A sunny day at Matlock Bath – The heights of Abraham
This a place that I heard of while I was working in Doncaster. Matlock Bath is a village, kind of a town, in the county of Derbyshire on river Derwent, halfway between Derby and Buxton.
In 1698 warm springs were discovered and a bath house was built. As the waters became better known, access was improved by the building of the bridge into Old Matlock. I guess that’s why the village was named Matlock Bath. Lord Byron had even compared this place with Switzerland and so it was nicknamed as Little Switzerland.
As of 2011 census the population was 753! It is a very population destination for bikers. Bikers from across England come down to Matlock Bath every Sunday during warmer months for socializing there. About 3000 bikes arrive at the village at a time.
The Heights of Abraham
I got to know about Matlock Bath from flyer at a supermarket. It talked about a nice hilltop tourist park named, The Heights of Abraham. Till the 1980s this place was known for coal mining. Once coal mining became nonviable, it was turned into a tourist spot. It has got a nice rope way with cable cars taking tourists all the way to go to the top. At the top, tourists can take a guided tour through the old mining well. There’s a nice food joint with an open air sitting area with gorgeous hill views. Kids can also play in the play area.
We had driven down from Doncaster to spend a nice day there. Luckily for us, the day turned out to be very sunny, and that too at the end of September. Such sunny days are very hard to come by in the UK.
After parking our car at a parking lot on the outskirt of the village, we walked into the village and the first thing we noticed was saw was a long row of bikes parked outside the pubs of the village. We learned that a particular biker group meets at Matlock Bath quite regularly. It is their watering hole.
We walked by the bikes along the paved path of river Derwent. Then we walked over a set of train tracks, crossed the Matlock Bath railway station and reached the cable car station to ride to the top of a hill, the Heights of Abraham. The journey to the Heights was very enjoyable with lovely views on all sides.
At the Heights of Abraham we took a tour of the coal mines and walked around the Heights, enjoying the view from the top. There were beautiful spots to sit and laze and many kids play areas. Overall it was a nice place to spend with the family. We spent a few hours on the Heights before starting our journey back to Matlock Bath on the cable car.
We were quite hungry and once we reached the bottom of the hill we decided to get some local fish and chips. Not a bad idea. We found a nice place to get a bite right next to the river at the end of the village. We tried the fish and chips there and were quite pleased. After that it was time to head back home to Doncaster. We left with a feeling of satisfaction of a day well spent.
I would recommend this day trip to all.