Matlock is one of my favourite family days out. We went 4 few times last year, all seasons! There’s so much to do there ranging from cable car rides, aquarium, museums, traditional fish and chips, arcades, gift shops and caves. It feels like a seaside town but in the derbyshire countryside; a truly unique place. Keep reading on my favourite things to do with a baby/toddler in Matlock.
You have two options to get there by public transport; a bus to Matlock that takes around 1 hour 35 minutes (and goes into Matlock town, then it would be a half hour stroll to Matlock bath) or a train to Matlock bath station. We have done both and I prefer the train, although it requires a change at derby, it is quick and uncomplicated, and the train drops to you right in the centre of Matlock bath.
An absolute must visit is the heights of Abraham. We will soon be purchasing an annual ticket which is great value for money so we can return all year. The heights of Abraham is best known for its iconic cable cars in Matlock bath which go to and from a hilltop park, but it’s so much more than just a cable car! Once at the top, there’s 2 good playgrounds, a viewing platform, a museum, caves with tours, walking trails, a cafe with fantastic views and more. It’s very plesant to take a walk around and there’s lots to choose from, plus once you up there, everything is included in the ticket so you won’t be paying for anything extra. The views are spectacular, I really recommend going to the Terrace cafe, there’s a big balcony overlooking Derwent valley.
When we went to heights of abraham, my son wasn’t walking yet but we still took full advantage of the museums and playgrounds. There’s a big adventure playground, and a playground suited more towards toddlers. In the”The Long View” museum you can learn all about the history of heights of abraham, and enjoy interactive displays in the fossil factory. There’s also the Masson Palivion which has a “through the lens” exhibition, all about the building of the cable cars in an auditorium, and a 1844 prospect tower.
You could spend all day here. But if you wanted to explore more of Matlock Bath, you’d have to cut your visit short which is why an annual pass is a good idea; there’s just so much to do there. But let’s move on!
Don’t miss the Matlock bath aquarium & exhibitions. This is a unique place! Entry for the whole building is only £2.90 (under 4s free) and it includes: a hologram museum, thermal pool with lots of carp, petrifying well, fossil and gemstone displays and loads of fish! The place has lots of bits and bobs, including some china collections… it’s feels a bit random but adds to the quirkiness of it all and you really can’t go wrong for the price. Be sure to look at their opening times, in winter they open weekends only, but daily from Easter through to October.
For lunch I recommend getting traditional fish and chips! There’s many to choose from in Matlock bath. Afterwards, take a stroll and browse the many sweet shops, gift shops and don’t forget to get some ice cream and go in the arcades. You might feel like you’re at the seaside!
If you still have time, there’s the lover’s walk (click here for blog about that), 2 museums, an 18th century cotton mill (with masson mills shopping village and soft play), a theme park and still more. It requires more than one visit!
Have you been to Matlock or Matlock bath?
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