MATLOCK BATH WALK
Superb views are guaranteed on this short walk at any time of the year, but best of all on a sunny day when the trees are not in full leaf. A word of warning, the steep descent through Hagg Wood can be slippery in wet weather and positively dangerous after frost.
During the early stages of the walk the Heights of Abraham can be seen. In the summer, cable cars glide back and forth, taking visitors to the top of the pleasure grounds that have been in use since the 1780s.
Across the valley is the spectacular High Tor, and behind that the village of Starkholmes. Distant glimpses can be had of Riber Castle, built by John Smedley as his retirement home, which until recently housed a wildlife sanctuary.
High up on the western side of Matlock Bath in a magnificent setting, stands Gulliver’s Kingdom, an adventure park for younger children. Formerly it was the gas-lit drive to the Royal Pavilion, once used for musicals and social events.
The Swiss-style station building houses an interesting display by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. The station was designed in this style to reflect the description given to the area as the ‘Switzerland of England.’
Length: 2.75 miles.
Start/Finish: Matlock Bath Railway Station Car Park.
Location: On the A6, two miles south of Matlock.
Terrain: Hilly, with a steep descent to the River Derwent that can be slippery in wet weather.
1. From the railway station car park (The railway line between Matlock and Derby is one of the most scenic in the country and there is a good service in the summer) walk through the coach park to join a path rising up above the River Derwent.
2. The path climbs steadily close to the fence to the top of the cliff.
3. Continue along the cliff path as far as you can go before descending the path on the right.
4. The trail now descends quite steeply along an uneven stepped path in a zig-zag fashion through Hagg Wood.
5. On reaching the river, walk to the right and cross the New Bridge.
6. Turn right into Derwent Pleasure Gardens and continue your walk along the riverbank before going to the left to reach the A6.
7. Turn left along the road before crossing to Holy Trinity Church, where you turn right to walk through a car park and continue along the road opposite.
8. Follow the road round to the right and then just before it starts to descend turn left up a zig-zag path, before descending steeply to the main road.
9. Turn right and then left to go over Jubilee Bridge and walk along the opposite side of the river back to the New Bridge, which you encountered earlier in the walk.
10. After crossing the bridge, retrace your steps through Derwent Pleasure Gardens to the A6, this time turn right and walk down the main street.
11. At the river bridge by The Midland Hotel, turn right to return to the railway station car park.
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PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Mining Museum and Temple Mine (Tel. 01629 583834) where you get a very realistic impression of what the conditions used to be like for men who toiled underground. After completing your absorbing tour of the museum you can visit Temple Mine that has been worked since 1922. The museum is open daily throughout the year. Temple Mine is open on a reduced basis in the winter. For further information see the special feature
National Stone Centre, Wirksworth (Tel. 01629 824833) tells the story of stone, its geological and industrial history. The exhibition inside shows how advanced technology makes use of stone in an incredible number of ways. Outside the visitor centre, the quarry trail takes you back over three million years. Open every day 10-4pm during the winter and 10-5pm in the summer.
The Heights of Abraham (Tel. 01629 582365) where you can take a spectacular journey by cable car to explore two show caverns, follow woodland trails and enjoy the magnificent view from the Treetops café and restaurant. Children’s play area and shop. For further information website: www.heights-of-abraham.co.uk
The Midland Hotel (Tel. 01629 582630) located by the bridge over the Derwent leading to the railway station. The wonderfully sited river gardens and terrace are a very popular place with visitors in the summer. Food available lunchtime and evening daily in the summer, please check for winter arrangements.
Teashops - the main street is lined with cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes..
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:
Click below for details.
MATLOCK BATH FEATURE
Nestling beneath limestone cliffs with the River Derwent flowing below, in a beautiful wooded valley, is the popular tourist centre of Matlock Bath.
The town has been a tourist attraction since visitors came to bathe in the thermal waters. It's beautiful scenery was compared to that of Switzerland and, together with the thermal qualities of the water, added to the attraction of the area.
The highlights of the year are the Illuminations and Venetian Nights, which start in early September and continue until the end of October.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.