tourist and accommodation information for Matlock and Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. What to do and where to stay in Matlock and Matlock Bath in Derbyshire\’s Peak District.