A holiday or short break will allow you to explore some of England’s most spectacular scenery; fascinating historical and cultural heritage; and in the towns, villages and hamlets – amongst the prettiest in the country – you will find a warm and genuine welcome wherever you go. The rolling hills, vast moorland and gritstone crags of the Peak District make for a dramatic and varied landscape. Not surprisingly it is a Mecca for walkers, climbers and cyclists looking for peace, tranquility and adventure.
The diverse and engaging region of the Peak District and Derbyshire has benefited from years of careful conservation and management, and is packed with things to see and places to visit.
The variety of landscape is vast; from deep-cut limestone dales, such as Dovedale, Beresford Dale and Lathkill Dale, with fast flowing rivers and gorges, to the bleak and beautiful peat-covered moorlands. Miles of ancient dry stone walls create a spiders-web of footpaths, bridleways and historic tracks providing some fantastic short circular routes for all the family or plenty of rugged terrain for those of you who need something more challenging. There is plenty of scope for the adventurous mountain biker!
The region is steeped in history – from a World Heritage Site and bustling market towns to picturesque villages and palatial country mansions. Discover how the other half lived in stunning stately homes such as Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall or the medieval Haddon Hall, both surrounded by enchanting gardens.
Wander through the genteel streets of Matlock and Buxton, known as ‘the Bath of the North’, and renowned as the site of pure, volcanic mineral water since Roman times. Take a tour of the Royal Crown Derby Visitor Centre to learn more about the oldest surviving manufacturer of fine English porcelain or discover more about the world of science at Snibston Discovery Park with more than 90 experiments to try!
Delve into the region’s rich industrial heritage at the Peak District Mining Museum or at The Silk Mill – Derby’s Museum of Industry and History, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Take a trip down memory lane at Crich Tramway Village or visit Heage Windmill, the only working stone towered multi sailed windmill in the country. Or why not take a more gentle ride on the Peak Railway at Darley Dale.
Thrill seekers can experience the exhilarating white knuckle rides of Alton Towers, Britain’s biggest theme park. For younger children, Gulliver’s Kingdom has plenty of attractions to keep the whole family amused and to top off your break, witness the spectacular views of the Derbyshire hills aboard a cable car at the Heights of Abraham.
Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire. It is small enough to be welcoming but large enough to offer a variety shops, restaurants and bars. It also has a wonderful park, Hall Leys, which is in the centre of the town and gives a sense of space, openness and nature. It is a great base to explore the attractions of Derbyshire and Peak District and has great transport links with train station and buses serving much of the county. Matlock provides the perfect gateway for Cycling in the Peak District and the surrounding countryside with a varied rural history.
The town has many interesting shops to look around, with a range of both familiar and independent outlets along the High Street. There are also plenty of pubs cafes and restaurants, offering a wide range of refreshments from coffee and snacks to full course meals.
Matlock outdoor market is held on each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. A farmers market is also held on the 3rd Saturday of the month. Many events and festivals are held in the town throughout the year, including a Victorian Christmas weekend on the first week of December.