For British holidaymakers planning a staycation, there is no better spot than Matlock. This Derbyshire town has long been a favourite of travellers both young and old. Today, it remains one of the most scenic and tranquil towns in all of Britain.
Virtually untouched by globalization and big-market brands, Matlock is home to a host of independent pubs, cafes, and more.
These small businesses are, in part, what attracts so many people to Matlock every year. They are complimented by an abundance of sights to see.
Tourists preparing for a family holiday have the most to gain from visiting Matlock. In the town, they will find no shortage of activities that will enthrall parents and children alike.
We’re going to be looking at some of the most popular of these activities in this article.
Here are the best things to do in Matlock for families!
Heights Of Abraham
© Brian Chadwick / Riber Castle – from Heights of Abraham – Matlock / CC BY-SA 2.0
Matlock’s most famous tourist attraction is the Heights of Abraham. We know many serious travellers are often reluctant to visit tourist hotspots for fear of missing out on the true heart of a town. But trust us, you will not regret checking out the Heights of Abraham!
This picturesque hilltop park is home to a number of attractions that will appeal to all the family.
For older family members, there are guided tours of the mines and caverns which lie scattered throughout the park.
Children, meanwhile, will delight in the ample room for play, as well as the delicious ice cream from the park’s quaint English ice cream parlour.
The park also offers cable car rides to the top of the 1000 meter Masson Hill.
Adult cable car tickets start at £19 & children £13.
See video above.
Crich Tramway Village
© Keith Edkins / Berlin Tram at Crich Tramway Village / CC BY-SA 2.0
Not far from the centre of Matlock lies the Crich Tramway Village. A living museum, the Crich Tramway Village allows visitors to ride vintage trams through recreations of period streets.
The streets of Crich Tramway Village are lined with centuries-old buildings. Some of these were saved from demolition in other English towns and brought to Crich Tramway Village to be rebuilt brick by brick.
Even walking by one of these buildings, one can’t help but feel as though they have been transported back to a simpler time in British history.
When your stomach starts to rumble, you can placate your appetite with a meal in one of the village’s many period tea rooms.
For younger travellers, there is a period sweet shop that is just as popular with children today as it was with children 200 years ago.
Matlock Bath Aquarium
Here’s one that’s sure to be a hit with the children in your group!
Located in a breathtaking Victorian building, Matlock bath Aquarium is home to almost 100 species of fish. These include tiger fish, terrapins, and even clown fish (of Finding Nemo fame).
Despite what its name suggests, Matlock Bath Aquarium is so much more than just an aquarium.
Additional attractions include one of the largest hologram collections in the UK, arcade games, and a mind-blowing fossil display.
For older visitors, the aquarium houses the only remaining petrifying well in Matlock, as well as a collection of Goss and Crest China.
Entry to the aquarium is just £3.30 per person (pay on the door) and children under 4 go FREE!
High Tor Recreation Ground
© Donnylad / Park Scene / CC BY-SA 2.0
High Tor has been a popular tourist destination for more than 200 years. For centuries, people have been pilgrimaging to the park to enjoy its caves, mines, and ample hiking space.
While its aforementioned caves are not currently open to the public, the park promises no shortage of activities for young and old alike.
While hiking in Britain is certainly easier during the summer months, High Tor Recreation Ground is perfect for an autumn walk.
Strolling along one of its many trails, you can indulge in the newly visible bird nests; wildlife hastily preparing for hibernation, and; of course, the wonderful sound of foliage beneath your feet.
Hall Leys Park
© Dave Bevis / Matlock – Hall Leys Park Bandstand / CC BY-SA 2.0
Hall Leys Park is another Matlock attraction that is guaranteed to please the outdoors person in your family.
Situated right in the heart of Matlock, the park regularly takes home Green Flag awards for its beauty and cleanliness.
Complimenting the park’s scenic walking trails are a tennis court, a cafe, and a skate park, among many other additional features.
For children, there is a sizable play area. This play area also includes space for wet play and water activities.
Hall Leys Park is one of the most inclusive and accessible parks in the United Kingdom. Its play area, for example, features several specially-designed rides that will allow disabled children to join in on the fun.
Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park
Gulliver’s Kingdom is one of the best things to do in Matlock for families with teenage children.
In fact, many would make the argument that it is the best thing to do in Matlock, full stop.
This theme park is loaded with rides that will set your heart racing. These rides are scattered throughout six themed areas and include a drop tower, water slides, and rollercoasters.
For younger park goers, there is a wide array of rides for under fives. An indoor play area containing ball pits, slides, and more, ensures your youngsters will have a blast even on a rainy day!
The park is surprisingly reasonably priced also. Expect to pay around £15 per ticket for entry which includes 12 rides.
Peak Rail won’t give you quite the adrenaline rush that Gulliver’s Kingdom will, but it makes for a fascinating and entertaining afternoon nonetheless.
This is a preserved railway which dates all the way back to 1863.
Today, it remains operational as a tourist attraction, offering steam train rides to those who want to experience the early days of rail travel up close and personal.
Peak Rail’s services actually extend through Matlock and cover a number of towns and villages in Derbyshire. This means you can use it as legitimate transport to attractions outside of Matlock, making it a great way to squeeze an additional activity into your trip.
Along with its steam train line, Peak Rail operates a museum. This museum is loaded with treasures and trinkets from the history of the great British railway.
Meanwhile, a selection of nearby restaurants and cafes provide the perfect way to refuel between your train ride and museum visit.
Prices for adult single fairs start from £5, if you want a unlimited day fair this comes in at £9.50. Children aged 3-15 travel for £4.50 (unlimited day ticket) and under 3’s are free. Visit the site below for more info.