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Things to do in and around Matlock

Our Riverbank Bed & breakfast and Riverbank Self-Catering are ideally placed in the centre of Matlock to explore the town and its attractions. If you are attending a function or wedding reception at County Hall we are within walking distance. New Bath Hotel is not far. The River Derwent flows by our B&B hotel accommodation through one of the most attractive valleys in the country.

The Matlocks, including Matlock Bath and Matlock itself, consists of the chain of small towns running down the spectacular Derwent valley. Known as the area of 1000 views, and a gateway to the Derbyshire Dales, the Matlocks typify Derbyshire scenery at its best: a combination of river valley, wooded hills with steep sides and the occasional dramatic limestone crag and peak. There is a spider’s web of paths which enable the visitor to explore this countryside.

Matlock Bath became well-known during the 19th century for its thermal waters which stay at a constant temperature all the year round. At the Grand Pavilion a music festival is put on every year in June as a part of the Matlock Live week; rowing boats leave from the landing-stage alongside it.

The charming Derwent Gardens lie between the Pavilion and the river and opposite them, on the other bank, the so-called Lovers’ Walks. Coloured lights illuminate the gardens and the walks from August bank holiday to half term at the end of October. The thermal waters here are the cause of several unusual features: in the Fish Pond adjoining the Grand Pavilion can be seen rare and many-coloured fish; the growth in the pools and grottoes in Derwent Gardens contain particularly lush vegetation; there are the famous Petrifying Wells; and the thermal springs also produce a material known as tufa which looks like a rocky sponge.

On the crest of the famed Heights of Abraham stands the Victoria Prospect Tower, offering views over the whole area. In the grounds, too, are two caverns, Rutland and Masson, which can be explored; both were once worked by the Romans for lead and offer the newcomer an easy initiation into caving. In Matlock Dale rises the impressive peak of High Tor. Paths provide an easy climb to the top of the Tor which gives views of the 1,100 ft Masson Hill and its gorge below.

Further up the valley is Matlock town itself and here is Hall Leys Park where there are facilities for many outdoor sports and a recreation ground for children. Here, too, is Riber Castle, the most well-known landmark in the Matlocks. This, despite its battlements and turrets, is not truly a castle. It was built in the mid- 19th century for Mr John Smedley, a local textile manufacturer who was the man who developed Matlock as a spa. Smedley’s former Hydro now houses the County Council offices.


Information for those guests staying over a weekend in the summer:

The most popular restaurants get booked up in advance, book early to avoid disappointment, they are:

  • Recently opened Viva Italian restaurant within walking distance of the Guest House. Tel 01629 593505
  • At Thailand No1 (less than 100 metres from our guest house) we have assembled a range of classic thai dishes using the freshest ingredients including herbs, spices and exotic vegetables sent to us every week from growers in Thailand. Tel. 01629 584444
  • An intimate restaurant in the heart of Matlock, Stones Restaurant, on Dale Road, aims to provide a fantastic dining experience in a relaxed setting. Tel. 01629 56061. Recently voted No.1 in Derbyshire
  • Herd Steakhouse has recently opened  01629 581171
  • Audley Court in Darley Dale 01629736760

Good Food Pubs in Matlock:-

  • The Red Lion in Matlock Green. Tel. 01629 584888
  • One of the best restaurants in England is Max Fischers “Fischers at Baslow“.01246 583259
  • Every month there is a very special occasion in the park in Matlock. The Cafe in the Park puts on a Bistro Evening. This has become a very popular event, so early booking is essential. Each month is themed, to get the latest information visit their website. The cost is in the region of £26 and bring you own bottle. A typical meal consists of starter, main, dessert, cheese & biscuits and coffee with mints. A £10 per head deposit is required to confirm the booking. To book phone 01629 593633. for more information see Cafe in the Park on Facebook.