Towering above pretty village Matlock Bath, in the Derwent Valley, is The Heights of Abraham, one of Britain’s top visitor attractions.
The Estate has been welcoming tourists for over two centuries, but it wasn’t until 1984 when an ambitious plan to install a cable car transport system was realised, that visitors could literally take off to The Heights.
Prior to the introduction of the cable cars, guests had to walk up the winding hillside paths from river level at Matlock Bath to the summit. In Victorian times, when Matlock Bath was a fashionable spa, horses and donkeys were used to transport wealthy visitors who were curious to discover the underground world in the famous show caverns which also form part of the estate.
Today, whilst the views and caverns are just as inspiring, it’s the award-winning 60-acre estate and the facilities at the summit that makes a trip to the Heights a “must-see” for anyone touring Derbyshire. Awarded “Gold” for its visitor experience and customer care by Visit England earlier this year, the Heights offers a wonderful vantage point, inspirational scenery, underground tours through illuminated show caverns, galleries, exhibitions and, high above the valley in the Visitor Centre, a unique dining experience at the Vista Restaurant and Bar.
A short distance away and nestled into the hillside is the Woodland Adventure play area. Further along, the zig-zag path is the Victoria Prospect Tower and below, by following the paths through the forest garden, is the entrance to the Rutland Cavern. Picnic spots are dotted around the grounds providing more scope to explore the estate or simply to relax in natural surroundings.
Dogs are welcome and travel free on the cable cars. Whilst they can’t be allowed in the caverns, they do have their very own activities on two “Waggy Tail Trails” lasting from 25 minutes to over an hour. Dogs are also welcome on the café’s outside terraces, and water bowls can be found throughout the site.
This year the Heights is celebrating the cable car's 35 years with a series of live events, heritage dedications and mini-festivals.
Events include a myth and magical weekend and a walking festival in May, puppetry and puzzle trails during the summer holidays, and a food and drink extravaganza in September.
There are also regular creative craft sessions for young children in the Art Tent and storytelling in the Masson Pavilion. (Headline details for the published programme can be found here > www.heightsofabraham.com
Admission to all the attractions is free once you’ve purchased your cable car tickets from the Base Station.
The ticket office is located a short riverside walk from the Matlock Bath railway station car and coach park on the northern end of the village.
Cable car tickets can be purchased online in advance of a visit, or on the day at the ticket office.
For savings, buy your tickets online at www.heightsofabraham.com