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Matlock Bath (Derbyshire)

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  • the hills at Gullivers
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      03.07.2012 11:21
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      Great place rain or shine.

      I visited Matlock bath this week and although I only spent a few hours there although travelling 2 to get there, I think it was well worth it. So Matlock bath is located in Derbyshire and nearby places are Matlock, Derby and Bakewell which are also all worth visiting.

      You arrive at Matlock bath and you immediately see a river on one side which you can walk along and all of the small unique shops the other side. So let's discuss shopping first. Matlock bath has sewing shops, souvenir shops and Antique shops on the main street. It won't take you long to walk down it maybe a couple of hours if you visit everything. 2 minutes away ou have Masson Mills which is like a huge Edinburgh woollen mill when you walk in. This is where we visited and it has crafts, models and all sorts there plus a huge cafe so is worth a visit.

      Let's do eating now. We had fish and chips of which as to be expected from a tourist hotspot there are a few to choose from. There are a lot of places I saw to eat but we didn't go in any of them. The rib place looked lovely though.

      Then we have attractions round Matlock bath which are Masson mills which is good. Also the heights of Abraham where you go in cable cars which looked amazing but due to the weather we did not visit. We did however go to the farm which housed lots of animals for my Lottie to see. She particularly loved the goats. I also saw the signs for Gullivers Kingdom which I haven't been to for years but is an amazing theme park.

      In short Matlock bath is great and we loved our day out even in the rain. It is located on the A6 in Derbyshire and I found it without a satnav so I'm sure you will be able to.

      Go and enjoy.

      Kate
      X

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        23.05.2010 18:20
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        A VILLAGE OF LIFE AND TRADIITONAL ATTRACTIONS

        Matlock Bath is small village in Derbyshire that is very similar to a seaside resort.
        The only thing you won't find here that you would on the coast is the sea.

        It contains pubs, fish and chip shops, arcades, gift and sweet shops and a variety of bed and breakfast accommodation with a couple of hotels also available.
        It runs just under a mile in length which is basically a road with hillside mountain cliffs behind the buildings on one side and a river running down the other side of the road.
        This river is the river Derwent.
        It has several car parks and road side parking both in and just outside the village.
        The village has its own railway station too.

        It is best accessible from Derby or the towns of Alfreton and Bakewell.

        The village thrives with tourism every year and when the sun is out the place will be oozing with people which create a vibrant atmosphere. Along with your everyday seaside type of features the village also has some of its own unique attractions.
        The heights of Abraham is a park on top of the mountain which is definitely worth the climb.
        The village also has its own cable cars going over the mountains and village giving you a spectacular view of this and the surrounding areas. There is also Matlocks very own aquarium and mining museum.

        If you ever take the time to visit Matlock Bath you will straight away notice the huge amount of bikers and riders there.
        This is a popular place for these people to go and on weekends especially the place will be full of bikers.

        Matlock Bath holds its own illumination season running from September until the end of October every year which attracts thousands of visitors alone. This however does now cost a fee per person which is a shame as it never used to. It's great for children to see but at £4 per adult and £2 per child then this might be off putting.

        If you are ever in the area and you dont mind a few noisy bikers then give this place a visit.

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          29.09.2009 15:09

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          On my list of Top Ten eating places

          Matlock Bath is physically one of the most interesting parts of the Peak District. Its popularity is deserved though this has led to down marketing it so that it is regarded as the Blackpool of the Peak.

          It is certainly not known for being a gourmet centre. However earlier in the year when passing through I decided to eat there. The brasserie I had previously visited was closed and the choice appeared between an exorbitantly priced meal or some fast food outlet.

          We happened upon THE COUNTY AND STATION HOTEL which was so unprepossessing from the outside, reminding us of the Temperance hotels of the past and were almost discouraged from entering by the permanent set menu boards outside. We ventured inside which did not really alter our overall impression.

          The owner/chef was obliging, directed us to the daily specials and cooked for us the most delicious game pie. It was the best meal eaten out that I had had for many a day. The chef obviously had a love of good food which was largely sourced locally, cooking almost entirely on the premises. He was a great raconteur and made our evening one to be remembered .

          The cost of the meal including wine was remarkably cheap.

          Don't miss this hidden gem or be decieved by outward appearances and pass it by.

          I shall be planning my next holiday in the peaks around dinner each evening there.

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          20.07.2009 14:39
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          Bored? Get Down to Matlock Bath!

          Matlock Bath - A Great Day Out All Year Round!

          Where Is It? - Follow the A6 to the north of Belper and you can't miss it! Sat Nav worshippers should type in DE4 3NR to head straight for the heart of the town.

          Where can I Park? - Depends on what you're travelling on! Bikers park along the main strip (A6) on the weekends, making it tricky for car drivers to park up. However, if you head north out of town there is ample parking along the A6 or by the train station.

          What is There to See/Do?- As other reviewers have pointed out, there are many attractions in Matlock Bath (Heights of Abraham etc.), but most just seem to go and wander up & down the main road, eating an ice cream or a tray of chips!

          A lot of people describe this as an 'inland seaside resort' - mainly because of the nice scenery, abundance of chip shops & arcades, and the crowds which get drawn there most weekends!

          For a more peaceful stroll, you can pop over the other side of the road and take one of the many bridges over the River for a quiet stroll along the leafy paths.

          It is a great day out for all ages and there is something for everyone, from the arts & craft shops to the amusement arcades, chippies and biker shops!

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          12.10.2005 00:06
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          A nice and romantic place, good spot for taking pictures.

          I envy those who can write long reviews detailing where they went and what they did along with what are the things that can be of interest and so on. I am not that good a writer, but I believe in writing short reviews that exposes part of my experience to those who have no idea about the things that I am discussing. My review may not be self-sufficient. But I believe it is good to hear two persons comment "good" about something than to hear one person saying "VERY GOOD". That's why I am writing this review, otherwise I woudn't have even dared it.

          I went to Matlock this Summer. I went there with my relatives and my Mom who has come to visit me in UK. My 40days old nephew also accompanied us on our visit. I don't really know the height of the place but there is cable car to get on the high mountain top. We went up and relaxed the entire day. Well, there were options for us to go into a cave or doing some exploration challenges, but we were too idle to do those things.

          However, I would suggest, this place to those who are in love or who are newly married. The reason is that I would definitely consider visiting this place again if I am in either of those two situations. I can tell why I want that. When I saw the movie "Braveheart" for the first time, there was a scene where Mel Gibson sat down with his fiance on top of a hill in Scotland (probably) and they were enjoying their time together. Being a ordinary boy in a thirdworld country I could only dream of having a moment like that. However, I found Matlock to be of similar beauty at a easily accessible place. Therefore, it provides a good opportunity for those who want to enjoy it.

          For those who want to take loads of picture, Matlock is great. However, we didn't get real good pictures inside the cable car. But otherwise it was a nice location to take pictures.

          In a nutshell, this is a nice and romantic tourist spot and it is not over crowded and therefore verymuch enjoyable.

          Thanks for reading the review.

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            22.08.2005 18:56
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            Top tourist attraction in Debyshire with a nice mix of things to see and do

            The Heights of Abraham is a tourist attraction located in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. My sister came to visit and I wanted to take her somewhere for a day, and googled my way to this place. We weren’t necessarily typical of the families who visit (she’s a squirrel loving Astrophysicist, I’m a trampolining project manager, we’re both in our 20s and we had no kids in tow) but it sounded fun so we set off one Saturday morning for the hour and a half drive from Manchester.

            It’s a nice route along lots of winding roads and through sweet little villages but if you prefer the place is very easily accessible by public transport as the train station is only a minute’s walk from the cable car base station. The best place to park is in the station car park too, and there are lots of spaces though they fill up quickly on sunny days. It’s £3 for up to 4 hours which is about the right length of time to enjoy all the parts of the attraction.

            The best and most fun way to enjoy the attraction is to buy the combo ticket from the booth at the bottom, and ride up to the top of the hill on the cable car, but if this isn’t for you, you can hike to the top on foot. A combo ticket costs £9 for adults and £5.50 for children, and though it’s not advertised, if you ask they’ll also give a student discount ticket for £8.

            - The Cable Car –

            This runs all day from the base station to the top of the hill. The cars are big enough for 6 people and whether or not they make you share with another party depends on how many of you there are and how busy it is – we shared going up but had one to ourselves coming down late afternoon. They’re like the carriages you get on a big wheel, though smaller than those on the London Eye or Vienna’s Riesenrad, and have glass sides which allow for excellent views of the surrounding areas. It depends on the weather, but the ride seemed nice and smooth and not too swaying on the way up although if you’re scared of heights you really should avoid looking down onto the road below.

            - The Caves –

            There are two cavern tours on offer which run fairly regularly. The caves used to be used for mining years ago, and evidence of this remains. Both our guides were really informative – one even had a degree in Geology – and were full of stories about life back then. They could point out which rock was which from the ones on display, and were happy to answer questions. One of the tours starts out with a short film, and the other has an interactive part where a puppet suddenly appears out of one of the jutting rocks and starts ‘talking’ to you. The caverns are cool but not too cold – a cardigan’s a good idea, but you won’t freeze if you forget it.

            - Who? What? Why? –

            The Who? What? Why? Exhibit is housed below the Rock Shop and includes wall displays and looped videos about mining times and also about the effort it took to put in the cable cars. It explains about the cable car rescue vehicles they have and, if you want you can pose for a picture on a real one they’ve strung up in the corner of the exhibit. It’s placed in front of a backdrop that makes you look like you’re riding high above the town below and though it’s blatantly not real if you look closely, it’s still fun to try. When we were there no one was sitting on it and I wanted to wait until everyone had emptied out before I did (not wanting to look like a silly 8 year old) but people kept coming as well as going, so eventually I just went for it. When I got off, several photos later, my antics were swiftly followed by a youngish boy (probably a true silly 8 year old) and a retired lady and her husband, so I didn’t feel that silly anymore…

            - Other Areas –

            There are several play areas for children, a lookout tower to climb for more great views, picnic areas, a café, a restaurant and a bar (we’d recommend the ice cream and chocolate smothered waffle dish), a pleasant, not too expensive gift shop and a separate shop for rocks and gems, plenty of toilets and multiple woodland trails for those who like to walk. One of the caverns also brings you out halfway along one of these, so you have a short, pleasant, down-hill walk back to where you started from. The whole place is really nicely done with bark covered paths leading through the woodland areas, and lots of benches to stop for a rest on.

            - Verdict –

            I though the Heights of Abraham was a really good, simple, British tourist attraction. It wasn’t too tacky or commercialised or crowded, and though it depended on reasonable weather as the parts were all separate and require you to walk between them, it only has to be fine as apposed to raining, not boiling hot, for you to enjoy it. We did everything there was to do, had a picnic lunch outside, wandered around, took lots of pictures and set off home about 2.30pm. As with most places, it’s good to get there when it opens, but people were arriving as we were leaving and though queues had formed, they were not unbearably long. You do get a lot for your money although it could soon add up if you go en masse. It’s a nice place for all the family, and if you live in the area you could easily go and enjoy it for free by walking to the top and skipping the caverns, just enjoying the walks and the exhibits etc.


            - Good To Know -


            Opening Hours

            Feb – March
            10am – 4.30pm weekends only

            March – October
            10am – 5pm daily

            Excellent website available telling you all there is to see and do:

            http://www.heights-of-abraham.co.uk/

            There are lots of places to stay locally either in Matlock or nearby, and there are many other local attractions too, though this is by far the most established.

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              19.08.2004 06:11
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              • "the hills at Gullivers"

              I have lived in Derbyshire for most of my life, one place which I love to visit time and time again is the town of Matlock Bath. I live about half an hour away, or in peak tourist season on a hot Summer Sunday, about an hour and a half away. The traffic into Matlock Bath on such a day is horrendous, but it somehow adds to the excitement. Matlock Bath has a truly excellent atmosphere on warm Summer evenings, the more people there, the more fun the atmosphere is. If you?ve never been to Matlock Bath before, then it is quite difficult for an ?outsider? to understand the true relevance of the town within the locality. It is traditional to visit the town on a Sunday, especially if you are a biker. By mid-afternoon, motorcycles of all shapes and sizes, all colours and models line the streets, attracting many admirers of many ages. I was always fascinated to see the shiny chrome of the motorbikes as a child, and my daughter (who is now 5) was transfixed the other weekend when I was trying to explain the technical details of a Harley Davidson to an inquiring mind. So why do the leather-clad motorcycle fanatics congregate in this small Derbyshire tourist trap? Well, some come along just for the ride, some to soak up the atmosphere with fellow bikers, but a trip to Matlock Bath for a true bike enthusiast is not complete without a visit to the Bike Shop. The infamous Bike Shop at Matlock Bath is like a Mecca to some, with many bikers making long pilgrimages every year just to pay a visit. Myself, I can?t see what all the fuss is about. I?m not a biker, I think motorcycles are horrible, noisy creatures and don?t get pleasure from dressing up in leather. (Well not outside the bedroom anyway?.) So what does Matlock Bath offer for those of us who are simply tourists, wanting a good day out with our family and friends? Here goes? As you approach Matlock Bath (from the Ripley A38 turn-off, driving along the picturesque A5 at any rate) you pass th
              e New Bath Hotel on the left hand side. If you have recently won the lottery, then this is an ideal place to stay. However, if you aren?t quite a Millionaire yet, I would give it a miss for now. It?s very posh though! On the right hand side, you will often see what looks like completely mad people dressed in red who appear to be stuck half-way up the hillside. Don?t worry, this is completely normal, apparently they are professional hill-climbers who think they know what they are doing. As you approach Matlock Bath, there?s a steep left hand turn-off. This leads to the children?s theme park going by the name of Gullivers Kingdom. There?s loads to do for under 7?s, but adults and older children may find the entertainment somewhat limiting. The theme park is built around a hillside, if you are not used to hills (unlike us hardened Derbyshire locals) then you will find walking round the site a struggle. Pushchairs are not recommended, believe me, I?ve tried it and never again! The best bet is to arrive at Gulliver?s about 10.30 a.m., and go on the rides before it gets too packed. A good idea is to bring your own picnic as food can be expensive. When you?ve had enough, either leave the car where it is, or my personal favourite is to move the car to the car park at the other end of town. Part of the fun of visiting Matlock Bath is battling for a car parking space. Last time I visited, I circled the car park 10 times before I found a space, witnessing many examples of ?car park rage? ? better than watching soaps on TV! In the modern-day age of commercialism, Matlock Bath is unusual in that it has no ?high street? names among its fine array of shops. This makes a pleasant change and you feel that you can browse at your leisure. The shops are mainly located on one side of the street, the other is like a promenade, following the line of the river. Many of the locals call Matlock Bath the seaside town without a sea. With it?s vast array of arcades and fish a
              nd chip shops, you could be fooled into thinking Derbyshire in fact has a coastline. It doesn?t of course, but no visit to Matlock Bath is complete without walking along the riverside eating fish and chips out of the wrapper. It simply has to be done. There are some lovely tourist-y type shops, with all sorts of gifts, with new ones opening up all the time. I noticed that on my recent visit one of the shops now offer the chance to decorate your own pots, plates or figures. It seemed very popular with the kids, and you can even have children?s parties there. If you don?t want your chips whilst on the move, there are plenty of sit-down and eat cafes, all with their own specials boards. There is a large aquarium and hologram exhibition, which is worth a visit, if you?ve never been before, but if you?ve seen it once then the novelty wears off after the 2nd visit. There is also a Mining Museum which is interesting if you?re into that sort of thing. The shop sells nice gemstones and other such trinkets, ideal for souveniers. Both attractions usually have special offers on admission prices in the evenings or off-peak times. Talking of evenings, the best time to walk along the ?sea front? is definitely evening-time. Unlike most places on a Sunday, the shops remain open way past 4pm, only really closing when the public decide they have spent enough money. Around September ? October, the town holds illumination nights where the streets are lit up, and special ?floats? sail up and down the river, which are brightly decorated and illuminated. These evenings are very popular and it is best to arrive in plenty of time. It is possible to cross over the bridge across the river, on the other side is a lovely woodland walk, with a children?s playground to let them release some of that energy. If you can pack it all in to one day, then a visit to the Heights of Abraham is well worthwhile. This involves taking a trip up Abraham Heights in a cable car. If you
              are scared of heights (like me) then I would certainly not advise it. My parents, in their wisdom, decided to take me on my 11th birthday (nearly 20 years ago now) and I cried all the way up and back down again, as my Dad made the cable car rock even more by leaning against the window taking David Bailey-type pictures with his camera. I have never been since, but I have heard that the cable cars have been vastly improved since then, so maybe one of these days I will conquer my fear. In summary, Matlock Bath is well worth a visit if you are touring the sights and sounds of Derbyshire, it is very difficult to pack it all into one day, so you will just have to come again another time and see the things you didn?t see before!

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                26.01.2003 17:10
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                • "steep hills"

                Urban districts of Derbyshire in the valley of the Derwent (18 miles northwest of Derby). PLACES OF INTEREST: 1. Heights of Abraham include caves and a tower accessible by cable car. (Entry Price for cable car to be verified). At the top, near the tower is a mini maze and the views are magnificent. 750ft 2. Beautiful walks along River Derwent. 3. Matlock Aquarium/Hologram gallery - price on illumination night was £1.80 for adults and children. Normal price for adults not known (not specified in their literature) as it was advertised outside as adults for child's price of £1.80. However, please note that that this tourist attraction does not accept VISA at all, and cheques must be for £10 or over. There are cash points near the amusement arcade and the Fish pond/Tourist information centre, though. Don't miss the Petrifying Well inside this lovely Victorian building, which was the Matlock Bath Hydro dating back to 1883. The leaflet states that groups of 20 or more are entitled to 20% discount. Open from Easter to end of October 10am and 5.30pm, but times are extended during High Season and Holiday periods - we visited at 8.30pm during the illuminations weekends. Winter weekends and Christmas Holidays open 10am to 5pm. For more information, tel 01629 583624 or 582350. Address is 110 North Parade, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire DE4 3NS 4. Gullivers Kingdom theme park (most suitable for under 12s) 5. Mining Museum (since before Romans)and 6. Temple Mine (can get joint tickets for the latter two items, which includes a panning for gold session!). NB - Mining Museum is extremely child friendly - expect to lose your children and foolish adults in the chimneys/pipes. The Mining Museum cafe and shop were open until 10pm during the Matlock illuminations last weekend (Aug 24 2002) and there tea was only 60p for a pot which was enough for 2 cups. I took the motherinlaw to be a
                nd my boyfriend to the cafe and only spent £2 for 3 drinks (2 pots of tea and a hot chocolate - which was a large mug and extremely delicious). I would strongly recommend this place of interest. 7. Peak Rail – travels between Matlock and Rowsley (being renovated and possibly extended). Times/prices available from Matlock Tourist info centre or Matlock library (01629 582480) 8. Lea Gardens - best in spring for Rhodendrons and azaleas. Season ticket available 9. Stone Centre (between Matlock and Wirksworth) 10. Illuminated rafts/raft races (see further info below) 11. Whistlestop Countryside Centre, Matlock Bath Please note that Riber Castle - formerly a Wildlife Park is now CLOSED. The ruined castle building ,which is clearly visible from Matlock, is to be renovated and maybe made into flats. Also I have not visited items 1 and 4 for a long time, but they are worth a visit if you have children. I believe the cable car charge includes the 2 caverns, tower and maze. The tourist information centre often has leaflets, which include a small discount on some of the above attractions – check before you visit the attractions! As I am a resident of Derbyshire, I am aware of the existence of items 7-9 but as yet have not visited them. Prices can be verified from the Matlock Tourist Information Centre or via Derbyshire County Council (Tel 01629 580000) or HYPERLINK http://www.Derbyshiredales.gov.uk www.Derbyshiredales.gov.uk . Every year Matlock Bath holds illuminations from August Bank Holiday through to end of October (weekends only) beside the river, with illuminated rafts and the other attractions stay open later – we visited the Hologram gallery/Aquarium at 8pm at the end of October 2001!. There are also stalls and a fun fair. It is free to enter the grounds of the park, but donations are welcomed (usually for a local charity). Parking in Matlock Bath is up to 10pm a
                nd costs £1.20 for 2hours. There are cheaper rates for less time – but you will need at least 2 hours, maybe longer if you visit the other attractions. Parking is at a premium so go early. The illuminations are switched on at dusk, usually. One of the best places to view the illuminated rafts are the 2 bridges, leading into the park. The illuminations are definitely better than Blackpool any day.A sight not to be missed! The raft race was originated over 100 years ago for the visit of Queen Victoria (I am unsure but she may have been celebrating a Jubilee that year). In December there is also a raft race on Boxing Day and this goes over the weir as well. Other local attractions:  Cromford – Black Rocks, Cromford canal, Arkwrights Mill/Craft Centre  Bakewell – Haddon Hall, Bakewell Agricultural Show in August  Baslow – Chatsworth Hall  Chesterfield  Bonsall - noted for its lead mines and well dressing ceremonies  Tansley - noted for its numerous garden centres and Public Houses.  Wirksworth –Heritage Centre, Middleton Top Engine House & visitor centre near High Peak trail. DIRECTIONS: From M1 (jnc 29) choose A617 (towards Chesterfield) at Hornsbridge railway bridge roundabout take the second exit, past MFI, to Markham road island, turn left onto Markham Road. Take first left onto Boythorpe Road at the B & Q roundabout, driving past Queens Park and boating lake and the leisure centre. Continue up the hill, passing the Whitecotes PH (on the right) and at the mini-roundabout, take the 3rd exit, passing Whitecotes School (on the right) and follow A632 through Chesterfield and Kelstedge up Slack Hill, the only road in Derbyshire to have a crawler lane! When entering Matlock there is then a steep hill (17%) into the town centre. To avoid the majority of the hill, turn right at the crossroads on the brow of the above hill
                , this road then forks. Take the left fork (going downwards) which then bends sharply to the left (with give way markings in the centre at this point), pass the County Council offices (on the right) and then at the Crown Roundabout, take the 2nd exit (towards the Station), onto the A6. (For free car parking in Matlock turn right immediately after the bridge - before the station. At this point, there is the Peak Railway line - which travels between Matlock and Rowsley, although it is intended to refurbish the line and extend to other villages in the area). To get to Matlock Bath, follow the above instructions and then instead of parking, follow the A6 towards Cromford. Also accessible from jnc 28 of M1 via A38 turning off at the Watchorn roundabout onto the A61, take the first left (using the filter lane) onto A615 before the traffic lights. This road is Wingfield Road and leads to Oakerthorpe, turn right at the end near the Peacock PH, and then take the next road left (A615 continuation).

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                  13.10.2000 16:56
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                  The spa town of Matlock Bath is one of Derbyshire's greatest tourist attractions. Situated in the Peak District, Matlock Bath is about 2 miles to the south of the main town of Matlock and is spread along the side of the River Derwent, which winds it's way through the town. There is only one road in and out of the town, which is the A6, a very busy and popular tourist route. The whole town is about one mile long with steep hills and rock faces on either side. On a Summer's day the town has the feel of an inland seaside resort with a great variety of shops and attractions. There is a large pay and display car park at the north end of the town from which the popular route is to walk along the main road past all of the shops, cafes and pubs to the old bath building at the far end of the town. From there you can walk through a park to one of the bridges over the river and enjoy a very pleasant walk back along the river bank. For the more energetic there is a path up to the top of the hills where you can look down over the town. The car park is also adjacent to the train station and a short walk from the cable car which takes visitors to the top of the hills on the other side of the town, known as the Heights of Abraham. At the top of the cable car ride there are stunning views over the surrounding area and caves that are open to visitors. Within the town there is also Gulliver's Kingdom, this is a small theme park for the younger visitors. In the centre of the town there is an aquarium and in the old bath building there is museum. In the autumn the town has it?s illuminations which are spread all along the riverbank, and most weekends there is also a procession of illuminated boats along the river and a firework display. During Summer weekends the town is a mecca for motor cyclists, with large numbers of motor bikes parked all the along the main road. However, these are not young bikers, but in the main are more mature people who enjo
                  y the beauty of the Peak District and arrive at Matlock Bath for the company, something to eat, and to show off some of the bikes. The town does get crowded at weekends and sometimes finding a parking space is difficult, but if you have never been to Matlock Bath, then I would certainly recommend a visit.

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